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Friday, August 05, 2005

All Headline News - Discovery Crew Confident Of Safe Return - August 5, 2005

All Headline News - Discovery Crew Confident Of Safe Return - August 5, 2005Discovery Crew Confident Of Safe Return

August 4, 2005 1:08 p.m. EST

Niladri Sekhar Nath - All Headline News Foreign Correspondant

Cape Canaveral, FL (AHN) - Space shuttle Discovery Commander, Eileen Collins says she is sure of returning her crew to Earth safely after successfully repairing the ship while in orbit.

She says, "We have looked at everything. I wouldn't fly this flight if I didn't think it was a safe thing to do." NASA says astronaut Stephen Robinson got rid of two troublesome pieces of filler material from the shuttle's belly. Collins has been quite ecstatic while describing the experience, "We were watching with anticipation and excitement."

She adds, When I saw Steve pull the gap filler out, I started clapping and we were cheering in the flight deck." Robinson says he had to be extra careful to ensure his body and none of his tools contacted the shuttle's delicate belly during the task. He also says, "I had my hand out and I had that purposely out there sort of as potential bumper. If I was going to hit anything on the orbiter, I wanted it to be my fingers in a springy position."

Thursday, the astronauts paid tribute to the seven Columbia astronauts who died in 2003 and others lost during previous space missions.

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