Tuesday, September 19, 2006

UFO Rams Space Shuttle?

CNN - NASA has been forced to hold off Wednesday's landing of the Shuttle Atlantis because of an object — possibly debris — floating nearby, shortly after sensors in the craft's wings indicated the shuttle had been hit by something.

NASA officials want to make sure it's not a piece of the spacecraft, something that might in some way endanger the crew and ship on re-entry.

No one knows what it is for certain, though some reports allege that the object may have come from the craft's cargo bay. The mysterious, gray round object is orbiting near Atlantis at an altitude of 187 nautical miles.

Flight controllers first noticed the object early this morning at 2:41. They were so concerned that they had the shuttle crew delay stowing the KU TV antenna so the crew could downlink more video of the mysterious object.

Mission controllers are manipulating the camera on the shuttle's robotic arm and looking inside the payload bay to see whether anything is missing that might account for the object.

The object was first noticed about 15 minutes after the shuttle crew performed a test firing of the forward and reaction control systems.