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Latest Space Shuttle Columbia disaster Stories

2006-06-07 17:25:00

By Irene Klotz HOUSTON (Reuters) - NASA approved a major design change in the space shuttle's fuel tank on Wednesday, clearing the last major hurdle before shuttle flights can resume as early as July 1, officials said. "There were no surprises. Everything went smoothly," NASA spokeswoman June Malone said after managers and engineers approved the new tank design at a meeting at NASA's fuel tank manufacturing plant near New Orleans. Officials will choose a firm launch date for Discovery at the...

2006-05-31 17:10:00

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- U.S. space shuttle Discovery on Wednesday passed a critical technical review to determine if modifications made to its fuel tank would significantly reduce the chances of a Columbia-like disaster. The shuttle is on the launch pad being prepared for a July 1 liftoff to the International Space Station. Two more flight reviews are pending before Discovery is cleared for launch on its second flight since the February 2003 Columbia disaster. During two...

2006-05-04 18:25:00

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - NASA managers decided on Thursday to skip a launch pad test of the shuttle Discovery's redesigned fuel tank because of the risk the test itself could damage the tank. "At the end of the presentations, it was a fairly straight-forward decision not to perform a tanking test," said NASA spokesman Kyle Herring, with the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The test would have entailed filling the shuttle's fuel tank with cryogenic propellants and...

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2006-04-28 17:15:00

By Deborah Zabarenko WASHINGTON -- Making money on the moon is an essential part of the U.S. plan for space exploration, NASA officials said on Friday after a four-day strategy workshop with international space officials and scientists. Billed as the first meeting to determine what explorers would do if they return to the lunar surface after more than three decades, the gathering drew some 180 participants from more than a dozen countries, including China, Russia, Japan and the nations of the...

2006-03-30 00:00:00

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- NASA is investigating another mishap at the Kennedy Space Center, this time an accident involving the remodeled fuel tank to be used for the next shuttle mission, the agency said on Wednesday. Technicians were replacing a vent valve near the top of the 154-foot (47-meter) tall tank on Tuesday when a Halogen work lamp fell and hit the tank's foam insulation. Preliminary inspections show the impact left five small indentations, with the largest about...

2006-03-14 16:44:47

By Irene Klotz HOUSTON (Reuters) - NASA on Tuesday delayed its next space shuttle mission until July at the earliest after engineers at the U.S. space agency found a possible manufacturing fault that could cause fuel level sensors to malfunction. Shuttle program manager Wayne Hale said replacing the sensors meant NASA would not be able to make its original launch window scheduled from May 10. The delay in getting the shuttle fleet back into the air after it was grounded again last...

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2006-03-14 16:45:00

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA on Tuesday pushed back the launch of space shuttle Discovery from May until at least July because of a faulty fuel tank sensor. A similar problem briefly delayed last summer's launch of Discovery on the first shuttle flight since the Columbia disaster in 2003. NASA said it needs the time to open up the spacecraft's hydrogen fuel tank and replace the sensor, which gave an electrical current reading that was slightly off. The space agency plans to replace the three...

2006-02-28 17:10:00

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - The imminent arrival of a remodeled fuel tank for NASA's second shuttle launch since the 2003 Columbia disaster has bolstered hopes that shuttle flights will be able to resume in May, space agency managers said on Tuesday. The tank, extensively redesigned since falling insulation foam led to Columbia's destruction and further remodeled since July's flawed mission by the shuttle Discovery, was due to arrive at the Kennedy Space Center on...

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2006-02-17 12:35:00

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- The crew chosen to fly the space shuttle on NASA's second mission since the 2003 Columbia disaster said on Friday they are confident that changes to the fuel tank will result in a safe, but not debris-free, liftoff. The modifications were ordered after shuttle Discovery's fuel tank shed large pieces of its insulating foam during launch in July 2005 on the first mission since the accident, which also was caused by falling foam debris. "The (shuttle)...

2006-02-03 01:46:05

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal watchdog agency is investigating multiple complaints against NASA Inspector General Robert Cobb, including accusations he failed to investigate safety violations and retaliated against whistle-blowers, The Washington Post reported on Thursday. Most of the complaints were filed by current and former employees of his own office, the newspaper reported. Written complaints and supporting documents from at least 16 people allege Cobb suppressed...


Word of the Day
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'