It’s good news that the Shuttle is likely to carry out three missions this year, I’m a big fan of the shuttle programme.
I have one question that perhaps someone can clear up for me:
Is the problem with the insulation foam breaking off the external tank a new one?
Over the years I have followed the Shuttle missions even when the media deemed space flight routine but its only recently that I heard about the foam problem. I know the ET used to be painted but this was stopped fairly early on as the paint added to the weight. Did the paint add some strength?
I think I heard somewhere that they had to change what the foam was made of. Anyone able to confirm this and why?