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STS-120 Crew Completes Heat Shield Inspection


*Crew Completes Heat Shield Inspection*
24 October 2007

View of shuttle robotic armImage Above: Space shuttle Discovery's 
robotic arm with the attached boom extension is moved into position 
shortly after completion of the heat shield inspection. Image credit: NASA

The STS-120 crew members completed the day's scheduled inspections of 
Space Shuttle Discovery’s heat shield before noon EDT. They used 
Discovery’s robotic arm and an attached boom extension to check the 
spacecraft’s underside, nose cap and leading edges of the wings as well 
as hard to reach shuttle surfaces.

The inspections are performed to check if any damage occurred to the 
heat shield during the climb to orbit that began when Discovery lifted 
off Tuesday from Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Over the next few days, 
engineers and flight controllers will analyze the data collected by the 
STS-120 crew.

+ Animation of heat shield inspections 

Throughout the day, the crew has been preparing for Thursday’s arrival 
at the International Space Station. The day's activities include the 
extension of the shuttle’s docking ring and the check out of tools they 
will use to rendezvous and link up with the station. Docking is 
scheduled to occur at 8:33 a.m. Thursday.

Earlier today, the STS-120 crew checked out spacesuits to be used during 
the mission’s five scheduled spacewalks at the space 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 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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