NASA finds 4th crack on space shuttle fuel tank

November 15, 2010 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer
In this picture made available by NASA, a technician examines the area of the space shuttle Discovery's external tank where foam was removed to study the source a cracks on the tank in Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010. (AP Photo/NASA, Troy Cryder)

(AP) -- NASA has found a fourth crack in the fuel tank for space shuttle Discovery.

Discovery's final mission remains on hold as engineers and technicians work to fix all the cracks as well as a hydrogen gas leak.

spokesman Allard Beutel said Monday the repairs need to be made before a new launch date is picked. The launch window opens Nov. 30 and closes Dec. 6.

NASA first discovered a long crack in the insulating foam of the , after the countdown was halted Nov. 5 by the gas leak. Last week, two cracks were found on the exterior of the tankf. Then another crack popped up, then another.

The cracks are in the tank's central, ribbed section, which holds instruments, not fuel.

Explore further: NASA: progress studying shuttle tank foam

More information: NASA: http://www.nasa.gov

0 shares

Related Stories

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.

NASA shooting for Sunday shuttle Discovery launch

March 12, 2009

(AP) -- NASA is replacing some space shuttle connections in hopes of plugging a gas leak and launching Discovery to the international space station on Sunday, after delays of more than a month.

Recommended for you

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 ...

Exoplanets 20/20: Looking back to the future

July 31, 2015

Geoff Marcy remembers the hair standing up on the back of his neck. Paul Butler remembers being dead tired. The two men had just made history: the first confirmation of a planet orbiting another star.

Earth flyby of 'space peanut' captured in new video

July 31, 2015

NASA scientists have used two giant, Earth-based radio telescopes to bounce radar signals off a passing asteroid and produce images of the peanut-shaped body as it approached close to Earth this past weekend.

Binary star system precisely timed with pulsar's gamma-rays

July 31, 2015

Pulsars are rapidly rotating compact remnants born in the explosions of massive stars. They can be observed through their lighthouse-like beams of radio waves and gamma-rays. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational ...

4 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

axemaster
1 / 5 (1) Nov 16, 2010
Why don't they use duct tape? Duct tape can do anything.
LordOfRuin
1 / 5 (1) Nov 16, 2010
Ha ha ha, duct tape it!

If it moves and it shouldn't, duct tape it.
If it doesn't move and it should, WD40 it.
krundoloss
1 / 5 (1) Nov 16, 2010
Why is it that we have Thousands of aircraft buzzing around the earth, all sealed properly, but we cant seal up one dam shuttle that we use so rarely. They need some 1960's funding at NASA. Then they could afford the duct tape . . . .
JamesThomas
1 / 5 (1) Nov 16, 2010
One would think that NASA would have a high-tech-duct-tape that could withstand the stresses of a launch. Then there is always J.B. Weld.

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.