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Hale: shuttle foam loss may be caused by worker damage
Posted: Wed, Oct 5, 2005, 8:33 AM ET (1233 GMT)
STS-114: launch (NASA) NASA shuttle program manager Wayne Hale said Tuesday that workers may have inadvertently damaged foam on the exterior tank, causing a chunk of it to fall off during July's launch of Discovery. An in AP interview, Hale said workers may have cut or crushed foam while performing modifications to the tank prior to launch. That could have weakened the foam enough to allow it to come off during flight, although Hale said engineers are still investigating that and other possibilities, such as "normal thermal stresses", to explain the foam loss. Hale said that the recent hurricanes caused NASA to lose up to three months of work on the shuttle program, but was optimistic that the shuttle would return to flight in the spring, most likely May.
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