Flight International online news 11:00 GMT: Nasa says Space Shuttle Discovery escaped damage from a piece of foam shield that broke off the fuel tank during lift off but may have been hit on the wing by a smaller fragment.

According to shuttle program manager Wayne Hale, even if the wing was hit, Nasa officials believe the damage is minimal and that Discovery is safe to return home.

Concerns were raised after pictures showed damage to the foam shielding tiles. During the last shuttle mission in January 2003, the Columbia shuttle broke up as it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere after a piece of insulating foam struck its wing.  

The crew of Space Shuttle Discovery was awakened at 3:39 GMT this morning for the first full day of docked operations at the International Space Station.

Among the activities planned for today are installation of the Raffaello module, additional Shuttle exterior surveys and preparations for Saturday's spacewalk.

The Station's Canadarm2 will be used to pluck Raffaello from Discovery's payload bay and install it on the Station's Unity module. Raffaello is carrying 15t of supplies and equipment for ISS that will be transferred to the ISS during the coming days


Source: Flight International