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SCI/TECH: Discovery May Need Unprecedented Repair

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posted on Jul, 31 2005 @ 07:25 PM
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NASA experts are trying to figure out if two strips of material hanging from the belly of the orbiter represent a serious threat. The strips made of ceramic fiber are used to fill gaps between the heat shield tiles that cover the orbiter. If deemed a threat to the safe return of the shuttle, two astronauts will go out in and attempt a repair.

 



news.yahoo.com
SPACE CENTER, Houston - A couple of short strips of material dangling from Discovery's belly may require an unprecedented repair by spacewalking astronauts, if engineers determine there's even a possibility that the problem could endanger the shuttle during descent, NASA said Sunday.

Teams of experts were scrambling to understand just how serious the problem was, with heated discussions raging on what to do, if anything.

The trouble has nothing to do with foam or other launch debris but rather the accidental slippage of ceramic-fiber fabric used to fill the thin gaps between thermal tiles.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This may have occurred many times in the past for all we know. But with the increased scrutiny being taken, this type of issue will crop up. I want to see the crew of the orbiter arrive home safely and that should the the #1 priority here. But NASA needs to start getting serious about a replacement for the shuttle.




posted on Jul, 31 2005 @ 07:28 PM
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I wonder if it is Fred T who has regained control of this spinning-into-oblivion shuttletopic that we thought had crash-landed five minutes ago.

This is a reminder that we should always check our brakes and ti/yres before venturing on an arduous journey.

[edit on 31-7-2005 by MaskedAvatar]



posted on Jul, 31 2005 @ 07:31 PM
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Fear not I am back in controll which is more than I can say for this Vulture who must have thought that the external tank was the score of a lifetime





From the August 1 AWST



posted on Aug, 1 2005 @ 01:17 AM
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Repair or not, it all leads to the same end. The space shuttle is in need of replacement. It is obsolete, and with modern technology it will be easier to fabricate an entirely newer one. This is where the trail goes in my opinion.

I mean come on, there has been media coverage of the shuttle previously, but not on this scale. Since when has there been this much attentian paid to shuttle, not even when they blown up and the crew is killed. That just gets covered and forgotten, if it was up to me there would be a new craft named the " Remembrance", so that others may not forget.

It is past time, for a new display at the space museum.

[edit on 1-8-2005 by ADVISOR]



posted on Aug, 1 2005 @ 02:18 AM
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I think the shuttle still has some use as a space sled. You thought going down the hill behind your house was fun, try sledding down the layers of the aptmosphere.


I imagine the repairs will take place.

They don't want any hot spots on the way back, can't blame them for that. Should be interesting to see if the repairs are successful. I hope for the sake of ISS crew that's the case, imagine having to share your exclusive space apartment, lame.

Freakin' place is tiny enough without a shuttle crew stomping around.



posted on Aug, 1 2005 @ 02:35 AM
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Everyone calls this thing the shuttle.

I think we should call it by its real name:

THE SCUTTLE!


Seriously though, get it together NASA. Its sad how this once great organisation is in the state it is in today. Von Braun is turning in his grave.



posted on Aug, 1 2005 @ 04:40 AM
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Either way this comes down, Americans loose. NASA is going to spend another 10-20 billion of the taxpayers money on a fixing something that is going to be scrapped before its been fixed.

Why cant they build a bloody new shuttle already?!?!?!



posted on Aug, 1 2005 @ 04:46 AM
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I would say it is in the "works" for a new "scuttle", hence all the coverage.
Of course they dont want to detract the funds from what they have already, so by giving it air time, they will not have any arguement against when the time comes to replace the old space "sled".




posted on Aug, 1 2005 @ 05:11 AM
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There seems to be a lot of people giving NASA grief lately over their technical issues and past failures. Consider that the U.S. military budget for 2004 was US$450+ billion, yet NASA's budget allocation for 2006 is US$16.5 billion (Feb 7 budget proposal figures). The entity that is supposed to be at the absolute leading edge of mankind's scientific and exploratory endeavours gets about 3.5% of the cash that those who make guns do, yet is still expected to create miracles and have a 0% failure rate. Are people aware how many military R&D projects are complete lemons? How often missiles and high-tech weaponry fail? Imagine what NASA could do if those funding proportions were reversed. The damn shuttle would probably be a glassteel orb that re-enters the atmosphere enclosed in a heat-immune forcefield, while propelling itself by manipulating gravity, and powered by cold fusion. I'm not even an American, but as an Earthling I'm proud of how much NASA has achieved with so little support.

