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Shuttle Getting Final Inspection for Damage

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

One last inspection for Atlantis before the trip home.

Astronauts have attached a boom to the shuttle's robotic arm to inspect for damage to the shuttle's wings and nose.

This is part of the post-Columbia accident routine for shuttles, as astronauts look for the kinds of cuts and tears that caused the fatal break-up in 2003.

Atlantis is orbiting about 50 miles away from the international space station and could return there if serious damage is found.

Earlier inspections showed the heat shield was in good condition.

The shuttle is scheduled for a Florida landing early Wednesday.

With today's Soyuz launch, there are now a dozen people in space -- the most at one time in at least three-and-a-half years.


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