Large Foam Shedding During Launch Revealed

Despite Efforts, Debris Is Still an Issue, WAshington Post

"NASA may also have bet wrongly in the final months before the launch that external tank ice -- rather than foam insulation -- posed the largest risk to the shuttle. It delayed the launch twice primarily to confront the ice problem, but in the end, it was the foam that vexed the agency again."

Statement by NASA Administrator on Foam-Shedding From Space Shuttle External Tank

"Among the things we are testing are the integrity of the foam insulation and the performance of new camera equipment installed to detect problems. The cameras worked well. The foam did not."

NASA Suspending Shuttle Program Over Foam Debris, NY Times

"The effort to fix the foam problem had consumed more than two years and hundreds of millions of dollars. In the end, NASA identified the area on the tank that shed the foam as a risk, but put off redesigning it. "We decided it was safe to fly as is," Mr. Parsons said. "Obviously, we were wrong."

Discovery's fuel tank shed unexpectedly large pieces of foam, Orlando Sentinel

"Space shuttle Discovery's external fuel tank shed several pieces of unexpectedly large foam insulation during launch Tuesday in a serious setback for NASA's return to flight efforts. NASA sources told the Orlando Sentinel today that pictures taken by Discovery's astronauts and a camera on the orbiter's belly revealed that a piece of a foam ramp protecting a liquid hydrogen fuel line on the tank broke off about two minutes after launch. The images also showed that several surprisingly big pieces of foam broke off the tank's bipod area where a pair of struts connects the tank to the orbiter."

Foam loss grounds shuttle fleet again, Spaceflight Now

"The largest pieces of foam did not strike Discovery and engineers believe the ship's seven-member crew will be able to safely return to Earth Aug. 7 after a long-awaited mission to deliver supplies and equipment to the space station."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on July 28, 2005 12:11 AM.

No Shuttle Missions Until Debris Issue Understood was the previous entry in this blog.

Discovery Docks With ISS is the next entry in this blog.

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