[meteorite-list] Space Shuttle's Left Wing May Have Been Hit

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007 08:36:23 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <200706131536.IAA07471_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Atlantis' Wing May Have Been Hit
By Tara Powers
Long Island Press
June 12, 2007

NASA officials were alerted Tuesday to the possibility of a hit on
the leading edge of the space shuttle Atlantis' left wing, in the
same spot that resulted in devastating damage to the Columbia space
shuttle in 2003.

Officials stressed that there was probably no damage to the shuttle,
although an inspection of the affected spot will be conducted to
verify this. The sensors, which are located in two of the panels
designed to prevent the spacecraft from overheating during re-entry
into the atmosphere, were improved upon after seven astronauts
perished in the loss of the Columbia shuttle.

Impact from a small meteorite or a piece of debris may have caused the
hit to register, even if no significant damage was sustained. A
spacewalk is scheduled for Wednesday, during which astronauts could
examine the wing more thoroughly if need be.

Atlantis is currently orbiting the international space station,
allowing astronauts to install new solar panels on the station and
fix a thermal blanket on the shuttle's tail that peeled back during
launch, leaving a gap that could potentially be a th
reat during re-entry.

Representatives from NASA's Newsroom and Public Inquiries offices were
unavailable for comment.
Received on Wed 13 Jun 2007 11:36:23 AM PDT

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