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NASA planning to add sensors to shuttle wing
Posted: Fri, Dec 12, 2003, 11:26 AM ET (1626 GMT)
STS-107: launch (NASA/KSC) NASA is considering adding sensors to the leading edge of the space shuttle's wings to detect impacts that caused the kind of damage that led to the loss of the shuttle Columbia earlier this year. Shuttle return-to-flight officials said that the sensors, installed on the inside of the leading edge of the wings, would record any impacts with foam or other debris during launch. The sensors would not be able to determine whether the impacts caused damage, but would pinpoint the impact sites for inspection by boom-mounted cameras or spacewalking astronauts. The addition of the sensors would likely delay the shuttle's return to flight, now planned for September 2004, but other issues, such as the development of the camera boom as well as techniques for repairing damaged leading edge panels, could also delay the launch.
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