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Space crews say goodbye, shuttle departing today

The farewell hugs and handshakes are over. Now all that

In this image rendered from video and released by NASA, the space shuttle Endeavour is shown as it approaches the international space station before docking Friday, July 17, 2009. The KIBO lab section of the space station is shown at bottom. (AP Photo/NASA TV)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - The farewell hugs and handshakes are over. Now all that's left for the crews of the space shuttle and space station is the release of the docking latches.

Discovery will pull away from the international space station Tuesday afternoon, ending a resupply visit that spanned just over a week. The shuttle will bring home seven astronauts and a Buzz Lightyear doll that was launched last year.

The hatches between the spacecraft were closed late Monday.

NASA, meanwhile, is eyeing another piece of space junk, this one a Chinese satellite fragment that could come too close to the space station Wednesday. It's part of a satellite that was blasted by a missile in 2007. Officials say the outpost probably will not need to steer clear.


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