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SCI/TECH: Astronaut successfully repairs shuttle

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posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 08:33 AM
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In an unprecedented shuttle repair, astronaut Stephen Robinson was attached to the shuttles robotic arm and successfully removed the protruding gap filler from the shuttles belly. The object could have caused major problems during the shuttles re-entry.
 



www.msnbc.msn.com
SPACE CENTER, Houston - A spacewalking astronaut pulled two potentially dangerous strips of protruding fabric from Discovery’s belly with his gloved hand Wednesday, in an unprecedented emergency repair job.

Astronaut Stephen Robinson said both pieces came out easily. He did not have to use a makeshift hacksaw that he carried along just in case.

“I’m pulling. It’s coming out very easily,” Robinson said as he quickly removed the first protruding filler. “The offending gap filler has been removed.”




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


According to NASA officials, the protruding ceramic-fiber fillers could have caused the shuttle belly to overheat and result in a Columbia type disaster. Fortunately, the filler is not needed for landing due to the difference in airflow during re-entry. Discovery is set to land this Monday.

Related News Links:
www.usatoday.com
www.latimes.com
www.cbsnews.com

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
SCI/TECH: Discovery May Need Unprecedented Repair

[edit on 3-8-2005 by asala]

[edit on 3-8-2005 by ZeddicusZulZorander]




posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 08:34 AM
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Excellent news!

Fingers crosesed for re-entry!


Mic



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 08:38 AM
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Very good news! I do hope there isn't any hidden or undetected problems and their decent is successful.

Dallas



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 09:50 AM
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This link has a video for the repair that the astronaut performed.


news.yahoo.com...

[edit on 3-8-2005 by mpeake]



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 11:12 AM
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I think the word successful might have been used a bit early. Id wait until it actually touched down before saying that.



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 11:15 AM
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Well, he successfully removed the filler. No one is saying that the mission was a "success" yet.



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 11:23 AM
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Fortunately, the filler is not needed for landing due to the difference in airflow during re-entry.

I would think that the gap filler was there for a reason. I think they should have filled it just in case. They would also gain the knowledge of the effects of the repair filler after landing. Even if it wasn't nessesary, the info could be useful in the future.

Good luck on the landing.



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 11:36 AM
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Was great to watch this on the TV and i wish them a very safe return early on August 8.

SKYNEWs

Some great pics on skynews of the event,



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 11:47 AM
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NASA probing damaged blanket

Meanwhile, engineers are working to determine if another anomaly discovered on the orbiter -- a damaged thermal blanket under one of the cockpit windows -- also poses a threat.

A photographic analysis of the blanket, which is about 20 inches long and 4 inches wide, showed that it was punctured at one end -- possibly by debris -- and "poufed out" at the other, Hale said.

He said the damage to the blanket doesn't pose a threat of excessive heating or tearing away during re-entry, when Discovery is traveling at a speed in excess of Mach 20, or 20 times the speed of sound. However, once the shuttle slows to below Mach 6, there is concern is that the blanket might tear away and strike the orbiter, he said.


www.cnn.com...

I'll be glad to see this ship back on the ground safely. I suspect this will be one of the most watched re-entry/landings of all shuttle flights.



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 01:02 PM
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I am praying there is no reason for Texans to go outside and start marking a debris trail through the woods such as last time. Will this mean a newly designed ship or keep trying to find ways of fixing the booster and shuttle on these obsolete units?

I don't know if the space program, meaning in particular, the space station can do without the shuttle for an extended period. I'm glad to know there are other ways of getting up and down from the station but I do believe the main work horse is the shuttle due to the size of the loads it can transport back and forth.

So, will it be grounded for an extended period and then fly again or scrapped? A new technological design is needed for a long term fix.



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 02:10 PM
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Originally posted by Hal9000
I would think that the gap filler was there for a reason. I think they should have filled it just in case. They would also gain the knowledge of the effects of the repair filler after landing. Even if it wasn't nessesary, the info could be useful in the future.

Good luck on the landing.


Problem with filling the the gap is that the repair filler is untested. What if it caused the very thing that it was supposed to prevent.



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 05:52 PM
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This must kiss good-bye to the STS which is too bad for the dedicated crews but good news for the next generation of ships. Ultimately, you've about an equal chance of summiting Everest as you have of surviving a shuttle mission, which ain't good odds. Good luck to them.



posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 02:30 AM
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Originally posted by Hal9000

I would think that the gap filler was there for a reason.


The purpose of the gap filler is to prevent the thermal tiles from rubbing against each other and chipping during liftoff.



posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 04:06 AM
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Good job... I knew they could do it... And after all it was quite easy... The astronaut only used his fingers...



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