CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) Lacking the proper laser tools, shuttle Discovery's astronauts performed a cursory wing inspection Sunday as they zoomed ever closer to the international space station.
The astronauts used their ship's 50-foot robot arm to beam down camera images of the upper edges of the wings so engineers back on Earth could check for any evidence of launch damage. Left unexamined were the lower edges of the wings and the nose cap, also particularly vulnerable hot spots during re-entry.
The astronauts' laser-tipped inspection boom is at the space station, left there by the previous shuttle crew in March. They'll retrieve it after they arrive at the orbiting outpost today and perform a full survey once they depart.