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Hail Damage Inspection Underwa



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C 31468

    Hail Damage Inspection Underway

Technicians secure protective material around external tank. Image 
above: On an upper level of high bay 1 of the Vehicle Assembly Building, 
technicians move protective material toward the nose cone of Atlantis' 
external tank. + View High-res Image
+ View Hail Damage to External Tank

Image above: On an upper level of high bay 1 of the Vehicle Assembly 
Building, technicians move protective material toward the nose cone of 
Atlantis' external tank. + View High-res Image 
<http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/170421main_cover.jpg>
+ View Hail Damage to External Tank 
<http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/multimedia/117_gallery-hail.html> 




03.08.07
Space Shuttle Atlantis was rolled back to the Vehicle Assembly Building 
from Launch Pad 39A due to hail damage to the tank during a severe 
thunderstorm that happened on Feb. 26.

Further evaluation of the tank is necessary to get an accurate 
accounting of foam damage and determine the type of repair required and 
the time needed for that work.

The hail caused approximately 1,000 to 2,000 divots in the giant tank's 
foam insulation and minor surface damage to about 26 heat shield tiles 
on the orbiter's left wing.

A new target launch date has not been determined, but teams will focus 
on preparing Atlantis for liftoff in late April.

Mission STS-117 to the International Space Station will be scheduled 
sometime after a Russian Soyuz spacecraft returns from the station. The 
Soyuz is delivering new station crew members and returning others to 
Earth in late April. Adequate time is needed between the Soyuz undocking 
and the shuttle's arrival to the station.

During the 11-day mission, the six-member crew will install a new truss 
segment, retract a set of solar arrays and unfold a new set on the 
starboard side of the station. Lessons learned from two previous 
missions will provide the astronauts with new techniques and tools to 
perform their duties.

Atlantis Commander Rick Sturckow, Pilot Lee Archambault and Mission 
Specialists Jim Reilly, Patrick Forrester, Steven Swanson and John 
"Danny" Olivas will continue training at NASA's Johnson Space Center in 
Houston as they await a new target launch date.

The STS-117 flight crew will return to Kennedy Space Center a few days 
before launch.

*STS-117 Mission*
+ The Crew 
<http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts117/index.html> 

+ The Mission 
<http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts117/mission_overview.html> 

+ The Integrated Truss Structure 
<http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/its.html>

----
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