August 6, 2011
Technicians at the Johnson Space Center in Houston team up to assemble a test article to simulate the inboard leading edge of a Space Shuttle wing as part of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board's testing. The test article was shipped to the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, where tests will be conducted. The test article can accommodate both fiberglass panels to simulate the shuttle wing and actual reinforced carbon-carbon panels that are used on the shuttle. The San Antonio tests are being conducted to gauge the effects of an impact by insulating foam like that used on the Space Shuttle external fuel tank on the wing panels. Foam that came loose from the external tank impacted the wing of Columbia during its ascent.
Topics: Disaster Accident, Environment, Space accidents and incidents, Manned spacecraft, Space Shuttle program, Space Shuttle Enterprise, Space Shuttle, Space Shuttle Columbia, Reinforced carbon-carbon, Columbia Accident Investigation Board, Space Shuttle external tank, Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, United States, Human spaceflight