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STS-117-NASA Managers Assess Shuttle Repair Work


*NASA Managers Assess Shuttle Repair Work*

  Image above: Atlantis sits inside the Vehicle Assembly Building, while 
repair work continues on the external tank. Photo credit: NASA/Jack 
Pfaller + View High-res Image 
+ View Hail Damage to External Tank 


03.21.07 - 8:30 p.m. EDT*
During a media teleconference Wednesday, March 21, NASA officials 
discussed the status of repair work to Space Shuttle Atlantis' external 
fuel tank, which was damaged during a Feb. 26 hail storm at NASA's 
Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The teleconference followed a meeting to 
assess the ongoing work. Managers decided that more testing and analysis 
are needed to determine whether the tank will be used for the upcoming 
STS-117 flight or whether the tank will be replaced. On April 10, the 
teams expect to have the necessary data to make that decision and to 
establish a potential target launch date.

All the hail damage spots on the tank have been mapped out. Repair work 
has been completed on the bottom portion of the tank, the liquid 
hydrogen section. The damage on the middle part of the tank, or 
innertank, was superficial and will require little or no repair. There 
are 2,500 dings, mostly in the top of the tank, that will be reviewed to 
determine what type of repair technique may be required.

During the STS-117's 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.

*STS-117 Mission*
+ The Crew 

+ The Mission 

+ The Integrated Truss Structure 
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