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06.13.05

Audio files with interviews about the Mold Impression Laser Tool (MILT)

Links to broadcast quality audio files and transcripts, May 2005 interview with Joseph P. Lavelle, a senior research engineer, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., about the Mold Impression Laser Tool (MILT) (Designed to aid workers in evaluating damage to the Space Shuttle's thermal protection tiles.)


All questions below are linked to broadcast quality and other on-line audio files

1. Q: What sort of a scanner did you and your team design for examining the Space Shuttle's thermal protection system or 'heat shielding?' (20 SECONDS)

2. Q: Why does the Space Shuttle have tiles on its outside surface? (15 SECONDS)

3. Q: Roughly, how many thermal protection tiles does the Shuttle have, and does the ship also have other thermal protection materials? (20 SECONDS)

4. Q: How will the scanner be used? (48 SECONDS)

5. Q: If you are going to be holding the scanner for two seconds, do you have to be really still during the scan? (23 SECONDS)

6. Q: Could you compare the MILT Shuttle tile scanner to other common hand tools? (26 SECONDS)

7. Q: How does the data show up after a tile scan? (26 SECONDS)

8. Q: Is there any way an astronaut crew in space could use this tile-scanning instrument? (46 SECONDS)

9. Q: Besides tiles, the Shuttle has a reinforced carbon-carbon material covering certain areas to serve as thermal protection material. Can the laser scanner inspect that material as well? (17 SECONDS)

10. Q: How does the scanner work? (28 SECONDS)

11. Q: When you see the output of a scan on a computer screen, what does the image look like? (28 SECONDS)

12. Q: What are the advantages of using this instrument to look at defects in Shuttle tiles? (59 SECONDS)

13. Q: What happens when a technician finds a damaged tile on the Shuttle? (54 SECONDS)

14. Q: Is it standard procedure to use the 3D Shuttle tile scanner? (35 SECONDS)

15. Q: Are there any other potential uses of the 3D scanner besides for the Space Shuttle's tiles? (58 SECONDS)
16. Q: Are there plans to place the scanner on an upcoming mission, or is it still under development? (23 SECONDS)
17. Q: How small of a crack could the MILT 3D scanner look at? (13 SECONDS)
18. Q: Anything else you'd like to add? (8 SECONDS)