NASA has decided against a risky spacewalk repair job on the gouged heat shield of the space shuttle Endeavour, AP reports. Engineers concluded that a gash in the tiled underside of the spacecraft will not be a hazard during re-entry. Attempting a repair could risk causing more damage and could be dangerous. An earlier attempt was aborted when an astronaut's glove ripped.
Astronaut Alvin Drew said the crew welcomes NASA's call. "I trust their confidence that we can get home safely," he said. But a physicist who helped investigate the Columbia disaster disagrees. The Columbia's heat shield was also damaged. "This attitude of 'it looks like it's OK, let's not do anything about it,' seems like the Columbia NASA," he said.