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View Full Version : Hailstorm damages Atlantis's External Tank.



Doodler
2007-Feb-27, 04:23 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/space/02/27/space.shuttle.ap/index.html

Nuts...:sad:

They'll be crazy to use it, given the history on those things. Not at least without a serious look over.

novaderrik
2007-Feb-27, 09:59 PM
i've never been able to figure out why they leave the shuttle stack just sitting out in the Florida weather like that for time periods of a month or more.
if the foam on the tank and the tiles on the shuttle are so brittle, then why don't they either wait longer to wheel it out to the pad or build some sort of a "garage" out on the pad to protect it?

SpaceNutNewmars
2007-Feb-28, 01:37 PM
There is an underlying issue thou with the shuttle not launching and that is retirement will most likely not happen in 2010. This also gives more credence that the closer Nasa gets to the end days and that the ISS is not complete that they will need to keep the shuttles in a standby mode much longer than we would want further causing budget crunching on CEV orion developement.

Doodler
2007-Feb-28, 04:34 PM
If the shuttles perform safely (if not flawlessly) for the remainder of the scheduled flights, I could buy into the idea of keeping the younger ones going. At some point, they are going to need to push the shuttles aside so they can start modifying the launch gantry and the carrier so they can mount up the Ares stacks, so I wouldn't hedge any bets on shuttle flights beyond the point when the Orion test flights kick in.

Launch window
2007-Feb-28, 05:12 PM
hailstorm, which caught the shuttle at the launching pad, caused “the worst damage we have ever seen” to the insulating foam on the shuttle’s external fuel tank, said N. Wayne Hale Jr., the shuttle program manager

I guess the Soyuz vehicle may need to fly early ?

Nicolas
2007-Mar-04, 11:13 PM
My GF just asked WHY the shuttle is on the pad so soon in advance. Can anyone give the right answer to this question (STS-66, for example :))?

Maksutov
2007-Mar-05, 07:34 AM
My GF just asked WHY the shuttle is on the pad so soon in advance. Can anyone give the right answer to this question (STS-66, for example :))?This page (http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/technology/sts-newsref/stsover-launch.html#stsover-launch) and this page (http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/technology/sts-newsref/stsover-prep.html) will give you some idea of the various operations that need to be performed once the shuttle is on the launch pad. Be sure to click on the Rotating Service Structure link to get more details about what happens there.

It would be nice if it were just a simple matter of roll it out and launch it, but that's not the case.

Cugel
2007-Mar-05, 03:41 PM
My GF just asked WHY the shuttle is on the pad so soon in advance. Can anyone give the right answer to this question (STS-66, for example :))?

One of the main reasons is because the SRBs can not be "un-fueled".
So you have 2 really big BOMBS inside the VAB and that is something NASA doesn't like. So they try to minimize the time that the SRB's spend inside the VAB.

Met de hartelijke groeten aan je GF!

Nicolas
2007-Mar-05, 03:48 PM
But then they could simply bring the SRB's to the VAB later, mate them later, and put the stack outside later eh? Unless they need these weeks outside to get everything set up for launch.

Cugel
2007-Mar-05, 06:50 PM
I think (really speculating here) that mating and demating the SRB's from the ET requires big cranes that are available only in the VAB.

novaderrik
2007-Mar-05, 07:19 PM
when they launched last fall, i think they put the shuttle out on the pad less than a week before launch. of course, it was out there for a while and they brought it back in then put it back out.

Nicolas
2007-Mar-05, 07:32 PM
I think (really speculating here) that mating and demating the SRB's from the ET requires big cranes that are available only in the VAB.

But then still there is no reason to have that part finished that far in advance of the actual launch, UNLESS they need to do things at the platform itself that need these multiple weeks of on platform stationing.

If not, just bring the SRB's later into the VAB, and as a result mate them later, say one week before launch, and hence roll out the stack 1 week before launch.

So I assume it really is the payload work that takes so long, as -as novaderrik points out- the platform connecting and checking apparently can be done in a week.

Swift
2007-Mar-05, 09:26 PM
From CNN.com (http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/space/03/05/space.shuttle.ap/index.html)

Space shuttle Atlantis was moved from the launch pad back to a hangar so technicians can inspect damage caused by an hail storm and determine what kind of repairs should be made.

The 3.4-mile journey aboard the massive crawler-transporter took about seven hours Sunday.

It was the 17th time in the 26-year-old shuttle program that one of the vehicles had to be moved back to the Vehicle Assembly Building from the launch pad.

Last week's hail storm caused thousands of dings in the insulating foam covering Atlantis' external fuel tank and forced NASA to postpone the space shuttle's launch from March 15 to at least late April.

Launch window
2007-May-12, 04:36 AM
Shuttle cleared for trip to launch pad
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18619532/
Atlantis ‘ready to go’ after technicians fix thousands of dings on tank