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Re: how to fix the shuttle fuel tank

It looks like the NET idea has finally made it to
here is a copy of one the responses.
I get a kick out of the "Several years to certify".

This is kinda like, when IBM was asked how long
it would take to make the PC, they responded,
"It takes us a year just to designe the box"

Lets hire Dick Rutan.

>From the nasa web page.
Why doesn't NASA apply paint, a cover, or net over the

One might remember that we painted the first couple of
External Tanks with white paint in the early 1980's.
In both cases, we had a significant amount of foam
loss during ascent. Although at face value applying a
net or some other foam entrapping method to the
External Tank sounds easy, it is not without concern.
After careful examination of this approach, NASA's
conclusion is that portions of the net could become in
itself an undesirable debris source. Depending on the
material used (Kevlar, aluminum, etc.), the density of
the netting material would present a more critical
debris source than foam to the Orbiter Thermal
Protection System. Through a rigid certification
process, we would also have to understand if and when
the netting material could come off and in what
quantities or mass that the netting material could
present. Our assessment is that the process of
certifying a netting material for flight would take
several years and would not be available until late in
the Space Shuttle Program life. NASA's goal remains to
eliminate the potential for critical debris from all
sources, including the External Tank foam. 

--- MM <ka1rrw@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Quote from nasa:
> Bill Gerstenmaier, the senior NASA official leading
> the
> investigation into Discovery's foam loss incidents,
> said Thursday that engineers so far have found no
> solutions to the problem.
> Suggestion from the crowd
> Just wrap a big dacron mesh stocking around the tank
> and sew it tight.  Half inch mesh should work.
> And if you want to test it, just wrap the mesh on
> an SR-71 and take it to Mach 3 to see if it stays
> on.
> Miles
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