Feeds

NASA: no fix needed for shuttle

Come back as you are

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Brief After a week of hmm-ing and haa-ing, NASA has elected not to repair the hole in the Shuttle Endeavour before it returns to Earth.

Mission chief John Shannon said the decision had not been unanimous, but had been "pretty overwhelming", according to the Houston Chronicle.

Mission controllers were worried that the three and a half inch gash in the thermal tiles on the underside of the craft could expose the shuttle to serious damage during the firestorm of re-entry. Extensive testing since the hole was spotted has shown that the structure will hold up, NASA says.

In 2003, a weakness in the thermal protection on Columbia led to the shuttle breaking up in the atmosphere, with the loss of all seven astronauts on board.

NASA says it was never worried that the damage to Endeavour was likely to lead to a similar catastrophe.

Instead, the problem was the the aluminium frame might be damaged by the heat, and would need extensive and expensive repairs once it arrived back on Earth.

Mission controllers told the crew, commanded by Scott Kelly, that there would be no need for an additional spacewalk, adding: "It's great we finally have a decision and we can press forward." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ex-Soviet engines fingered after Antares ROCKET launch BLAST
Speculation rife, but Orbital claims it's too early to tell
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
NASA: Spacecraft crash site FOUND ON MOON RIM
'What fun!' exlaims NASA boffin who found the LADEE
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
OK Google, do I have CANCER?
Company talks up pill that would spot developing tumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.