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Space Shuttle Discovery: ET Foam
07.03.06
 
External Tank Image A piece of insulation separated from a strut that attaches the liquid oxygen feedline to External Tank-119, being used to launch space shuttle mission STS-121. This piece of foam, weighing approximately 0.0057 pounds, is three inches long and one-eighth to one-quarter inch wide and was recovered by the Ice Team from the mobile launch platform. It is believed that the rain experienced during yesterday’s launch attempt of Discovery caused water to run down the feedline and form ice near the top of the strut next to the feedline bracket. As the tank warmed and expanded, the ice that formed most likely pinched the foam on the top of the strut, causing a crack and eventual loss of the small piece of foam. Photo credit: NASA
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External Tank foam image
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Area of foam separated from strut.
Photo credit: NASA






View of external tank and foam + View Small Image
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External tank view of crack before foam separation.
Photo credit: NASA


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External tank view of crack after foam separation.
Photo credit: NASA


Piece of foam from the external tank + View Small Image
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Foam piece viewed separately.
Photo credit: NASA