heat shield

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Atlantis Crew Finds Minor Damage to Shield

(Newser) - Atlantis astronauts found some minor damage to the shuttle’s heat shield during an arduous, nine-hour inspection today, Space.com reports, with NASA officials saying nicks sustained during liftoff weren’t a serious concern, but that more analysis was needed. Astronauts will inspect the shield—vital to the shuttle’s... More »

Shuttle Prepares to Quit Station

Endeavour crew about to zoom home after record mission

(Newser) - The crew of shuttle Endeavour prepared to undock from the International Space Station today after a leisurely Easter Sunday spent off-loading cargo, enjoying a holiday meal, and talking to family back home. The shuttle commander compared the flurry of work to wrap up the record-setting mission to March Madness: "... More »

Spacewalking Astronauts Test Repair Goo

'Caulk-like' stuff could avert disaster

(Newser) - Spacewalking astronauts successfully tested a high-tech goo that can be used to repair heat shields and help avert a repeat of the 2003 Columbia shuttle disaster, the Houston Chronicle reports. In work reminiscent of a “tile-and-grout” job, astronauts sprayed the pink caulk onto shuttle sections that were purposely damaged.... More »

Illness Delays Spacewalk to Install Columbus Lab

Crew investigates minor heat shield damage

(Newser) - Today's planned spacewalk to install the Columbus lab on the International Space Station was pushed back until tomorrow after Atlantis astronaut Hans Schlegel experienced an undisclosed medical problem. The shuttle crew will spend today instead examining a minor tear in their craft's heat shield, and performing such routine chores as... More »

Astronauts Will Skip Shuttle Fix

NASA decides gash won't be a hazard during re-entry

(Newser) - 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... More »

Space Crew May Try Risky Fix

NASA weighs methods to repair gash in shuttle heat shield

(Newser) - Astronauts on board the space shuttle Endeavour will likely attempt a spacewalk to fix a gouge in the craft's heat shield cause by debris that slammed into it during takeoff, USA Today reports. The debris carved a cavity more than three inches long and an inch deep on the tiled... More »

NASA Eyes Endeavor Damage

Engineers say ice chunk hit shuttle's underbelly, could endanger re-entry

(Newser) - Endeavour's astronauts finished their first spacewalk today by installing a 2-ton beam on the back of the international space station, the AP reports. Meanwhile NASA engineers inspected troubling images of a gash in shuttle Endeavour’s heat shield caused, they believe, by an ice chunk that flew off the fuel... More »

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