Discovery Docks with Space Station

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Discovery performs a backflip as it docks with International Space Station. i

Discovery performs a backflip as it docks with International Space Station. NASA analysts are poring over detailed photography of the shuttle's heat shield. NASA hide caption

itoggle caption NASA
Discovery performs a backflip as it docks with International Space Station.

Discovery performs a backflip as it docks with International Space Station. NASA analysts are poring over detailed photography of the shuttle's heat shield.

NASA
A view of the shuttle docking with the international space station.

A view of the shuttle docking with the international space station. Reuters hide caption

itoggle caption Reuters

The Space Shuttle Discovery has docked with the International Space Station. In doing so, it did a controlled back flip to enable cameras on the ISS to photograph its belly for damage. So far, there is no indication that the shuttle was damaged on liftoff.

The shuttle's seven astronauts went into the space station Thursday — possibly the last to visit from a U.S. shuttle for some time, as safety concerns have forced NASA to ground its fleet.

The plan to double-check the craft for damage is possible due to new imaging and data-gathering technology that NASA has introduced to check for problems. But some analysts are wondering if the space agency has created more problems than it has solved.

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