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Space Shuttle Prepares for Arrival at Space Station


Astronauts aboard the U.S. space shuttle Discovery spent their first full day in orbit preparing for their arrival Monday at the International Space Station.

NASA said Sunday the crew made a cursory inspection of the upper surfaces of the orbiter's wings, looking for possible damage from loose chunks of foam spotted during Saturday's ascent into space.

There will be another check as the shuttle nears the space station. The shuttle's pilot will perform a backflip to allow the station crew to look for damage to the underside of the shuttle.

While docked at the space station, the Discovery astronauts will deliver a Japanese space laboratory module called Kibo, which is Japanese for hope.

When in place, the 11.2-meter-long cylinder will be the single largest room on the space station, with room for four scientists to work.

The shuttle is making another important delivery - a replacement pump for the space station's malfunctioning toilet.

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

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