Structural Crack Found on Shuttle Tank

The chances of space shuttle Discovery launching on the STS-133 mission in 2010 could be in jeopardy. Cracked foam on the shuttle’s external tank was removed early Wednesday morning and underneath engineers found a structural crack on the tank itself. The serpentine crack is about 22 cm (9 inches) long and is located on a structural rib or “stringer.” Cracks like this have appeared on other tanks and were fixed at the production facility in New Orleans. But this type of repair has never been attempted at the launch pad.
Continue reading “Structural Crack Found on Shuttle Tank”

External Tank for Final Scheduled Shuttle Mission Arrives at KSC (Gallery)

[/caption]

Universe Today photographer Alan Walters was on hand at Kennedy Space Center today to see the arrival of ET-138, the external tank for the final scheduled space shuttle mission, STS-134. Enjoy this gallery of images, (because it is something that might only happen one more time…). There was also a surprise drive-by of some segments of used shuttle solid rocket boosters.

Arrival of ET-138 at KSC. Credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today
Arrival of ET-138 at KSC. Credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today
Arrival of ET-138 at KSC. Credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today
Arrival of ET-138 at KSC. Credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today
Arrival of ET-138 at KSC. Credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today
Closeup of ET-138 at KSC. Credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today
Arrival of ET-138 at KSC. Credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today
Arrival of ET-138 at KSC. Credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today
Used SRB sections drive past while ET-138 is being unloaded at KSC. Credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today
Used SRB sections drive past while ET-138 is being unloaded at KSC. Credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today
Kennedy's External Tank/Solid Rocket Booster Vehicle Manager Alicia Mendoza is interviewed at KSC on July 14, 2010. Credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today
Closeup of the nose of ET-138. Credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today
ET-138 arrives at the Vehicle Assembly Building at KSC. Credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today