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Endeavour prepares for ISS docking

A look inside the payload bay of space shuttle Endeavour. Credit: NASA TV
by Staff Writers
Houston (UPI) Mar 12, 2008
U.S. space shuttle Endeavour's STS-123 crew completed its first full day in space Wednesday, preparing for arrival at the International Space Station.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the astronauts inspected the orbiter's heat shield and prepared for their arrival at the ISS at 11:25 p.m.

During the day the crew used the shuttle's robotic arm and orbiter boom sensor system to check the underside of Endeavour and the leading edges of its wings to ensure no liftoff damage occurred to the tiles that protect Endeavour from reentry heat.

NASA said the STS-123 astronauts also inspected the spacesuits they will use during the 16-day mission's five scheduled spacewalks. Three of the spacewalks will include tasks devoted to assembly of Dextre, the Canadian Space Agency's two-armed robotic system.

The spacewalkers also will work to unberth from Endeavour's payload bay the first section of what will be the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo space station laboratory.

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NASA puzzles over mysterious 10-second debris
Washington (AFP) March 12, 2008
Endeavour astronauts inspected the space shuttle's heat shield Wednesday, while NASA puzzled over a mysterious piece of debris that may have struck the shuttle's nose just after launch.

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