Atlantis crew prepares for int'l space station

June 10, 2007 05:45

With a 4-inch gap in the space shuttle Atlantis' heat-protecting blanket not appearing to be an urgent problem, the crew readied themselves for what NASA called a delicate ballet with the international space station. Then the shuttle will enter a weeklong embrace Sunday with the orbital outpost. Atlantis's seven astronauts spent much of Saturday on a mandatory inspection of the shuttle's delicate heat tiles, outer edges and blankets for problems similar to the kind that caused the fatal Columbia accident in 2003. As of Saturday afternoon, no glaring problems were reported.

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