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National Briefing / Florida

Discovery draws near space station

August 30, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

Space shuttle Discovery's seven astronauts are steering closer to the International Space Station in preparation for their linkup.

The shuttle will dock at the station tonight. After firing an engine Saturday afternoon to close the gap, the astronauts got ready to inspect their spaceship for signs of launch damage.

NASA said it observed no fuel tank debris hitting the shuttle during Friday's midnight liftoff. But the shuttle's most vulnerable areas -- the wings and nose -- still need to be checked with lasers and cameras on a boom attached to the robot arm.

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