Wednesday, April 7, 2010

NASA Discovery Shuttle Docked At Space Station


NASA's space shuttle Discovery has been successfully docked at the International Space Station early on Wednesday. However, the astronauts overcame a minor problem when an antenna broke down disconnecting the radar tracking.

Shuttle commander Alan Poindexter and his crew approached the orbiting outpost by relying on other navigation devices.

"You guys are looking beautiful," Japanese space station resident Soichi Noguchi spoke on the radio as the shuttle drew within 660 feet.

The two spacecrafts reached the target station on time.

This was for the second time in 10 years that the space shuttle had to dock with the space station without any radar.

The antenna breakdown incident will soon be analysed by the experts at the ground control station at Houston. Meanwhile, the shuttle crew was also going to use the station's equipment to send down the wing and nose images that were collected on Tuesday.

NASA will also scrutinize the detailed data in Discovery spacecraft in order to ensure no problem happens during its re-entry on April 18.

It is also said that the failure of Discovery's dish antenna prevented it in getting useful information during their first two days in orbit. The life of seven astronauts will also be in stake if necessary measures are not taken.

The orbiting crowd comprises of four women, three of whom arrived on Discovery. There are eight Americans, three Russians and two Japanese at the ISS.

On Thursday, the astronauts will unload the several tons of supplies, spare parts and science experiments to the main station. Then on Friday, there will be the first of the three spacewalks.


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