Technical frustrations for Discovery astronauts

Discovery's astronauts are surveying their ship for signs of launch damage, but the job is being complicated by the failure of the space shuttle's big dish antenna.

The antenna failed to operate after Discovery blasted into orbit Monday. That leaves the seven astronauts with no way to send or receive big packages of information, like the laser images of the shuttle's wings and nose being collected early Tuesday morning. Normally, these images are sent immediately to Mission Control.

Commander Alan Poindexter and his crew are storing the data on 40-minute tapes. The tapes will be fed into a computer, and the information will be relayed once the shuttle reaches the International Space Station on Wednesday.


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