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Shuttle Crew Checks Spacecraft for Launch Damage


Officials of the U.S. space agency NASA have said inspections of the shuttle Atlantis have not yet found any damage to the orbiter's heat shields.

Astronauts on Sunday used cameras and instruments attached to the shuttle's remote-control boom to inspect its nose cone and the leading edge of its wings.

While engineers are still working to interpret the data collected, shuttle flight director Paul Dye said he has not seen a single problem with the vehicle.

During its Saturday launch, NASA officials said the shuttle's external fuel tank appeared to shed two pieces of foam insulation.

In 2003, damage caused by loosened insulation was blamed for the disintegration of the Shuttle Columbia, killing seven astronauts.

Atlantis is on a construction mission to the International Space Station. Astronauts will conduct three spacewalks to attach a new set of solar energy panels to generate power for the space station.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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