Foam removed for May shuttle launch

Feb 19, 2006
NASA Space Shuttle

The next NASA crew to fly a shuttle mission took questions from reporters about their scheduled May liftoff and the dangers since the Columbia tragedy.

Air Force Col. Steven W. Lindsey, the commander of the shuttle Discovery, told a news conference at the Kennedy Space Center Friday changes have been made to ensure as little foam loss as possible.

A 1.7-pound piece of foam insulating the external fuel tank broke off Columbia as it took off in February 2003.

That damaged the left wing, which led to the shuttle breaking apart upon reentry to Earth 16 days later, killing all on board, The New York Times reported.

The space program was put on hold to investigate the problem, until Discovery's launch in the summer of 2005.

Another piece of foam broke off, raising concern of another reentry tragedy, which never materialized. NASA has removed foam from the suspect area.

The upcoming Discovery launch will take a European astronaut to the space station as well as needed supplies. The seven astronauts also will conduct three spacewalks.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Life on Mars? Implications of a newly discovered mineral-rich structure

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA's space shuttle discovery rolls off launch pad tuesday

Dec 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

Aug 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

Jul 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

Jul 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

Students see world from station crew's point of view

18 hours ago

NASA is helping students examine their home planet from space without ever leaving the ground, giving them a global perspective by going beyond a map attached to a sphere on a pedestal. The Sally Ride Earth ...

Exoplanet measured with remarkable precision

18 hours ago

Barely 30 years ago, the only planets astronomers had found were located right here in our own solar system. The Milky Way is chock-full of stars, millions of them similar to our own sun. Yet the tally ...

New star catalog reveals unexpected 'solar salad'

19 hours ago

(Phys.org) —An Arizona State University alumnus has devised the largest catalog ever produced for stellar compositions. Called the Hypatia Catalog, after one of the first female astronomers who lived in ...

Mars deep down

20 hours ago

Scarring the southern highlands of Mars is one of the Solar System's largest impact basins: Hellas, with a diameter of 2300 km and a depth of over 7 km.

User comments : 0