Feeds

NASA investigates falling debris

Sounds familiar

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

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

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
'Utter killjoy Reg hacks have NEVER BEEN LAID', writes a fan
'Shuddit, smarty pants!' Some readers reacted badly to our last Doctor Who review ...
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.