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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jul 26, 2005 22:40:17 GMT -6
NASA Investigates Tile Damage To Shuttle From Liftoff
Cape Canaveral (AFP) Jul 26, 2005 A tiny piece of tile and a larger piece of debris came off the space shuttle Discovery as it blasted off Tuesday during its landmark first flight after the Columbia disaster, NASA said. NASA flight operations manager John Shannon said the piece of tile was about 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) in size and appeared to come off the right landing gear on the nose.
The origin of the debris shown in a separate video at a press briefing was unknown but it appeared to have fallen free as the booster rockets broke away without touching the shuttle.
Most attention is being put on the tile chip that fell from the nose landing gear. But Shannon and other experts said it was too soon to know if there was any danger to the shuttle. They emphasised that pieces of tile fall off shuttles on virtually every mission.
"We have not lost a tile, we may have lost a piece of a tile." NASA also told the briefing that it had noticed dents in the nose of the shuttle caused by birds the vessel hit in flight.
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jul 27, 2005 16:43:57 GMT -6
That's it...All Shuttle Missions scrubbed!
I just watched network news and the piece that fell off the external tank was 2 feet long. NASA had thought they corrected the runaway insulation incidents, but as a result, all future STS missions have been canceled until this problem can be solved.
I agree with the decision. Let's fix this damned problem permanently, then retire the Shuttle.
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jul 29, 2005 2:55:44 GMT -6
NASA says foam 'might' have struck Discovery's wing
HOUSTON, Texas (AFP) Jul 29, 2005 NASA officials said Thursday that at least one shard of protective foam "might have struck" a wing of the Discovery space shuttle when it was launched, but expressed confidence the craft would return safely to Earth. Officials said the shuttle Atlantis can be launched to stage a rescue if needed, but that three more days are required to finish the damage assessments.
"There is some concern it might have struck the wing," the shuttle deputy program manager Wayne Hale said of one of the rogue shards of foam.
Officials showed digital images of where the pieces of foam came off during Tuesday's launch and of "possible coating damage" and other "scuffs" that might have occurred to the shuttle. "There are 11 indications of potential impacts," Poulos said, adding: "We might have four areas on the wing leading edge where there might have been an impact."
It sounds more and more like a death trap.
Chicago Astronomer Joe Founder, Administrator and Chief Astronomer
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