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Damage to Atlantis no big worry says Nasa

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Damage to Atlantis no big worry says Nasa

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Concerns over a small tear in a heat-protecting blanket on its exterior is overshadowing the space shuttle Atlantis’s latest mission. The craft is en route to the International Space Station, carrying a large structure that will form part of the ISS’s backbone. .

Astronauts will inspect the tear but Nasa says its not a big worry:

“So we’re pretty early in the process. It’s not a great deal of concern over it, right now, but, like I said, there’s a lot of work to be done, and we’ll do that in the coming days,” a mission leader said.

The mission was earlier set back by damage caused by hail to the insulating foam on the shuttle’s fuel tank.

This material has been a major concern for NASA since loose foam caused the Columbia disaster in 2003 in which seven crew died.