Search This Blog

Saturday, August 25, 2007

NASA orders fix on Discovery's external tank brackets

Insulating foam that covers brackets of Discovery's external fuel tank needs to be removed before the shuttle can fly again, NASA said Friday.
A new X-ray analysis shows small cracks that probably make the material prone to shedding, officials said.
NASA engineers said the foam -- called Super Light-weight Ablative, or SLA -- should be removed from the brackets.
The work will take about nine days and is not expected to delay Discovery's next launch, scheduled for October 23.
Insulating foam covers a shuttle's external tank to prevent ice from building up when super-cold liquid oxygen and hydrogen fuel is pumped into it in the hours before launch.
But foam shedding has been a huge problem for NASA in recent years. The agency has been extremely watchful for any damage to the tank or heat shield after the 2003 Columbia disaster, when a suitcase-size piece of foam flew off the shuttle's external tank and cracked a gash in the leading edge of the left wing.

No comments:

Find here

Home II Large Hadron Cillider News