Science and Technology News

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Technicians Disconnect GUCP Ordnance Today

Technicians will disconnect ordnance today as they take steps to remove the quick disconnect from the ground umbilical carrier plate, or GUCP, on Discovery's external tank. Teams will record measurements during the work so engineering analysis can be performed after the GUCP has been removed. Managers will assess repair options after the GUCP is inspected. The work is taking place as the shuttle stands on Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Teams will continue analysis and inspection of the approximately 20-inch-long crack in the external tank foam. Teams are planning to use terahertz or backscatter scans to see beneath the foam to look for any other potential issues. Technicians could begin dissecting the cracked section as early as Wednesday so foam experts can make a thorough evaluation in order to help determine the cause of the crack. Teams still are working out plans to reapply foam to the external tank after inspections are complete.‪‪

Shuttle managers continue evaluating the data to determine the best repair methods and next launch opportunity for Discovery’s STS-133 mission to the International Space Station.

The STS-133 crew is involved in administrative work today before Commander Steve Lindsey and Pilot Eric Boe fly back to Kennedy for a training run in shuttle training aircraft.

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