August 15, 2011
Digital umbilical well images taken after Discovery separated from its external fuel tank following launch on July 26 were transmitted to the ground July 27. Initial analysis of the imagery shows a large piece of foam that separated from the tank during the Shuttle's ascent to orbit. The foam detached from an area of the tank called the Protuberance Air Load (PAL) Ramp. This debris also was identified during ascent from a live video camera mounted on the external tank. The television view indicated the debris did not impact Discovery. In this still image, the area of missing foam on the tank is indicated by a light spot centered just below the liquid oxygen feedline.
Topics: Human spaceflight, Spaceflight, Space exploration, Environment, STS-114, Space Shuttle external tank, Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, Space