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Cylinder
2006-Mar-24, 01:23 AM
From the NASA press release (http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2006/mar/HQ_06100_Shuttle_arm_board.html):


NASA has formed a board at the agency's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., to investigate the March 4 incident that damaged Space Shuttle Discovery's remote manipulator system (shuttle arm).

Hugo Delgado is chairman of the five-member investigation board. He is deputy director for the Office of the Chief Engineer at Kennedy. The board is supported by one ex-officio member, four advisors and administrative personnel.

Board functions include investigating the facts surrounding the incident, determining its probable cause, assessing the possibility of a recurrence and recommending corrective actions. A final report is expected this summer.

On March 4 at about 10:10 p.m. EST, shuttle technicians inside a bridge bucket work platform device accidentally bumped into Discovery's robotic arm. The arm is a 50-foot-long, jointed extension used to grapple payloads, remove them from the payload bay and move spacewalking astronauts to various work platforms.

Inspections showed two indentations in the arm's outer bumper layer, a Kevlar-covered plastic, honeycombed structure designed to protect the arm from minor impacts. One of the indentations in the honeycombed layer is oval shaped, 0.115 inch deep and 1 inch in diameter.

The second indentation, also oval shaped, is 0.035 inch deep and 0.5 inch in diameter. Ultrasound inspections were performed once the Kevlar and honeycombed layer were removed.

Under the largest indentation was a small crack in the carbon-fiber composite, measuring 1.25 inches long and 0.015 inches deep. The arm was removed from the vehicle on Tuesday and will be sent back to the vendor for repair.


Recomendation #1: Don't hit the freaking arm with a cherry picker.

Recomendation #2: Did we mention the part about not hitting the arm with the cherry picker?

novaderrik
2006-Mar-24, 11:48 AM
recommendation #3- make the arm strong enough so that if something lightly hits it, you don't need to spend a few million dollars and a couple of months to find out what happened.
can't they ever just FIX anything without getting a taskforce involved? makes you wonder what it's like figuring out what everyone is having for lunch every day...

Fr. Wayne
2006-Mar-24, 12:02 PM
The lift operator should reapply for astronaut school under a different name.

ToSeek
2006-Mar-24, 05:45 PM
recommendation #3- make the arm strong enough so that if something lightly hits it, you don't need to spend a few million dollars and a couple of months to find out what happened.

Then it's a lot heavier, and you have to supply more fuel in order to launch it - or your payload has to be lighter to compensate.

Nicolas
2006-Mar-26, 11:27 PM
Plus things like increased inertia, making loadless pointing of the arm more difficult or requiring heavier steering motors. Plus extra mass means (but not results in by itself!) extra structural strength; needed for the arm to carry its own weight without breaking in gravity.