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Discovery crew finds no initial damage: NASA

india Updated: Jul 06, 2006 04:24 IST
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The space shuttle Discovery's crew found no damage after inspecting the orbiter's nose and wings for damage with a special robotic arm, a top NASA official said.

"We have a very clean vehicle," shuttle flight director Tony Ceccacci said of the initial safety check yesterday, which came on the first full day of orbit.

The two-woman, five-men crew was checking for possible damage from loose foam that came off the craft a couple of minutes into Tuesday's critical launch, only the second since the February 2003 Columbia disaster.

NASA said the team was "working very hard" to complete the safety check in 24 hours and that initial indications were all good.

"It will take about eight to 10 hours to get a very good look at the first part of the survey and we should have ... that completed within 24 hours," Ceccacci said. "Everything seems to be clear."

Discovery's crew members - Commander Steven Lindsey, pilot Mark Kelly and mission specialists Michael Fossum, Lisa Nowak, Stephanie Wilson, Piers Sellers and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter of Germany - deployed a robotic arm equipped with cameras and a laser to check on the shuttle.

The crew focused on the protective heat shield on the shuttle wings' leading edge.

The astronauts will then configure their spacesuits in preparation for two or three space-walks after the shuttle docks with the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday.