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Shuttle docks with ISS
Posted: Wed, Apr 7, 2010, 7:07 AM ET (1107 GMT)
STS-131: shuttle on docking approach (NASA) The space shuttle Discovery smoothly docked with the International Space Station early Wednesday despite the failure of an antenna on the shuttle that is used in the docking process. Discovery docked with the forward end of the Harmony module of the ISS on schedule at 3:44 am EDT (0744 GMT), and hatches separating the two spacecraft opened about 90 minutes later. The docking took place without the use of the radar on the shuttle that provides ranging information. The Ku-band antenna used for the radar system failed shortly after the shuttle reached orbit; the antenna is also used to transmit video and other data from the shuttle. The shuttle is carrying a cargo module in its cargo bay that will be attached to the station Wednesday night, with the first of three spacewalks planned for the mission scheduled for Thursday night.
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