Nasa orders emergency shuttle repairs

Nasa will conduct unprecedented emergency repairs on the space shuttle Discovery, sending an astronaut on a spacewalk to remove materials dangling from the bottom of the shuttle.

    An astronaut will go on a spacewalk to conduct the repairs

    "It was a very easy decision to add the task to EVA number three to go and remove those two gap fillers," Wayne Hale, deputy manager of the space shuttle programme, told a press briefing on Monday in Houston, Texas.
      
    Nasa is uncertain about how the material could affect the shuttle when it re-enters the Earth's atmosphere. "We investigated that at length. The team has been working for three days," Hale said.
      
    "At the end of the day the bottom line is, there is large uncertainty because nobody has a very good handle on aerodynamics at those altitudes, at those speeds." 
      
    Exercising caution

    "This is the new Nasa. If we cannot prove that it's safe, then we don't want to go there"

    Wayne Hale, space shuttle programme deputy manager

    "This is the new Nasa. If we cannot prove that it's safe, then we don't want to go there," he said.
      
    During the mission's third spacewalk on Wednesday, an astronaut will attempt to pull out the dangling pieces of gap filler or, if that proves too difficult, cut them off.
      
    Hale said the shuttle could safely re-enter the atmosphere with the errant gap filler removed, even though for one of the two pieces, "there's a possibility that heating could get into that gap".
      
    "For one flight we are well within our safety margins," he added. 

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    More than 2,300 political parties have registered for the largest electoral exercise in the world.

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.