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Discovery ready to Link up with ISS...

Thankfully, after hours of testing and reviewing of video, Discovery is ready to link up with the International Space Station Thursday morning. I look forward to watching the live coverage. It turns out that very little foam fell off the fuel tank, and when it did fall off, the shuttle was at such a high altitude, that it wouldn't of mattered anyway. Do you think that NASA should risk human lives for exploration?

NASA executives said flecks of insulating foam flew off the orbiter's problem-plagued fuel tank during Tuesday's Fourth of July takeoff, but that Discovery looked to be in good shape.

The shuttle's seven crew members spent their first full day in orbit scanning vulnerable parts of the ship's heat shield for any sign of damage from possible debris impacts during Tuesday's liftoff. Foam shedding from the fuel tank triggered the 2003 Columbia disaster. The problem reoccurred during the first post-Columbia mission last year.

"Overall, the tank performance was really outstanding," flight director John Shannon told reporters in a briefing late on Wednesday.

Before Discovery's flight, NASA engineers removed two long foam wind deflectors from the tank, changed insulation around heater wires and extended coverings over metal brackets that previously had been shielded by the deflectors.


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