Anyway, let's hope all goes well and Discovery accomplishes a safe return to Earth.

[edit on 2005-8-1 by wecomeinpeace]



posted on Aug, 1 2005 @ 05:16 AM
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Originally posted by wecomeinpeace
The damn shuttle would probably be a glassteel orb that re-enters the atmosphere enclosed in a heat-immune forcefield, while propelling itself by manipulating gravity, and powered by cold fusion.

Damn Right!

And I would be currently Located in an Orbital Tourist Station Moon Orbiter One having a nice cup of Tea and chatting to Nice People here on ATS.

But NOOOO - lets put Gazillions of Dollars in to Reaseaching More and More Deadly Ways to Kill each other on a Massive Scale!

Yep - That should work for our Children also!

Who Cares about SPACE Exploration.



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 04:39 AM
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This is sounding much more serious now as every day passes:

start.earthlink.net.../42eeefc0_3ca6_1552620050802724508855




Employing the kind of NASA ingenuity seen during Apollo 13, an astronaut prepped for an emergency repair job on Discovery's exterior Wednesday with forceps, scissors and a hacksaw fashioned out of a blade and a little duct tape.


The comparison to Apollo 13 is ominous sounding to say the least. Apparently there are additional risks to the craft by attempting the repair.


The overriding concern was that Robinson might bump his helmet or a tool against the thermal tiles and, by scraping or chipping them, make matters far worse. He was under orders to keep his body at least a foot away from the shuttle's surface at all times. Just in case, NASA planned to have a tile-repair kit positioned out in the open payload bay.


There is also this other problem that has surfaced.


Engineers are assessing whether something needs to be done about a thermal blanket below the commander's window that was nicked during launch, most likely by debris. Air got into the opening and puffed up the blanket.

The concern, Hale said, is that the blanket might come off during re-entry and smack into the shuttle.


Everything about this flight sounds precarious at this point. It also seems that re-entry is going to be one heck of a long "hold your breath" scenario. I really hope it occurs without incident and that NASA gets their act together for the future.

Godspeed to the crew.


[edit on 8/3/2005 by Relentless]

[edit on 8/3/2005 by Relentless]



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 07:52 AM
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Good news, the pieces pulled out easily, no need for the improvised saw.

The belly looks like it's in great shape for reentry now.



posted on Aug, 8 2005 @ 04:16 AM
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Landing has been delayed for another orbit around the earth, putting it at approximately 6:20 AM. The article states it is due to weather and cloud cover, but I don't see anything big on the weather maps.

start.earthlink.net.../42f6d8c0_3ca6_1552620050808-150255463

If the weather doesn't clear they will postpone till tomorrow when they will have time to plan for alternate sites. I really do hope it is just the weather, but it seems odd this determination was made so close to the original landing time.

Edit: See - this seems odd. A news story realeased at midnight says no looking back and clear weather expected.

start.earthlink.net.../42f6d8c0_3ca6_1552620050808-150255463

The first link reported at 3:15 AM (about an hour before expected the landing give or take) the whole thing has changed.

[edit on 8/8/2005 by Relentless]



posted on Aug, 8 2005 @ 04:58 AM
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Landing HAS been delayed until Tuesday.....


From NASA.gov
Due to low clouds at the Kennedy Space Center landing site, Mission Control Houston has waved off both landing opportunities for Space Shuttle Discovery today. STS-114 Commander Eileen Collins and the rest of the crew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery will return the orbiter to normal flight operations for another day. The next opportunity is at 5:08 a.m. EDT Tuesday.



Mic


[edit on 8/8/2005 by MickeyDee]



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