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NASA looked closely at foam covering fuel tank

NASA's space shuttles are making their final treks into space to ferry gear and personnel to the ISS before the fleet is set to be retired. NASA is set to send another shuttle mission to the ISS barely a month after the last mission left.

Aboard the shuttle will be the treadmill named after comedian Stephen Colbert. Colbert urged viewers of his Comedy Central program to vote to name an ISS module after him. The viewers listened and the name with the most votes was Stephen Colbert. NASA opted to call the module "Tranquility" and instead named a treadmill COLBERT (Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill).

InformationWeek reports that the shuttle crew arrived at Kennedy Space Center Wednesday to do final prelaunch preparations. The Discovery will be carrying the Leonardo supply module to the ISS, which is fitted with equipment racks the size of refrigerators.

Mission commander Rick Sturckow said, "It's great to be here for the launch. We've been studying and training hard, and we're ready to go accomplish this mission."

Much of the preflight review centered on the foam encasing the Discovery's fuel tank. Sections of the foam broke off the fuel take during the launch of Endeavour last month. Foam breaking from the fuel tank is a big concern after the catastrophic failure of Columbia in 2003 after a chunk of foam hit the shuttles wing on liftoff.

NASA is looking very closely at the foam on the fuel tank since pieces have fallen off in the last two shuttle launches. One area of concern for the foam is in the section where the foam covers fuel lines. Ultimately, after concern and testing the fuel tank was unanimously certified as ready for flight.

Shuttle program manager John Shannon told the AP, "That's how close we're looking. That's how sensitive we are to foam loss. I feel extremely good about the results of the meeting. I think we have done absolute due diligence on the foam piece of it."



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Too bad
By FITCamaro on 8/20/09, Rating: 0
RE: Too bad
By Motoman on 8/20/2009 12:28:47 PM , Rating: 5
I disagree. He's funny as hell, and I love the way he mocks politics and political journalism in general.


RE: Too bad
By invidious on 8/20/09, Rating: 0
RE: Too bad
By Motoman on 8/20/2009 3:01:02 PM , Rating: 1
...I guess that's true, in as much as he hade to "pick a side" to pretend to be - clearly he picked to be a "conservative" for his persona.

To me, though, watching the show what I get from it is just how utterly ridiculous politics and punditry is across the board - liberal or conservative. Makes me laugh at the very institution.


RE: Too bad
By Indianapolis on 8/24/2009 9:38:58 AM , Rating: 3
It's called satire. He's pretending to be an ultra-conservative in order to mock conservatism. Although I have often suspected that this approach may backfire, as many of the mindless viewers will just take what he says at face value.


RE: Too bad
By Mojo the Monkey on 8/20/2009 12:36:29 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, I guess he's not as funny as that other news parody, Fox News.


RE: Too bad
By Motoman on 8/20/2009 10:33:54 PM , Rating: 1
<pets monkey on the head.

Good monkey!

<LOLz>


RE: Too bad
By Pythias on 8/26/2009 2:28:21 PM , Rating: 2
I would say that any "news" organization that has bias in any direction is untrustworthy.

But the bottom line is people believe what they want to.

You believe Fox is untrustworthy because they deliver news you don't want to hear.

But because the other "news site" cater to YOU ideology, then they are "right and true".

We're all hipocrits.


RE: Too bad
By SiliconJon on 8/20/2009 12:44:16 PM , Rating: 5
He does a fantastic job of mocking the most idiotic of the "right wing". Great wit, and of course someone who mocks said extreme wingnuts is going to not be one of them, which requires at least some travel in the liberal direction, regardless of the accuracy of the usage of the term.


RE: Too bad
By SiliconJon on 8/20/2009 12:45:33 PM , Rating: 2
LOL, is there an insta-gib in the comments section here at DT? My remark was instantly rated down a notch. Keywords?


RE: Too bad
By Mojo the Monkey on 8/20/2009 12:48:12 PM , Rating: 2
No, it happens when you comment on a -1 posting. It happened to me too. (he was rated down twice in the time it take to type and post my one sentence! ha)


RE: Too bad
By Motoman on 8/20/2009 12:50:22 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah...you get an automatic loss of a point for replying to a -1 comment. The intent being not feeding trolls.

...FIT isn't a troll, but he clearly just got run over by the Colbert bandwagon ;)


RE: Too bad
By omnicronx on 8/20/2009 1:15:55 PM , Rating: 5
Of course hes a troll, concerning anything/anyone that does not align with his right wing opinion.

