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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jul 12, 2005 0:30:13 GMT -6
All eyes on Discovery, scanning for damage
A total of 107 cameras will be installed around the launch pad and at distances of six to 60 kilometers (some 3.5 to 35 miles) away, as well as on board two airplanes, which will film and photograph the orbiter's first two minutes of ascent.
Other lenses will be mounted on the shuttle itself, its two booster rockets and external tanks, to see whether pieces of insulation foam or ice fall off during the launch and strike the shuttle.
Later, two astronauts aboard the International Space Station, Sergei Krikalev of Russia and John Phillips of the United States, will take pictures of the underbelly of the shuttle when it turns before docking at the station.