Possible Debris Spotted Falling from Discovery

JULY 26, 2005 - Posted at 1:31 p.m. CDT

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER - NASA is still hoping to find there was no damage done to the shuttle Discovery during today's launch.

Video shows at least two light-colored objects flying off the orbiter at launch.  There also appears to have been a large piece of debris coming off the external fuel tank two minutes into the flight, but it doesn't appear to have hit the orbiter.

Deputy shuttle program manager Wayne Hale says the first objects might have been harmless pieces of paper that protected Discovery's thrusters before launch.

Hale says it will take some time to examine all the images from more than 100 cameras covering the launch.

NASA has been especially concerned about debris since a chunk of foam from the external fuel tank punched a hole in the wing of the shuttle Columbia, leading to the re-entry disaster in 2003.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)