NASA clears Atlantis for re-entry

INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION (AP) -- Good news for the crew of the space shuttle Atlantis.
NASA says the crew won't have to repair a thermal blanket near
the shuttle's tail that has a torn corner. Engineers are confident
the blanket will be able to stand up to the intense heat of
The news comes as the crew at the international space station
works to get a new science lab up and running. The European-built
Columbus was installed yesterday after being delivered by Atlantis.
Astronauts have hooked up power, fluid and data lines and one of
them entered the lab for the first time, saying it appears to be in
good shape.
A formal grand opening ceremony for the two-billion-dollar lab
is scheduled for this afternoon.
More work on the lab's exterior will be performed during
spacewalks tomorrow and on Friday. A German astronaut, who fell ill
before he was supposed to help Columbus get installed, is expected
to make tomorrow's walk unless flight surgeons object.
Officials aren't disclosing the astronaut's illness


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