Atlantis Tank Repairs Under Way

Mar 12, 2007
Atlantis Tank Repairs Under Way
In highbay 1 inside the Vehicle Assembly Building, technicians begin to carefully sand away the red dye that has been applied to the external tank to help expose cracks or compression dents. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossman

Space Shuttle Atlantis is in the Vehicle Assembly Building for assessment and repairs due to a late February thunderstorm with hail.

Workers positioned platforms around the shuttle to allow for inspections and repairs to hail-damaged areas. Some foam sanding has begun in the nose cone area of the tank.

Inspections are finished for the solid rocket boosters and nearly complete for the orbiter, with 20 of 28 hail-damaged areas, all on the left side of the vehicle, already repaired.

A new target launch date has not been determined, but teams will focus on preparing Atlantis for liftoff in late April.

Mission STS-117 to the International Space Station will be scheduled sometime after a Russian Soyuz spacecraft returns from the station. The Soyuz is delivering new station crew members and returning others to Earth in late April. Adequate time is needed between the Soyuz undocking and the shuttle's arrival to the station.

During the 11-day mission, the six-member crew will install a new truss segment, retract a set of solar arrays and unfold a new set on the starboard side of the station. Lessons learned from two previous missions will provide the astronauts with new techniques and tools to perform their duties.

Atlantis Commander Rick Sturckow, Pilot Lee Archambault and Mission Specialists Jim Reilly, Patrick Forrester, Steven Swanson and John "Danny" Olivas will continue training at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston as they await a new target launch date.

The STS-117 flight crew will return to Kennedy Space Center a few days before launch.

Source: NASA

Explore further: Holiday lights on the Sun: SDO imagery of a significant solar flare

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Branson shocked as Virgin spaceship crash kills pilot

Nov 01, 2014

Virgin's pioneering tourist-carrying spacecraft crashed on a test flight in California on Friday, killing a pilot and scattering debris across the desert—and raising questions about the program's future. ...

Questions as Virgin spaceship crashes, killing pilot

Nov 01, 2014

Virgin's pioneering tourist-carrying spacecraft crashed on a test flight in California on Friday, killing a pilot and scattering debris across the desert—and raising questions about space tourism's future.

Branson heads to spacecraft crash site as probe starts

Nov 01, 2014

British tycoon Richard Branson was poised to rally his grieving Virgin Galactic staff in California on Saturday as investigators began probing the spacecraft crash that left one pilot dead and another seriously ...

Recommended for you

Scientists 'map' water vapor in Martian atmosphere

11 hours ago

Russian scientists from the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), together with their French and American colleagues, have ...

Water fleas prepared for trip to space

16 hours ago

Local 'Daphnia' waterfleas are currently being prepared by scientists at the University of Birmingham for their trip to the International Space Station (ISS), where they will be observed by astronauts.

The worst trip around the world

16 hours ago

As you celebrate the end of the year in the warmth of your home, spare a thought for the organisms riding with a third-class ticket on the International Space Station – bolted to the outside with no protection ...

User comments : 0

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.