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Up to five pieces of debris that could be foam insulation fell off the space shuttle Discovery's troublesome external fuel tank shortly after lift-off, according to NASA.
The shuttle blasted off from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida at 19.38 BST.
About three minutes later, three or four pieces of debris were seen flying off the fuel tank, and another popping off a bit later, said shuttle programme manager Wayne Hale.
Discovery was so high by then that there wasn't enough air to accelerate the pieces into the shuttle and cause damage, he said..
"That is the very raw, preliminary data. It will be a while before we get a complete picture of what happened during the ascent. But we're looking for these small events that were going on," he said.
Originally posted by watch_the_rocks
Oh, and yeah, the fact that foam fell off is farther evidence that NASA is in too much haste to get this Shuttles up.