Atlantis Space Shuttle may never fly again after knob found between the window and dashboard

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Atlantis Space Shuttle may never fly again after knob found between the window and dashboard

The Space Shuttle expands when on orbit. While on orbit, a knob got stuck between the window and the frame on Window 5 (Pilot window). They have tried a number of tricks to remove it with no joy so far, and they can't saw it out as the vibrations may crack the window.

They may be unable to repair the shuttle on site, and ferrying Atlantis to Palmdale is obviously no longer an option - after the Orbiter Major Modification (OMM) facility at Plant 42 was shut down over six years ago.

Meetings have been taking place on Wednesday into evaluating damage to the pressure pane on Atlantis’ number 5 window, after a work light knob was observed to be embedded between the pane and the dashboard panel.

The damage can only be fully assessed once the knob is removed, with the threat of a six month schedule impact to STS-129 noted, should the damage prove to be unacceptable for flight.

Those estimates speak of up to and over six months being added to the processing flow of Atlantis, which would have a major impact to the overall manifest that already has a full five flight schedule in 2010.

Knob wedged between pressure W5 and dashboard could have caused damage to pane and its currently loading the pane at two points. Removal of knob is required to evaluate condition of pane for flight,” added one presentation.

“‘Fly as is’ is not an option, unknown damage and loads to the glass could result in failure during the flight, with no redundancy; dynamic failure could result in redundant pane failure.

“Consequences of unacceptable damage to the glass pane: Replacing the pressure pane would result in a significant impact to ground schedule (potential 6+ month impact). Requires de-configuring dashboard structure and instrumentation to remove window assembly for refurbishment. Windshield pressure pane removal has never been performed at KSC.

 http://www.nasaspaceflight....

More comments on this problem here
 http://www.reddit.com/r/sci...

atlantis-knob-stuck.jpg - 12.99kb
By netchicken: posted on 26-6-2009

It sure has been all down-hill for NASA ever since the Apollo missions. I mean come on a stuck knob?! They sure need some help over there.
Just spray on some WD-40 and that should pop right out. LOL
By mg.mikael: posted on 27-6-2009








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