Shuttle Docks With Space Station

Endeavour checked for foam damage, mission control not worried
In this image from NASA TV, a view of the international space station shows shuttle Endeavour as it closes in for docking to the station , Friday, Aug. 10, 2007. (AP Photo/NASA TV)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Shuttle Endeavour docked with the International Space Station today after executing an orbital flip to allow the exterior of the craft to be photographed and examined for any damage sustained during liftoff. Three foam chunks detached from the shuttle during launch, and although some damage remains possible, mission managers say they don't believe there's cause for alarm, the AP reports.

In addition to buzz-generating schoolteacher-turned-astronaut Barbara Morgan, the shuttle is carrying a valuable payload of new parts for the space station, including a 2-ton square expansion beam. The crew will enjoy a longer-than-usual sojourn in space, thanks to a new feature that allows the shuttle to draw power directly from the space station while in orbit.