Discovery shuttle cleared for landing despite loss of part
The shuttle Discovery was cleared for landing after NASA concluded on Friday that a small part that broke off the spacecraft did not pose any safety concerns, the agency said.
The Discovery crew spotted the small, rectangular object floating away from the shuttle early Friday morning, NASA officials said, the dpa reported.
After analyzing video footage, NASA determined it was a metal clip used to protect the rudder's speed brake during take-off and its loss would not affect landing.
Discovery is scheduled to touch down at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida at 11:15 am (1515 GMT) Saturday morning.
Discovery delivered construction parts for the International Space Station during the 14-day mission, including a new pump for a malfunctioning multi-million-dollar toilet and a space research capsule built by the Japanese space authority.