By July 5, 2006

Preparing Canada Arm

On the first full day of Mission STS-121 the crew of Discovery are preparing to examine the vehicle heat shield for damage. The examinations are designed to show up any damage sustained during the eight-and-a-half-minute climb to space.

A 15-metre boom was added to the shuttle’s robotic arm after the Columbia disaster. The extension allows cameras to inspect the heat shield underneath the orbiter for any damage from falling foam or ice during launch.

But if they saw some damage, the only way to reach some of these areas to repair them would be to put an astronaut on the end of the boom. This has not been formally tested, although an astronaut did ride on the end of the extension on the last mission.


Image credit: NASA/KSC

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More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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