The Drama Continues For the Space Shuttle

The Astronauts understandably have some misgivings over the unprecedented repairs.

Ingenuity, Apollo 13 Style: Astronaut Will Try to Remove Fabric First With Hands, Then Forceps, Then Homemade Hacksaw – By Marcia Dunn The Associated Press

SPACE CENTER, Houston (AP) – Employing the kind of NASA ingenuity seen during Apollo 13, an astronaut prepped for an emergency repair job on Discovery’s exterior Wednesday with forceps, scissors and a hacksaw fashioned out of a blade and a little duct tape.

Stephen Robinson’s mission was to remove two short pieces of filler material that were sticking out of the shuttle’s belly. NASA feared the material could lead to a repeat of the 2003 Columbia tragedy during Discovery’s re-entry next week.

They have also heard from President Bush while awaiting the repair procedure.

Unprecedented Repair Awaits Astronauts– By Pam Easton

SPACE CENTER, Houston (AP) – Discovery’s astronauts took a call from President Bush on Tuesday as they prepared for a task that’s never before been attempted: sending a spacewalker beneath the shuttle to remove filler sticking out between the tiles on the ship’s belly.

“I want to thank you for being risk takers for the sake of exploration,” Bush told the spacefarers. “And I wish you Godspeed on your mission.”

The August 2nd Astronomy Picture of the Day provides the best picture I’ve seen of the underside, especially if you click on the APOD image for high res. Probably not a great idea with dial up.

And Slashdot today points to an article on shuttle replacement designs. (Willaim Broad – NYT)

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Rodney Dill
About Rodney Dill
Rodney is an IT Implementation Consultant in the Motor City and working within the Automotive Industry. He contributed to OTB from November 2004 until retiring in July 2017, hosting some 1200 OTB Caption Contests.


  1. Jim Henley says:

    I am proud to shoot thirty-year-old trucks into space so we can fix them there.