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STS-120 Crew to Inspect Heat Shield, Prepare for Docking


*STS-120 Crew to Inspect Heat Shield, Prepare for Docking*
24 October 2007

Image Above: Space shuttle Discovery leaps from its launch pad Tuesday 
morning to start STS-120. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Scott Audette
+ View larger image 

During its first full day in orbit, the STS-120 crew will inspect Space 
Shuttle Discovery’s heat shield and prepare for Thursday’s arrival at 
the International Space Station.

Crew members will use Discovery’s robotic arm and orbiter boom extension 
to check out the spacecraft’s nosecap and the leading edges of its 
wings. The inspections are conducted to see if any damage occurred to 
the heat shield during the climb to orbit that began when Discovery 
lifted off at 11:38 a.m. EDT Tuesday from Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

In preparation for Thursday’s activities, the crew will extend the 
shuttle’s docking ring and check out tools they will use to rendezvous 
and link up with the station. Discovery and its crew will arrive at the 
station at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

The crew members are also slated to check out spacesuits they will use 
during the mission’s five scheduled spacewalks at the station. One of 
the major objectives of the spacewalks is the temporary installation of 
the station’s newest component, the Node 2 module, also known as 
Harmony. In addition, the crew will also relocate the station’s P6 truss 
and solar arrays.

STS-120 is also delivering a new crew member to the station.

*Mission Information*
+ STS-120 Mission Overview 
+ Harmony Node 2 

+ Space Shuttle Discovery 
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