Feeds

Shuttle gets permission to land

No fourth spacewalk

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

NASA has given the Shuttle Discovery the all-clear to land as scheduled on Monday next week, despite lingering safety concerns.

As well as the well-publicised falling foam and protruding gap-fillers, engineers have been worried that a torn section of thermal insulation blanket would need repairing before the Shuttle could make its way back to Earth. The concern was that the blanket could tear off during re-entry and collide with the Shuttle.

After plenty of wind-tunnel tests on the ground, the consensus among NASA personnel now is that the return flight will be as safe as possible, although shuttle deputy programme manager Wayne Hale offered no guarantees: the tunnel-tests revealed that tiny pieces of the insulating blanket could tear off during reentry, and that there was a 1.5 per cent chance that the whole section would come loose.

"I will not tell you that it is zero risk," he said in a Guardian report. "It is the lowest risk, the best choice and the unanimous decision of the engineers and the management team that we should re-enter as is." ®

Related stories

Spacewalker fixes Shuttle's belly
Space-walk no. 3 to fix Shuttle
SGI closes painful 2005 with a thud
Discovery docks with ISS

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.