CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Space shuttle Discovery is chasing the International Space Station after lifting off for its final mission.
The six astronauts will spend Friday surveying their ship for signs of launch damage. Several pieces of foam insulation broke off Discovery's fuel tank. But NASA says it happened late enough in Thursday's launch to pose no safety concern. All the same, commander Steven Lindsey and his crew will use a 100-foot boom to inspect the vulnerable wings and nose.
Discovery — NASA's most traveled spaceship — will reach the orbiting lab Saturday. The shuttle is carrying a load of supplies and the first humanoid robot to fly in space.
Following its 11-day mission, Discovery will be retired and sent to a museum.
© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.