Dinged by Katrina, Endeavour fuel tank has scars

April 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: NASA to ship fuel tank for the last planned shuttle flight

0 shares

Related Stories

NASA Ships Shuttle Fuel Tank To New Orleans For Modification

September 28, 2005

Less than a month after being hit by Hurricane Katrina, NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans is gearing up to restart processing space shuttle fuel tanks. The work will address foam loss during Space Shuttle Discovery's ...

Shuttle launch planned for next month

June 9, 2006

The U.S. space agency plans to launch the shuttle Discovery next month, but some engineers feel it should wait until all safety concerns have been resolved.

NASA: progress studying shuttle tank foam

October 17, 2005

NASA engineers say they are closer to resolving the problem of large chunks of foam insulation falling off space shuttle external fuel tanks during launch.

Katrina damages NASA facilities

August 31, 2005

Hurricane Katrina damaged NASA spaceport facilities along the Gulf Coast, casting doubt on the space shuttle's scheduled March launch.

Recommended for you

Freeze-dried food and 1 bathroom: 6 simulate Mars in dome

January 20, 2017

Crammed into a dome with one bathroom, six scientists will spend eight months munching on mostly freeze-dried foods—with a rare treat of Spam—and have only their small sleeping quarters to retreat to for solace.

Image: Wavemaker moon Daphnis

January 20, 2017

The wavemaker moon, Daphnis, is featured in this view, taken as NASA's Cassini spacecraft made one of its ring-grazing passes over the outer edges of Saturn's rings on Jan. 16, 2017. This is the closest view of the small ...

Video: A colorful 'landing' on Pluto

January 20, 2017

What would it be like to actually land on Pluto? This movie was made from more than 100 images taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft over six weeks of approach and close flyby in the summer of 2015. The video offers a trip ...

The evolution of massive galaxy clusters

January 20, 2017

Galaxy clusters have long been recognized as important laboratories for the study of galaxy formation and evolution. The advent of the new generation of millimeter and submillimeter wave survey telescopes, like the South ...

0 comments

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.