Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Minor tank damage won't need repair

Insulating foam on the back side of Discovery's external tank sustained minor damage when pieces of a technician's tool fell from the launch pad Tuesday evening, but no repairs are necessary, NASA reports.

A feeler gauge used to take measurements fell apart. Nine of its 13 metal blades fell to various levels of launch pad 39A, including one that reportedly stuck in the side of the tank briefly.

No one was injured and all the lost components were located.

The shuttle remains on track for a targeted Feb. 24 launch.

Shuttle program managers are scheduled to hold a flight readiness review Thursday starting at 9 a.m. EST.

IMAGE: Example of a feeler gauge, courtesy of Wikipedia.

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