Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

NASA says shuttle heat shield needs no repair

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Aug 16, 2007
NASA determined on Thursday that there was no need to attempt a risky repair to the shuttle Endeavour's heat shield because the damage did not present a significant danger, a spokesman said.

Mission management made "a unanimous recommendation that the damage that we saw, after reviewing all the engineering tests and analysis, was not a threat to crew safety," shuttle mission manager John Shannon told reporters.

The concern had been that the 8.75 by 5.0 centimeter (3.5 by 2.0 inch) gash created during the shuttle's launch could create excess friction as the shuttle hurtles into the Earth's atmosphere at high speeds.

A film of Endeavour's August 8 liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida shows a piece of foam -- possibly covered with ice -- hitting the shuttle's underbelly.

The mission management team reached its unanimous decision after three days of thermal and aerodynamic testing with exact replicas of the damaged thermal tiles on the Endeavour.

"We did all the things we have said we were going to do over the few days ... and it was unanimous that we are not in a loss of crew/vehicle case" during the shuttle's re-entry to Earth, Shannon said.

At 20 times the speed of sound, the shuttle's reentry into the atmosphere generates up to 1,500 degrees Celsius (2,732 Fahrenheit) on some of the thermal tiles that line its underbelly.

Shannon said that in tests simulating the harsh reentry environment, the area inside the damaged tile would heat up to 171 degrees Celsius (340 Fahrenheit), well within acceptable limits.

For John Logsdon, a space expert at George Washington University and former member of the investigating team into the Columbia disaster in February 2003, the amount of time NASA spent deliberating provided in itself a good sign.

"The fact that it takes NASA took this long suggests how careful they are being -- it's a good sign. There is no rush. I think they are doing exactly the right thing."

Endeavour is carrying seven astronauts, including 55-year-old teacher-turned-astronaut Barbara Morgan, on a mission to continue construction of the ISS, from which it is scheduled to undock on August 20.

The shuttle is scheduled to return to Earth on August 22nd after a mission which was extended by three days to 14 days to add a fourth spacewalk, which will take place on Saturday.

Related Links
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

ATK Receives To Develop And Support Test Flights For NASA's Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle First Stage
Minneapolis MN (SPX) Aug 16, 2007
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have announced that Alliant Techsystems has received a $1.8 billion contract for the design, development, test and evaluation (DDT and E) of the first stage of the agency's next-generation human space flight vehicle - the Ares I. The multi-year development contract extends through June 2013 and includes flight tests beginning in 2009.

  • India Wants To Launch First Reusuable Space Launcher By 2010
  • NASA Awards First Stage Contract For Ares Rockets
  • UC Experts Detail New Standard For Cleaner Transportation Fuels
  • Indigenous Cryogenic Stage Tested For Eight Minutes

  • Ariane 5 - Third Dual-Payload Launch Of 2007
  • Lockheed Martin Marks 33rd Consecutive A2100 Success With The Launch Of BSAT-3A
  • ILS to Launch Inmarsat Satellite On Proton Vehicle Next Spring
  • Russian Proton-M Rocket To Launch Japanese Telecoms Satellite

  • Hurricane shortens Endeavour mission
  • Crew Holds Class In Space, Prepares For Possible Repair Work
  • NASA 'optimistic' no repair job needed on damaged shuttle tiles
  • NASA still mulling shuttle repair spacewalk

  • Outside View: Obsolete space industry
  • Mastracchio And Williams Install New Station Control Moment Gyroscope (CMG)
  • Punctured astronaut's spacesuit cuts short spacewalk
  • Astronauts prepare for first spacewalk of Endeavour mission

  • NASA says shuttle heat shield needs no repair
  • US shuttle to return early to avoid hurricane
  • Hurricane looming on Earth, astronauts rush space walk to hasten return
  • Endeavour Carries Millions Of Basil Seeds Up And Back

  • At Least 3 Chinese Satellites Malfunctioning Since 2006
  • China reveals deadly threat to historic space flight
  • China Trains Rescue Teams For Third Manned Space Program
  • Chinese Astronauts Begin Training For Spacewalk

  • Drive-By-Wire And Human Behavior Systems Key To Virginia Tech Urban Challenge Vehicle
  • Successful Jules Verne Rendezvous Simulation At ATV Control Centre
  • Robotic Einstein Wows Spanish Technology Fair
  • Robotic Ankle For Amputees Is Developed

  • Phoenix Adjusts Course Successfully For Journey To Mars
  • What Makes Mars Magnetic
  • Helping Phoenix Land
  • Brighter Skies Lifts Rover Spirit As MER-A Gets Active

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright Space.TV Corporation. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space.TV Corp on any Web page published or hosted by Space.TV Corp. Privacy Statement