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STS-133 - Modifications Repairs and Image Scans for Shuttle Discoverys External Tank Print
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Wednesday, 05 January 2011 22:09
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At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians in the Vehicle Assembly Building make modifications to 34 support beams, called stringers, on space shuttle Discovery’s external fuel tank. To increase the structural support of the stringers, crews fit pieces of metal, called radius blocks, over the tops of the stringers’ edges at the external tank’s thrust panel area. The thrust panel areas, which see the most stress during the flight into orbit, are located at the attachment points between the tank and the solid rocket boosters.

 

In addition, teams also are performing scans on all of the tank’s stringers using a backscatter device that bounces radiation off the tank, allowing engineers to see beneath the foam insulation.

 

Crews also are repairing small cracks on three stringers on the side of the tank opposite Discovery that were detected in late December. The repairs are similar to repairs made on cracks found on two stringers after Discovery's Nov. 5 launch attempt.

 

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 Wednesday, 19 January 2011 19:09
 
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