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Hanging in spaceNASA's first space shuttle mission in almost a year is floating smoothly despite some unwanted pieces of debris seen through improved launch imagery. Three space excursions are on tap for the seven-member Discovery crew.
On the first space walk, Astronauts Piers J. Sellers and Michael E. Fossum hang from a 100-foot arm and extension work platform called the Remote Manipulator System/Orbiter Booster Sensor System. Their spacewalk lasted 7 hours and 31 minutes.
More than 100 high-definition, digital, film and video cameras scrutinized the Discovery launch and found that very small pieces of material in the shuttle assembly fall off. Here's a piece of debris caught falling off at liftoff (red arrow).
An inspection of Discovery was planned even before the small pieces of debris were detected falling from the shuttle during launch. After examining the photos, NASA scientists downplayed any danger to the shuttle.