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September 12, 2011
JSC2007-E-28584 (13 June 2007) --- In the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility at the Johnson Space Center, an astronaut (out of frame) rehearses the planned "fix" on an exposed area on the thermal protection system on Atlantis' aft. The STS-117 Mission Management Team (MMT) has decided the best course of action to take in regard to the uplifted thermal blanket on the post side Orbital Maneuvering System Pod was to add the repair task on EVA 3 with astronauts Jim Reilly and John (Danny) Olivas. In the words of John Shannon, chairman of the MMT, during a June 13 mission status briefing: "The repair method chosen is when the astronaut gets out there on the RMS is this--he'll pat down the blanket using his hands or a scraper tool. These blankets are very formable -- they will take the shape you put them in and pretty much stay there." Shannon continued, "The next step is to put a double row of staples in -- these are not your average office supply staples. As the staple goes in, it has hooks that go into the surface and provide a very tight bond. It's stainless steel, which holds its shape and provides heat resistance. Then we'll use a nickel chromium pin to attach the blanket to the tile -- they're very good at going into tile." Finally, Shannon added "They'll take a dental probe tool to score the tile then push the pin into the scored area. With that tool and that pin, we think we'll be able to secure the front of the blanket to the tile and make sure no air flow gets in."