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MazzaDesign
(CNN) -- NASA engineers have determined that Discovery can safely return to Earth and that the space shuttle's thermal tiles don't pose a safety hazard, deputy shuttle manager Wayne Hale said Saturday night.

Discovery's tiles received two dozen dings during launch.

NASA managers have also decided to extend the mission by an extra day -- to August 8 -- so astronauts can do more work, Hale said.

He said the decision came after determining there were sufficient "consumables" like food to keep the astronauts aloft. The extra time will allow astronauts to transfer more supplies to the international space station and help with station maintenance.

The shuttle docked Thursday.

Space station managers also noted that an extension could compensate for possible delays caused by NASA's decision Wednesday to suspend future shuttle flights.

NASA decided to ground the fleet until engineers figure out why at least four pieces of foam fell from Discovery's external fuel tank during la
damj
Not only the shuttle, but look at the recent attempts to land rovers on Mars ... it's safe to say that NASA has soe issues lately ...
KungFuChris
However, at least their comet collision went pretty swimmingly... to the point where they're planning on sending the observer probe on another mission I believe.
orno
another few hundreds of millions of dollars literally blown up Laughing
damj
Now the comet collision one has me nervous ... given NASA's recent track record, I'm afraid that they affected the momentum of the comet and sent it careening straight towards the Earth ..... Shocked
MazzaDesign
nasa = now a second attempt
boringest
I'm studying aerospace engineering so this is an issue which is very difficult. The design of the space shuttle is very difficult - in fact the current shape of the shuttle is considered very good which is why the Russians copied it for their failed shuttle program (Buran).

However, the tiles which are actually ceramic tiles + some composite material is a very difficult thing to make & test. Also, since the shuttle can reach speeds of 28,000km/h the aerodynamics belong to the hypersonic region which is a field we do not know a lot about. But basically, speed has a correlation with heat induced on the skin of the shuttle due to friction.

Furthermore, to exit Earth's atmosphere and reentry would require the shuttle to withstand extremely high temperatures 3000F (~1649 deg C). Name me a material which can withstand this heat alone!

Anyway, to read more and learn abit more about the incident, this website gives you a good read:

http://www.columbiassacrifice.com/
mohamed
The same fault has occur. Its quite fortunate that the same disaster wan't repeated.
Donutey
boringest wrote:
I'm studying aerospace engineering so this is an issue which is very difficult. The design of the space shuttle is very difficult - in fact the current shape of the shuttle is considered very good which is why the Russians copied it for their failed shuttle program (Buran).

However, the tiles which are actually ceramic tiles + some composite material is a very difficult thing to make & test. Also, since the shuttle can reach speeds of 28,000km/h the aerodynamics belong to the hypersonic region which is a field we do not know a lot about. But basically, speed has a correlation with heat induced on the skin of the shuttle due to friction.:

http://www.columbiassacrifice.com/


Those tiles are amazing, a while ago a i had a teach who got a damaged tile from nasa... had a blowtorch on one side, and his hand on the other... crazy...
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