[sarex] Hail Damage Forces Shuttle Atlantis Off Launch Pad
azrowe80 at verizon.net
Tue Feb 27 23:06:54 PST 2007
SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
> Feb. 27, 2007
> Katherine Trinidad
> Headquarters, Washington
> Kyle Herring/Jessica Rye
> Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
> RELEASE: 07-60
> HAIL DAMAGE FORCES SHUTTLE ATLANTIS OFF LAUNCH PAD
> CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA decided Tuesday to roll the space shuttle
> Atlantis off its launch pad and back inside the Vehicle Assembly
> Building at the Kennedy Space Center. Managers made the decision
> after a hail storm Monday damaged the orbiter's External Tank. A new
> target launch date has not been determined, but teams will focus on
> preparing Atlantis for liftoff in late April.
> On Monday, a severe thunderstorm with golf ball-size hail caused what
> could be 1,000 to 2,000 divots in the giant tank's foam insulation
> and minor surface damage to about 26 heat shield tiles on the
> shuttle's left wing. Further evaluation of the tank is necessary to
> get an accurate accounting of foam damage and must be done in the
> Vehicle Assembly Building, where the entire tank can be more easily
> accessed. The shuttle is expected to be moved off the pad by early
> next week.
> Once an up-close look at the damage is complete, the type of repair
> required and the time needed for that work can be determined.
> Atlantis' flight, STS-117, to the International Space Station will be
> scheduled sometime after a Russian Soyuz spacecraft returns from the
> station. The Soyuz is delivering new station crew members and
> returning others back to Earth in late April. Adequate time is needed
> between the Soyuz undocking and the shuttle's arrival to the station.
> STS-117 Commander Rick Sturckow, Pilot Lee Archambault and mission
> specialists Jim Reilly, Patrick Forrester, Steven Swanson and John
> "Danny" Olivas will continue training at NASA's Johnson Space Center,
> Houston, as they await a new target launch date. During the 11-day
> mission, the astronauts will work with the station crew and ground
> teams to install a new truss segment, unfold a new set of solar
> arrays and retract one array on the starboard side of the station.
> Space Shuttle Program managers are gathered at the Kennedy Space
> Center for the traditional Flight Readiness Review for the mission.
> During the two-day meeting, NASA managers and engineers assess any
> risks associated with the mission and determine whether the shuttle's
> equipment, support systems and procedures are ready for flight. The
> meeting, scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, will continue as
> For information about the STS-117 crew and mission, visit:
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