NASA: progress studying shuttle tank foam

October 17, 2005

NASA engineers say they are closer to resolving the problem of large chunks of foam insulation falling off space shuttle external fuel tanks during launch.

A team of National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists is making recommendations addressing the factors that may have contributed to foam loss when the space shuttle Discovery was launched in July.

The next shuttle mission also is on Discovery, but NASA says it has not yet set a launch date. However, the space agency has a May 3-23 launch window as a target for the mission.

Shuttle workers likely will replace and modify areas of insulation on the external tank where foam came loose during July's launch.

Space Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale said a series of tests during the next several weeks will help further clarify the tank issues. "I think we're beginning to have our hands well around the technical problems we have and we are defining the fixes necessary to fly again," he said.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: If space shuttle is doomed, do you tell the crew?

Related Stories

NASA's space shuttle discovery rolls off launch pad tuesday

December 21, 2010

Space shuttle Discovery is scheduled to roll back from Launch Pad 39A to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for additional work related to its final scheduled mission. The first ...

Discovery Set for Aug. 25 Launch

August 19, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Flight Readiness Review for space shuttle Discovery's STS-128 mission has concluded, setting the launch date for Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 1:36 a.m. EDT.

Astronauts inspect space shuttle for launch damage

July 16, 2009

(AP) -- Space shuttle Endeavour's astronauts inspected their ship Thursday as engineers on Earth pored over launch pictures that showed debris breaking off the fuel tank and striking the craft.

Damage eyed as shuttle heads toward space station

July 16, 2009

(AP) -- Space shuttle Endeavour rocketed toward the international space station Thursday as engineers on Earth pored over launch pictures that showed debris breaking off the fuel tank and striking the craft.

Recommended for you

Innovations from the wild world of optics and photonics

August 2, 2015

Traditional computers manipulate electrons to turn our keystrokes and Google searches into meaningful actions. But as components of the computer processor shrink to only a few atoms across, those same electrons become unpredictable ...

Shedding light on millipede evolution

August 2, 2015

As an National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded entomologist, Virginia Tech's Paul Marek has to spend much of his time in the field, hunting for rare and scientifically significant species. He's provided NSF with an inside ...

Better together: graphene-nanotube hybrid switches

August 2, 2015

Graphene has been called a wonder material, capable of performing great and unusual material acrobatics. Boron nitride nanotubes are no slackers in the materials realm either, and can be engineered for physical and biological ...

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.