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NASA Finds Hole in Space Shuttle Atlantis


Scientists at the U.S. space agency say they have found a small hole in an exterior panel on the space shuttle Atlantis, which completed a mission to the International Space Station last month.

NASA reported on its website that a piece of space debris likely made the hole in a radiator panel. But it said the blow did not endanger shuttle crew members. The hole, which NASA scientists informally called a "ding," measured about a quarter of a centimeter in diameter.

Damage to the shuttle Columbia's exterior in 2003 was blamed for the destruction of the shuttle upon re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere. Engineers say a piece of hard foam broke off of the shuttle during takeoff and damaged the wing. All seven crew members died in the disaster.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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