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Discovery shuttle docks with space station - NASA

RIA Novosti

25/10/2007 19:06 (Recast headline, adds background in paras 2-8)

WASHINGTON, October 25 (RIA Novosti) - The Discovery shuttle docked with the International Space Station (ISS) at 12:40 p.m. GMT, NASA said Thursday.

NASA launched the U.S. space shuttle Discovery from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 11:38 a.m. local time (3:38 p.m. GMT) Tuesday.

The crew of seven is led by Pamela Melroy. Five spacewalks are planned during Discovery's 14-day mission to the ISS.

During the mission, the Harmony node will be fitted to the International Space Station. This will provide a passageway to the European Columbus laboratory, due to be fitted to the space station in December.

Harmony was built in Italy and is to be installed by Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli, who is making his first spaceflight.

Another member of the crew, astronaut Daniel Tani, is to replace Clayton Anderson, who has now been living on the orbiting platform for nearly five months.

This current flight is Discovery's 34th.

In February 2003, a piece of foam insulation pierced a tiny hole in a wing during the launch of the space shuttle Columbia, causing it to disintegrate during re-entry. All seven crew members were killed.

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