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. “Having this in our bag of tricks is really going to be helpful," said one of the astronauts.
“I'm thrilled with what we saw today,” said a flight director. The goo is intended to repair tiles on the underbelly of shuttles, Space.com reports, but NASA hopes never to have to use it. Such damaged tiles are what doomed Columbia. The astronauts head Earthward on the shuttle Endeavour on Monday after a record-long 16-day mission. (Read more International Space Station stories.)