Thursday, December 30, 2010

Small new cracks found on Discovery's external tank

Completed X-ray inspections of the mid-section of Discovery's external fuel tank have revealed small cracks on several more support beams, NASA reports today.

Shuttle managers will meet at 3 p.m. to discuss whether modifications to the tank are necessary before Discovery can fly. The mission is targeted to launch no earlier than Feb. 3.

The new cracks were found at the tops of support beams called "stringers" on the tank's ribbed "intertank" section. They are located on the opposite side of the tank from the orbiter on Panel 6 of the intertank, which has eight panels.

One of the reasons for rolling Discovery back into the Vehicle Assembly Building on Dec. 21 was to examine stringers on that side of the tank, which couldn't be reached at launch pad 39A.

Cracks in two stringers facing the orbiter were found after Discovery was fueled for a Nov. 5 launch attempt that scrubbed, and engineers haven't been able to explain the cause.

Cracks facing the orbiter were considered more of a concern because of the possibility that pieces of insulating foam covering the stringers could break away and strike orbiter heat shields.

The tank was wired with nearly 90 temperature sensors and strain gauges for a tanking test Dec. 17 to help understand the stresses on 108 stringers lining the intertank.

It is not immediately clear if the recently discovered cracks might have formed before or during the test, or how they might influence this afternoon's discussion about tank modifications.

Program managers will consider reinforcing the tops of stringers to add strength and limit how much they bend when the tank is fueled with supercold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.

IMAGE: A technician on Wednesday was getting ready to take a computed radiography image scan of the tank. Credit: NASA

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

As if that wasn't already expected to happen!!!! OK, Who's guilty of using that ballpoint Bic pen to add a few more cracks to extend this welfare project that its become? Doesn't look like this shuttle is launching anywhere, or anytime soon. But we all knew that was expected too.

Anonymous said...

This is tired old story in tired old town with tired old people and a tired old space program.

Move along with your lives and move along if your looking for Government help. Face reality folks. The Space Program is washed up & over as we remember it from years ago. It's unfortunate, but I believe its something that needs to happen.

This also shows that the word, UNEMPLOYED, is not just the stereotype of people that don't want to work or people that have no skills to find work. People that were making $40k, $50k, $60k, & now $100k up....will be out-of-work, right along with people that made minimum wage.

We're all in this together....united we stand, divided we fall.

In today's world where money buys all elections there is no Democracy & the new Motto is "United We Fall".
America exist only in our memories, International Business Rules. All laid off aerospace workers can move to China, Russia or some Muslim country.

Anonymous said...

The tank is old. Was this the one damaged by Katrina? It's never going to fly.

Graham (from england) said...

Oh dear oh dear, the gloom and doom people are on again.!!!!!! I'll give you the knife, and you can commit suicide if you like .!! The Space programme ain't dead, they just need to sort the damn thing out.

Anonymous said...

Most of the Apollo and Shuttle development era people abandoned the program by about a decade ago and its taken about that long for the new politics of organizational arrogance to have their way in the JSC program environment. We see it clearly in ISS. We saw its traumatic effect during Columbia.
What we are now witnessing is the end of NASA human space flight as we knew it. It was brought on by the people, most of whom are currently running the show.
Constellation and other programs over the last decade, selected unqualified personnel for very high ranking positions has become the rule rather than the exception. Senior NASA management caused the demise of human space flight as we know it.
Anyone wonder if the shuttle is guarded round the clock to prevent what seems to be intentional damage by some unhappy soon to be laid-off shuttle team-member? Or did NASA security all get laid off too?

Anonymous said...

Reality check people. Gloom & doom seems better than lift-off & BOOM! Don't you agree? Hate to see a few more excuses from NASA for what they knew was risky to send up. Happened before & seems like it might happen again if they send this thing up. See if Charlie will volunteer to fly on this shuttle first - then decide if you're willing to take the risk. Don't forget to up your life insurance policy while you're at it.

Anonymous said...

Scrap this tank, and put Discovery into the museum. Then do the same with Atlantis and Endeavour.

This continuous launch drama would be non-existent with a vehicle like Ares I, since the worry about foam impacts go away, not to mention having an escape system.

But Obama killed Ares I because he's ashamed of the USA's leadership in the world, and there is no other vehicle to replace Ares I for a long time. Only dreamers think that space can become commercially viable for the likes of SpaceX, etc. Who will pay for their services to make it profitable? RIP, NASA.

Anonymous said...

"The foremost mission of NASA is to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering." -B. Hussein Obama, via Charles Bolden

Clearly, there aren't enough Muslims in Brevard yet but they sure seem to be working on this shuttle. Makes it hard to work wearing that stinking burka which is against NASA's dress code policy. Bolden must have made some exceptions to the rule.

