Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA Approves New Design For Shuttle External Tank Fitting

Date:
July 27, 2004
Source:
National Aeronautics And Space Administration
Summary:
NASA is moving ahead with plans to redesign a part of the Space Shuttle external fuel tank that investigators believe played a critical role in the Space Shuttle Columbia accident.

NASA is moving ahead with plans to redesign a part of the Space Shuttle external fuel tank that investigators believe played a critical role in the Space Shuttle Columbia accident. The Space Shuttle program will soon begin manufacturing and installing an improved bipod fitting, which connects the external fuel tank to the Shuttle during launch.

Related Articles


A Critical Design Review Board of NASA managers, engineers and aerospace contractors last month approved the new design, a significant milestone in the effort to return the Shuttle to safe flight. The approval allows workers to begin incorporating the new fitting on External Tank No. 120, the tank slated for flight on the next Shuttle mission, designated STS-114.

Investigators believe that during Columbia's launch in January 2003, insulating foam from the bipod area fell off the external tank and damaged the left wing of the Space Shuttle. The new design addresses the Columbia Accident Investigation Board recommendation to reduce the risk to the Shuttle from falling debris during liftoff. It eliminates the foam covering from the bipod fitting and replaces it with four rod-shaped heaters. The heaters will serve the same primary function as the foam, preventing ice buildup on the tank's bipod fittings.

"This is a fix that really gets to the root of the technical problems that caused the loss of Columbia," said Michael Kostelnik, NASA's Deputy Associate Administrator for International Space Station and Space Shuttle Programs. "By eliminating this debris source, as well as potential debris from other areas, we are making the Shuttle a safer spacecraft."

The External Tank Project Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., first began developing redesign concepts for the bipod fitting after insulating foam from the left bipod ramp area detached during the October 2002 launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis.

The newly designed heaters will be placed below the fitting, in covers made of a strong alloy composed of nickel, chromium and iron. They will sit on top of a copper plate sandwiched between the fitting and a hard, dense material that separates the heater from the tank.

The design will be retrofitted on the 11 existing tanks and incorporated into the manufacture of all new tanks. Lockheed Martin Space Systems will do the work at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Delivery of the retrofitted tanks to NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida, is expected in October.

For still photos on the Internet of the redesigned bipod fitting, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/returntoflight

Video b-roll of the new bipod will air on NASA Television during the Video File segment starting at noon EDT today. Beginning July 24, NASA Television will be seen in the continental United States on AMC-6, at 72 degrees west longitude, Transponder 9, 3880 MHz, vertical polarization, audio at 6.8 MHz. If you live in Alaska or Hawaii, NASA TV will now be seen on AMC-7, at 137 degrees west longitude, Transponder 18, at 4060 MHz, vertical polarization, audio at 6.8 MHz.

For information about NASA TV, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

More information on NASA's human space flight programs is available at: http://www.nasa.gov


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Aeronautics And Space Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "NASA Approves New Design For Shuttle External Tank Fitting." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 July 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040727091306.htm>.
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. (2004, July 27). NASA Approves New Design For Shuttle External Tank Fitting. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040727091306.htm
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "NASA Approves New Design For Shuttle External Tank Fitting." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040727091306.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that NORAD is ready to track Santa Claus as he delivers gifts next week. Speaking tongue-in-cheek, he said if Santa drops anything off his sleigh, "we've got destroyers out there to pick them up." (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's Planet-Finding Kepler Mission Isn't Over After All

NASA's Planet-Finding Kepler Mission Isn't Over After All

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) More than a year after NASA declared the Kepler spacecraft broken beyond repair, scientists have figured out how to continue getting useful data. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 16, 2014) NASA's Mars Curiosity rover finds methane in the Martian atmosphere and organic chemicals in the planet's soil, the latest hint that Mars was once suitable for microbial life. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins