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

A cataclysmic event of a certain age

July 27, 2015

At the end of the Pleistocene period, approximately 12,800 years ago—give or take a few centuries—a cosmic impact triggered an abrupt cooling episode that earth scientists refer to as the Younger Dryas.

New blow for 'supersymmetry' physics theory

July 27, 2015

In a new blow for the futuristic "supersymmetry" theory of the universe's basic anatomy, experts reported fresh evidence Monday of subatomic activity consistent with the mainstream Standard Model of particle physics.

Dense star clusters shown to be binary black hole factories

July 29, 2015

The coalescence of two black holes—a very violent and exotic event—is one of the most sought-after observations of modern astronomy. But, as these mergers emit no light of any kind, finding such elusive events has been ...

Image: Hubble sees a dying star's final moments

July 31, 2015

A dying star's final moments are captured in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The death throes of this star may only last mere moments on a cosmological timescale, but this star's demise is still quite ...

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.