That being said, work days would not be very interesting without him ;)


RE: Too bad
By FITCamaro on 8/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: Too bad
By sprockkets on 8/20/2009 3:34:40 PM , Rating: 5
You are a lamer. Try watching the daily show more often when he makes fun of democrats for not having a backbone and changing their stance on what they believe, or how he showed Obama was not being open and transparent like he promised, and regularly has McCain, Bill O'Reily, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee and other conservatives on his show.

For that matter, TDS spends more time making fun of how ALL 24 news networks report news in general, and not so much the news itself, and this week he spends so much on Fox because they leave themselves open for their obvious hypocrisy.


RE: Too bad
By ClownPuncher on 8/20/2009 7:37:58 PM , Rating: 3
You should definitely temper your views of other political parties and viewpoints based on jokes written by people looking to get some laughs.

Why did you even go to this club full of "drunk sluts, liberals, and other "artsy" people"? That would be analogous with Richard Simmons offering aerobics classes at a Mississippi truck stop. Doesn't sound like you had a good time at all. Relax, maybe if we don't prejudge people to be idiots and scum, we might all enjoy life more.


RE: Too bad
By FITCamaro on 8/21/2009 7:49:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why did you even go to this club full of "drunk sluts, liberals, and other "artsy" people"?


Because its typically very funny. This is SC after all. The comedy routines are typically improv standup. Yeah there's sometimes a few pot shots but overall its funny. Just because the audience might not agree with me doesn't mean I can't laugh.


RE: Too bad
By messyunkempt on 8/21/2009 8:53:35 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

Why did you even go to this club full of "drunk sluts, liberals, and other "artsy" people"?


To get laid. No? Just me?


RE: Too bad
By Yawgm0th on 8/20/2009 1:54:16 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
He desires to be Steve Carell.
In a way, sure. Steve Carell does satire of a moronic boss, while Colbert does satire of moronic news. It's an apt enough comparison.


RE: Too bad
By FITCamaro on 8/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: Too bad
By VaultDweller on 8/21/2009 8:43:38 AM , Rating: 2
I liked The 40 Year Old Virgin. It made me believe that I like Steve Carrell. Unfortunately, I've yet to see him in anything else that wasn't a waste of film.


RE: Too bad
By rdeegvainl on 8/21/2009 9:08:00 AM , Rating: 2
You mean kinda like the guy on the klondike bar commercial.


But what about..
By manofhorn on 8/20/2009 12:28:30 PM , Rating: 5
What is the foam for?

and why the hell is there a link to a Bing search for Refrigerators in the article? i really dont understand. as if, whilst reading an article about replacing equipment on the ISS, i suddenly had an intense urge to shop for refrigerators... thanks, dt. always looking out for me.




RE: But what about..
By Yames on 8/20/2009 12:54:39 PM , Rating: 2
The foam is insulation for the liquid hydrogen. We would not want large sheets of ice building up on the tank and making the craft even heavier then falling off and hitting shuttle at take-off.


RE: But what about..
By Iaiken on 8/20/2009 1:10:48 PM , Rating: 3
The foam is used as an insulator for the cryogenic fuel tank to minimize the boil-off that occurs as the fuel warms. The thermal processes from fueling, prep and launch are incredibly different and complex. After fueling, the temperature differential between the inner and outer surfaces of the foam can be in excess of 180 Celsius degrees.

Recent examination of the thermal stresses between the bonded surface of the foam and the outer layer have demonstrated how incredibly delicate the foam is. Vibrations from take off combined with differing rates of thermal expansion as the fuel is expended causes the tank to shed portions of the insulation during flight. Most of these simply score the TPS and bounce off, but some pieces have caused significant damage. Tests have since demonstrated that foam impacts pose a definite threat to the safety of the shuttle, particularly the tiles that form the leading edge of the wing.

http://research.jsc.nasa.gov/PDF/Eng-20.pdf


RE: But what about..
By ClownPuncher on 8/20/2009 2:07:42 PM , Rating: 2
Regarding the refrigerator ad; welcome to the internet.


RE: But what about..
By futrtrubl on 8/20/2009 2:28:18 PM , Rating: 2
I find it ironic that you'd get highly relevant Bing "decision engine" results on a highly irrelevant search...


RE: But what about..
By ClownPuncher on 8/20/2009 2:37:56 PM , Rating: 3
Not me, when I read articles on DT, I often think "Man, I need a beer". Beer stays cold in a refrigerator, reminding me that I need to buy a new one...yes?


Colbert = Funny
By omgwtf8888 on 8/21/2009 12:03:17 PM , Rating: 2
Colbert has some pretty original funny stuff. Funny being the key word here, I really don't care if he makes fun of republicrats or democrans i just wanna be entertertained. Jon Stewart lost me during the elections when he turned into what i felt was this very angry person. He really seemed like he hated bush and cheney and it really killed his humor. We need a Jon Stewart recovery package...




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