Discovery shuttle cleared for landing despite loss of part

June 14th, 2008 - 1:36 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 13 (DPA) The shuttle Discovery was cleared for landing after NASA concluded Friday that a small part that broke off the spacecraft did not pose any safety concerns, the agency said. The Discovery crew spotted the small, rectangular object floating away from the shuttle early Friday, NASA officials said.

After analysing the video footage, NASA determined it was a metal clip used to protect the rudder’s speed brake during take-off and its loss would not affect landing.

Discovery is scheduled to touch down at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida at 11.15 a.m. (1515 GMT) Saturday.

Discovery delivered construction parts for the International Space Station during the 14-day mission, including a new pump for a malfunctioning multi-million-dollar toilet and a space research capsule built by the Japanese space authority.

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