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& USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: June 9, 2007The Atlantis astronauts late today used the shuttle's robot arm and a powerful camera on the end of a heat-shield inspection boom to take a close-up look at a pulled up insulation blanket on one of the ship's aft rocket pods.
Credit: NASAThe astronauts noticed the protruding blanket on the left-side Orbital Maneuvering System rocket pod during a routine post-launch inspection late Friday. John Shannon, chairman of NASA's Mission Management Team, said late today "there's not a great deal of concern over it right now, but there's a lot of work to be done and we'll do that in the coming days."A preliminary assessment of ground video and imagery from Atlantis indicates the ship's repaired external fuel tank performed well during the climb to space, with only minor instances of foam shedding and nothing apparent above NASA's critical threshold for causing damage to the shuttle's heat shield."As you remember, there was a lot of concern pre-flight when we had the hail storm in February and it put well over 2,000 divots in the upper part of the tank," Shannon told reporters. "The crew was able to image that very well after the orbiter separated from the tank. The external tank team is looking at that very closely, but from what we can tell so far, we did not lose any