Anonymous said...

Correction Bush killed the space program but Obama didn't do anything to prevent the demise of it either. Sad but true. He merely followed the advice of those who wanted to end it.

Anonymous said...

You people who insinuate intentional damage by the workers simply have no idea of the amazing dedication of people who work on the shuttle. You should be ashamed of your accusations and of yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Hey Graham (from england) "The Space programme ain't dead, they just need to sort the damn thing out." Where have ya been man?
The UK government doesn't know much about the space program here nor does it fund the International Space Station. Ignorance talks but we haven't seen the queens flag on the moon yet either.

Anonymous said...

Well if its not intentional damage with the endless delays then its intentional oversight & sloppy workmanship done by someone who has a part in it. Or are we to believe inexperienced newly hired civilians are working on the shuttle these days? Dear God, Let's hope not.

Anonymous said...

Bunch of fucking idiots on this board.

Anonymous said...

Check out the technician's hat in the photo...

Anonymous said...

Another example of American businesses operating for their CEOs, instead of putting money into inspection an regulation. Send this work to Socialist Russia or Communist China, who don't allow their CEOs to have drunken parties in Vegas on Tax payers dimes.

Richard said...

I can't believe the profoundly ignorant posts on this board. All mechanical systems have problems. All space systems, being mechanical, will have problems. India just lost a launch vehicle, and payload, last week. Delta, Atlas, Titan, Arian, SpaceX - all have problems. Yes, even the glorious SpaceX too. Part of their business plan for 'cheap' is to recover the Falcon first stage which they have not been successful at yet. The reason there seems to be a lot of Shuttle issues is because the program has been going on since the mid 1970's.

Gudgeon said...

Geez, someone might imagine that the rocket scientists at KSC were milking this for every delay they can find. What a horrible thing to think! Probably true. But what a horrible thing to think!

Anonymous said...

This is a Katrina damaged tank! the next tank is even worse! Add to that USA employees are so afraid of being let go they have constant delays because if they have a shuttle going they have jobs! pure and simple as that.

Anonymous said...

Ever hear the term "Run to failure"? that's the problem! NASA civil servants do not have the knowledge to fix anything and now the contractors are being laid off nothing is getting fixed! BUT at least the NASA civil servants jobs are safe. Thanks Chucky B!!

Anonymous said...

anon. 2:33 PM...best post ever...my thoughts exaxctly to all you space haters/space eaters

Anonymous said...

Interesting that we keep finding these "cracks" in the shuttle...prolongs these jobs that were washed up a long time ago. NASA is a waste of money!!!

Anonymous said...

What we are now witnessing is the end of NASA human space flight as we knew it. It was brought on by the people, most of whom are currently running the show.Lack of leadership. NASA’s reputation was built on competence but their focus on our space program was defeated by overwhelming pride & ignorance.

Anonymous said...

just keep hatin the space program you morons..when its over..so is brevard county..stupid a$$es...

Anonymous said...

Looks like someone burst Richard's space bubble & got him a wee bit angry. Awwww, Richard it'll be alright. We'll give you a new piece of bubble gum to chew on. No need to become hostile & lose your cool. Bubblicious or juicy fruit to match that ego trip?
I think we all realize that all mechanical systems have problems. But that they suddenly continue to develop more problems leads people to wonder especially since layoffs are continuing in 2011 for shuttle workers. Its the only way to keep holding on to their precious jobs for as long as they can. Can you blame them - hopefully not at the expense of losing more astronauts.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...Bunch of fucking idiots on this board. 2:33 PM

AND LIKE YOU'RE NOT ONE OF THEM MORON. CURSING IS NOT VERY NICE YA KNOW. KIDS READ THESE COMMENTS TOO.

Anonymous said...

Brevard county the land of many tattoo parlors & roach infested restaurants is hardly going to notice the change. How about another amusement park?

Anonymous said...

Brevard County never even had a decent shopping mall that anyone would want to visit. Doubt we'll miss it since people are leaving anyways & boarding up the foreclosures & abandoned buildings. Been like that for years & hasn't changed much except for a few more homes the banks will need to sell at rock bottom prices.

Anonymous said...

Gudgeon, that was so sweet. "Geez, to actually think someone might think our rocket scientists at KSC were milking this for every delay they can find. How awful is that! Most likely true. Yeah, I agree too. Geez what were we all thinking. The same thing for sure.

Anonymous said...
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graham(from england) said...
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Anonymous said...
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Graham (from england) said...
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Anonymous said...
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Graham (from england) said...
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