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Shuttle Atlantis races to space station

world Updated: May 15, 2010 17:13 IST
Space shuttle Atlantis

Space shuttle Atlantis is speeding after the International Space Station for a Sunday morning hookup. NASA says the docking will not be delayed, even if the space station needs to dodge space junk. Flight controllers have been monitoring an unidentified piece of debris for at least a day. A move by the station, if required, would occur Saturday night.

The shuttle and its six astronauts will spend a week at the station, installing fresh batteries and a new Russian compartment. Atlantis rocketed into orbit Friday for the last time. It's the 32nd flight for Atlantis in a quarter-century.

Two more shuttle flights remain. NASA is ending the program so it can focus on presidential-ordered trips to asteroids and Mars.

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