US space shuttle unharmed after tool accident

Feb 10, 2011
US space shuttle Discovery is moved to Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39-A for its final mission in space. Inspectors found no damage to the Space Shuttle Discovery or to its external reserve tanks after a thin multi-piece measuring tool fell during repair work, NASA said Thursday.

Inspectors found no damage to the Space Shuttle Discovery or to its external reserve tanks after a thin multi-piece measuring tool fell during repair work, NASA said Thursday.

The accident has not compromised Discovery's February 24 mission to the (ISS), said Allard Beutel, spokesman at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

A feeler gauge -- a 13-part metal tool about as thick as a piece of paper held together by a retainer screw -- came apart late Wednesday and fell from the , Beutel told AFP.

The accident took place as technicians changed a seal at the ground umbilical carrier plate, or GUCP, on the shuttle's .

"Engineers have identified minor foam damage to the backside of the external tank, which will not need repair. All components from the gauge have been located," NASA said in a statement.

The mission will get a green light and a launch time after officials meet on February 18.

The shuttle was initially set to launch on November 5 but the attempt was scrubbed after hydrogen leaks were detected.

Discovery's 11-day mission with its all-American crew of six is to deliver a pressurized logistics module called "Leonardo" to the International Space Station, which will be permanently attached to the space station to provide more storage space.

The three US shuttles -- the other two are Atlantis and Endeavour -- are due to become museum pieces once the final shuttle mission takes place.

Endeavour is set for takeoff on April 19 and Atlantis is scheduled for June 28, after which the famed fleet will be retired.

Explore further: Scientists study surface composition of asteroid 2004 BL86 during close flyby of Earth

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA postpones Discovery launch to mid-December

Nov 24, 2010

NASA on Wednesday postponed until mid-December the launch of the space shuttle Discovery on its last trip to the International Space Station after cracks were found in its external fuel tank.

NASA aims to launch Discovery shuttle Feb 24

Jan 11, 2011

NASA said Tuesday it will aim to launch the space shuttle Discovery on February 24, after engineers found a way to shore up cracks on the external fuel tank that have delayed its final liftoff.

Discovery launch 'no earlier than' December 3

Nov 18, 2010

The final launch of the space shuttle Discovery has been delayed until at least December 3 so that repairs can be carried out on a hydrogen leak, the US space agency said Thursday.

Recommended for you

NASA engineer advances new daytime star tracker

13 hours ago

Scientists who use high-altitude scientific balloons have high hopes for their instruments in the future. Although the floating behemoths that carry their instruments far into the stratosphere can stay aloft ...

Image: Sounding rockets launch into an aurora

14 hours ago

The interaction of solar winds and Earth's atmosphere produces northern lights, or auroras, that dance across the night sky and mesmerize the casual observer. However, to scientists this interaction is more ...

Gully patterns document Martian climate cycles

14 hours ago

Geologists from Brown University have found new evidence that glacier-like ice deposits advanced and retreated multiple times in the midlatitude regions of Mars in the relatively recent past.

Europe to resume satnav launches in March: Arianespace

14 hours ago

Europe in March will resume satellite launches for its troubled Galileo navigation system, hoping to boost by at least six the number of orbiters this year, Arianespace and the European Commission said Wednesday.

The two faces of Mars

17 hours ago

A moon-sized celestial object that crashed into the south pole: ETH researchers use a simulation to demonstrate why Mars consists of two notably different hemispheres.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Sanescience
not rated yet Feb 11, 2011
For just a moment, I thought I had accidentally clicked on an article from the Onion!

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.