Tuesday, September 1, 2009

US shuttle Discovery docks with space station

Updated on : Monday, August 31, 2009

WASHINGTON:The US shuttle Discovery made a textbook docking late Sunday with the International Space Station where a total of 13 astronauts begin nine days together improving and supplying the orbiting outpost.

US space agency NASA confirmed the docking procedure, which allows the seven-member Discovery crew to open a hatch and climb into the ISS to join their six fellow astronauts there, occurred at 2354 GMT, about ten minutes ahead of schedule.

Commander Rick Sturckow guided the shuttle to a "smooth-as-silk" mating of the two vessels some 225 miles (362 kilometers) above the Atlantic ocean, said a commentator on NASA TV."Both vehicles at free drift, all thrusts disabled," he added. The astronauts then began some 90 minutes of checks to complete on either side of the docking interface before opening the hatches.

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