posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 08:28 AM
Crew reports object near shuttle, protrusion on tail fin
The Discovery astronauts tested the shuttle's re-entry systems today and packed up for landing Saturday at the Kennedy Space Center. The tests went
well, but the crew reported seeing a piece of debris of some sort floating away from the shuttle a few minutes later. They also called attention to a
small protrusion on the shuttle's rudder/speed brake where a bit of insulation might have been displaced...
NASA says the rudder does not look like a serious issue -- but the fact is they don't know yet. If they decide to get a better look at it with the
shuttle robotic arm, they may discover the rudder damage is potentially a major problem, and they could potentially need to go back to the Space
station for repair -- or even for eventual rescue from another shuttle (worst case).
I think they may even want to look at the shuttle with the robotic arm again to see where the debris came from...it may be rekated to new damage in
the shuttle - damage that wasn't there when they did the robotic arm survey on Wednesday.
I don't think the debris and rudder "protrusion" are related since the debris was moving at a relative speed similar to the shuttles, and the
debris was first seen closer to a wing, but I suppuse debris (ice, insulation) coming off the ship could have damaged the rudder.
Hopefully they will discover the issues are minor, and can proceed to a safe landing tomorrow.
[edit on 6/13/2008 by Soylent Green Is People]