Saturday, August 18, 2007

From the Hammer

Hammer was woundering about this.

Why is insulating foam falling off and knocking holes in the space shuttle every time they launch despite the fact that we went 20 years with no foam problems whatsoever?

We always had foam problems, they replace tiles every trip. Most of them don't destroy a national treasure. Each is made for a particular site, at the shuttle facility. It takes three men to replace each tile. One to observe (quality control) one to read the procedure, and the last to do the work. The tiles are only about an inch thick (at least the ones I held), and are held on with GE red RTV.

Did you ever wonder where the huge fuel tank goes? It disintegrates as it reenters the atmosphere, and falls into the Indian Ocean in pieces the size of a desk top. I wonder how the locals feel about that.

1 comment:

Hammer said...

I didn't know that.

When the launches first started I read that the shuttle lost and or damaged several tiles during launch and reentry but I never heard of foam chunks falling until Columbia.

That is interesting about the main tank, I've seen the two smaller ones parachute down but always wondered where the main ended up.