Dinged by Katrina, Endeavour fuel tank has scars

Apr 27, 2011 By SETH BORENSTEIN , AP Science Writer

(AP) -- The fuel tank that will help propel the space shuttle Endeavour into orbit is already battle-scarred from some rough shaking thanks to Hurricane Katrina.

The 10-year-old tank has 103 patches. The tank was in a building in New Orleans when Katrina hit in 2005. The building's roof partially collapsed, causing more than 100 nicks in foam and one piece of dented metal.

The tank now has a special emblem for surviving the storm.

Tank maker Lockheed Martin and NASA spent eight months examining and repairing the massive external tank, making it ready for Friday's launch. It will be the oldest to launch.

But NASA and tank engineers say it is fixed and perfectly safe.

Explore further: JUICE mission gets green light for next stage of development

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