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: Space sex geckos at risk as Russia loses control of satellite

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Spaceflight alters bacterial social networks

Aug 15, 2013

When astronauts launch into space, a microbial entourage follows. And the sheer number of these followers would give celebrities on Twitter a run for their money. The estimate is that normal, healthy adults ...

Bacteria sent into space behave in mysterious ways

Jun 25, 2013

(Phys.org) —Colonies of bacteria grown aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis behaved in ways never before observed on Earth, according to a new NASA-funded study from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, ...

Cigars and flowers as NASA savors shuttle's end

Jul 21, 2011

Cigars were passed around, flowers brightened desktops and pictures were snapped from all angles as NASA employees hugged, laughed and cried after the shuttle Atlantis landed one final time.

Recommended for you

Video: A dizzying view of the Earth from space

11 hours ago

We've got vertigo watching this video, but in a good way! This is a sped-up view of Earth from the International Space Station from the Cupola, a wraparound window that is usually used for cargo ship berthings ...

NEOWISE spots a comet that looked like an asteroid

11 hours ago

Comet C/2013 UQ4 (Catalina) has been observed by NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) spacecraft just one day after passing through its closest approach to the sun. The comet ...

What the UK Space Agency can teach Australia

11 hours ago

Australia has had an active civil space program since 1947 but has much to learn if it is to capture a bigger share of growing billion dollar global space industry. ...

Discover the "X-factor" of NASA's Webb telescope

11 hours ago

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray observatory have something in common: a huge test chamber used to simulate the hazards of space and the distant glow of starlight. Viewers can learn about ...

User comments : 0