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STS-133 - Foam Insulation Reapplied on Discovery's external Tank for Test Print
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Thursday, 16 December 2010 22:08
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On Dec. 14 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians at Launch Pad 39A reapplied foam insulation after installing sensors on space shuttle Discovery’s external fuel tank.

Crews removed the foam to install 89 strain gauges and thermal sensors on the external tank's ribbed intertank area for a tanking test, which is scheduled for Dec. 17. The sensors will precisely record movement and temperatures from the intertank as it chills and warms again during the test’s fuel loading and emptying process. The tank holds super-cold liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, which cause the tank to shrink by about half an inch. The test will help verify repairs associated with cracks on the tops of two 21-foot-long, U-shaped aluminum brackets called stringers, which line the intertank, and help engineers determine what caused the cracks in the first place on Nov. 5.

Results of the instrumented test will not be known immediately. Managers and engineers will review the test data to determine the next course of action. Discovery’s next launch opportunity for its STS-133 mission to the International Space Station is no earlier than Feb. 3.

 

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Last Updated on Friday, 17 December 2010 14:08
 
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