Monday, 13 December 2010

89 Instruments used for tank test on Discovery

IMAGE: Technicians prepare space shuttle Discovery's external fuel tank for a tanking test on launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center. Teams have installed environmental enclosures on the tank, removed foam and prepared the tank's skin for approximately 89 strain gauges and thermocouples. Credit: NASA/Frank Michaux

Shuttle Discovery's tanking test will occur no earlier than Friday as cold weather and strong wind have slowed preparations.

Workers at launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center continue to instrument the tank with temperature sensors, after work through the weekend finished attaching strain gauges.

In total, nearly 90 instruments are being placed on the tank's mid-section. Fresh insulating foam will be applied over those areas.

The sensors won't bond properly to the tank's metal skin in cold weather. Specially constructed environmental enclosures and thermal blankets are being used to control temperatures. 

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