Endeavor shuttle tile damage no obstacle for reentry

Specialists established that a damaged heat shield tile on the Endeavour shuttle will pose no threat during the spacecraft’s reentry, NASA said on its website.

Astronauts photographed the damaged area with a digital camera and lasers. After studying the pictures, experts ruled that the return will be safe.

“Mission managers cleared Endeavour’s thermal protection system for reentry after analysis of data and images from an early-morning focused robotic inspection of the tiles,” NASA said on its website.

The shuttle, now on its final mission, is scheduled to undock from the International Space Station on May 30 and return to the Earth on June 1. It will be the next-to-last shuttle mission as the U.S. space agency says its shuttles are outdated and too expensive to maintain.

MOSCOW, May 22 (RIA Novosti)

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