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SCI/TECH: Small Crack Delays Space Shuttle Launch

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posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 01:17 PM
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Just hours before the Discovery Space Shuttle was to be rolled out to the launch pad, NASA discovered a small crack in the foam insulation on one of its external fuel tanks. NASA has now put the rollout on hold and sent an analysis to the tanks manufacturer. There was no mention how long it may take before they can proceed with the launch.
 



news.yahoo.com
A small crack was discovered in the foam insulation on Discovery's external fuel tank Wednesday, just before the spacecraft was supposed to be moved to the launch pad for the first shuttle flight since the Columbia disaster two years ago.



The rollout was put on hold, and an analysis was sent to the tank's manufacturer in Louisiana while NASA officials decided whether to proceed.


"It doesn't sound like it's a major issue, but because the foam is a sensitive issue we want to make sure we're in a safe and right configuration," said Jessica Rye, a spokeswoman at the Kennedy Space Center.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This is bad news for NASA for sure. This could delay our space program for a long time if it is something serious. All we can do is hope it is minor, but I am glad they caught it before the launch, it would have been horrible to loose another crew and shuttle do to a design flaw.




posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 01:21 PM
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this is terrible news....

I was hoping that this would be an error / trouble free time for NASA, I really want to see the shuttle program get back on track.



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 02:38 PM
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NASA TV reported engineers determined the crack was a "minor imperfection" and gave a "go" for rollout.



They found a crack.... but it's okay..... yeah right !!!!



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 02:58 PM
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NASA TV reported engineers determined the crack was a "minor imperfection" and gave a "go" for rollout.





They found a crack.... but it's okay..... yeah right !!!!


I sure hope they are right, if not that could end the space program forever.



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 03:43 PM
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NASA spokeswoman Jessica Rye described the flaw as a hairline crack and said that after sending images of it to the tank's manufacturer in Louisiana, the space agency concluded it did not need to make any repairs.

yahoo.com


Well, the last time NASA ignored a problem, Challenger exploded in flight. At that time, there were engineers at Morton-Thiakol who put their careers on the line to get the mission delayed.

onlineethics.org...

"The Madison Courier"

[edit on 05/4/6 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 03:53 PM
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Shuttle Rollout Begins after Fuel Tank Insulation Crack Causes Delay

The space shuttle Discovery's slow crawl to the launch pad was delayed for two hours Wednesday after engineers found a small crack in the foam insulation covering the orbiter's external fuel tank.

Discovery was set for a Noon rollout to Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

After consulting with tank engineers at NASA's Michoud facility, shuttle officials decide to proceed with the shuttle's rollout at 2:00 p.m. EDT.


Everything is A-okay, I suppose.



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 04:18 PM
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I hope this isn't too much of a set-back.

We've only got 5 more years of service from the present-day shuttle fleet and it's my hope that they finish out the remainder of these years trouble free.

On the other hand, it's the American people's fault for electing a Congress that is forever cutting the Nasa budget as to where they can't do anything on a shoe-string budget.

[edit on 6/4/05 by Intelearthling]



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 04:18 PM
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Well, the last time NASA ignored a problem, Challenger exploded in flight. At that time, there were engineers at Morton-Thiakol who put their careers on the line to get the mission delayed.

onlineethics.org...



Good point grady. What surprises me is they made the decision so fast



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 06:20 PM
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NASA still insecure


Technology news
Tank may not be safe
Debris from the shuttle's new fuel tank could still inflict catastrophic damage to the vehicle, NASA Latest News about NASA officials said today.

Debris from the fuel tank punched a hole in the wing of the shuttle Columbia, which disintegrated while re-entering the atmosphere in 2003. The crew of seven perished.



About . com
From the beginning, though, Shuttle Mission 51L was plagued by problems. Liftoff was initally scheduled from at 3:43 p.m. EST on January 22, 1986. It slipped to Jan. 23, then Jan. 24, due to delays in mission 61-C and finally reset for Jan. 25 because of bad weather at transoceanic abort landing (TAL) site in Dakar, Senegal. The launch was again postponed for one day when launch processing was unable to meet new morning liftoff time. Predicted bad weather at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) caused the launch to be rescheduled for 9:37 a.m. EST, Jan. 27, but it was delayed another 24 hours when ground servicing equipment hatch closing fixture could not be removed from orbiter hatch.

Culture!

Goldin and O'Keefe (last two NASA administrators both bewailed the 'culture' as the problem at NASA.

As pointed out by Grady(above) the Challenger was destroyed.

NASA, at that time was ruled by people that supposedly were gotten rid of after the disaster. Yet almost 20 years later has the culture changed?


NASA propaganda
This report provides the results of an assessment of NASA's overall safety climate and culture. The report is based on review of existing information, an employee survey, and interviews and focus groups. The quantitative data presented comes from the employee perception survey.

There are three key themes that emerge from the survey data:

* Overall NASA has strong work-group level teamwork and communications.
* Overall NASA has improvement opportunities in upward communications about safety and in employee perceptions about the extent to which the organization cares about employees.
* Overall there is little variation among NASA locations, among offices within NASA locations, or between programs.

What does this mean?

Has NASA changed? Doubtful.

Hopefully the next round of shuttles will all be successes. Boeing (FredT's favorite contractor) manages launches directly or through its own subcontractors as they did with the last disaster. Boeing also is the prime contractor on the space station.
.

.



posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 12:14 AM
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They cant afford delays, crack or no crack, it will launch. Some think thats bad, but everyone knows the risk, including the astronauts. The shuttle will be safer then its ever been, Nasa's knows that they cant "stop everything" just because of one little crack.



posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 08:28 AM
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Originally posted by Murcielago
just because of one little crack.


In aerospace there is no such thing as 'one LITTLE crack'.
Everything is major. A 'little crack' is major and potentially
deadly. The fleet (what's left of it) is too old. We need new
shuttles with new technology and new design. I wouldn't
go up on what is left of the shuttle program for all the money
in the world. Nope. I definately wouldn't.



posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 08:42 AM
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You really have to ask though, how many times were there "little cracks" similar to this one on the tank, but they launched anyway? Probably 80% of them. (That's just my thoughts, no facts to back it up.)

My point is, that this really shouldn't be a problem. Yes, it can be, but it doesn't neccessarly have to be. Yes, there will be danger in space flight. I think that the astronauts are willing to risk it, especially since they have gone through hell several times in training.

I say give the launch a go.



posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 08:55 AM
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Originally posted by FlyersFan

In aerospace there is no such thing as 'one LITTLE crack'.
Everything is major. A 'little crack' is major and potentially
deadly.


Agreed, what they should do is fix the crack first.

I would also not want to fly on something that had a known crack on it.



posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 12:59 PM
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Originally posted by FlyersFan
The fleet (what's left of it) is too old.


The shuttles are old. The external fuel tank is new, having been redesigned since the last disaster.



posted on Apr, 8 2005 @ 01:00 AM
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Originally posted by cmdrkeenkid
My point is, that this really shouldn't be a problem. Yes, it can be, but it doesn't neccessarly have to be. Yes, there will be danger in space flight. I think that the astronauts are willing to risk it, especially since they have gone through hell several times in training.

I say give the launch a go.

NASA is recruiting launch management people at JSC- you sound like a good candidate


Safety be damned- LAUNCH!



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