Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Discovery might have lost tiles

NASA is examining video tape of the launch because it was discovered that a section of heat tile and some insulation may have come off of the Discovery. While this is something that has happened on previous launches after the Columbia disaster they are looking at this.

NASA managers said they would take several days to make a full judgment of any damage to the shuttle and decide how to deal with it.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is seeing more of the impact of launch on the shuttle than ever before, thanks to its most elaborate array of cameras and other imaging in history. "I fully expected we would see things that we hadn't seen in the past," said Shannon.

NASA trained more than 110 cameras on Discovery as it rumbled toward orbit. That's roughly 30 more than during the last shuttle launch - Columbia's 2003 mission that killed all seven astronauts and grounded the fleet until now.

The new cameras are meant to provide better views of damage to the shuttle's exterior from falling insulation, ice created by supercold fuel, or other materials. "Along with cameras on the ground, and in and on the shuttle itself, this imaging system will provide an unprecedented look at shuttle liftoff and atmospheric flight," said Bob Page, who is supervising NASA's camera team.

The above linked article from excite news gives more details, and it sounds like NASA is even more advanced as far as trying to whatever is possible to prevent any future disasters. Maybe because I remember watching the early space missions and will never forget watching Neil Armstrong take those first steps on the moon that this has been an interest for me.

(speaking of the Apollo missions, a cool site)

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