Feeds

NASA investigates falling debris

Sounds familiar

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

NASA is investigating the possibility that two pieces of debris fell from the Shuttle Discovery during its launch yesterday. The space agency says it also looks like the craft hit a bird in the very early stages of its journey to space.

One piece of debris appears to have affected a heatshield tile on the underside of the craft.

Video footage of the launch shows what looks like a tile falling away from the Shuttle. A white patch was left behind when the object fell away, but mission controllers say it could be damage to the black covering, and that the heatshield itself could still be intact.

Discovery is the first Shuttle to fly since the loss of the Columbia in March 2003. Falling debris is thought to have damaged Columbia on lift-off, ultimately leading to its breakup as it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere. All crew on board were lost.

Thanks to safety modifications made to the Shuttle since the disaster, the crew will now be able to inspect the exterior of the Shuttle using a battery of sensors on the end of a 50ft-long robotic arm. The inspection will take place over the course of several hours on flight day three, NASA said. ®

Related stories

Shuttle actually lifts off
Shuttle: no launch this week, engineers still baffled
Shuttle grounded

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!
Spanish launch goes titsup, we're off to the US of A
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
TRANSMUTATION claims US LENR company
Ten points of stuff out of a five pound bag
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
BAT-GOBBLING urban SPIDER QUEENS swell to ENORMOUS SIZE
But they'd lose a deathmatch against the coming Humvee-sized, armoured Arctic ones
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?