NASA considers second emergency spacewalk

August 3, 2005

The successful emergency spacewalk by a shuttle Discovery astronaut Wednesday might soon be followed by the world's second such emergency repair mission.

Astronaut Steve Robinson easily removed by hand two pieces of protruding cloth -- called gap fillers -- from Discovery's belly in a meticulously planned spacewalk.

The emergency repair was ordered after NASA engineers were unable to determine whether the protruding pieces of cloth would be potentially dangerous when space shuttle re-enters Earth's atmosphere.

Removal of the gap fillers was not the only repair work that might be on the agenda during the shuttle's 13-day mission, the New York Times reported.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists were studying the risks that might be posed by a damaged thermal insulation blanket located near the window on the commander's side of the Discovery.

The blanket was damaged when it apparently was struck by insulating foam that came off the shuttle's external fuel tank during the July 26 launch.

The deputy manager of the shuttle program, N. Wayne Hale, said scientists must determine whether the blanket would pose a risk if it were to dislodge during re-entry.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: NASA's refueling demonstration proves viability of satellite-servicing technologies

Related Stories

Out of thin air

February 23, 2011

Imagine a priceless painting that has been all but ruined by a ravaging storage room fire. The beautiful paint, painstakingly applied in a multitude of colors, is obscured by layers of dark soot. A masterpiece appears to ...

Recommended for you

New Horizons team selects potential Kuiper Belt flyby target

August 29, 2015

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits ...

Seeing quantum motion

August 28, 2015

Consider the pendulum of a grandfather clock. If you forget to wind it, you will eventually find the pendulum at rest, unmoving. However, this simple observation is only valid at the level of classical physics—the laws ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.