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ET 101: Media Learn About Space Shuttle External Tank, Return to Flight Modifications at Workshop
08.19.04
 
Members of the news media recently learned about External Tank manufacturing, thermal protection systems, and changes to improve the tank for future Space Shuttle flights at a workshop hosted by NASA and Lockheed Martin Space Systems at the Michoud Assembly Facility at New Orleans on Aug. 12, 2004. Briefings focused on Return to Flight included the bipod fitting, liquid hydrogen tank/intertank flange area, protuberance airload ramps, liquid oxygen feedline bellows, and non-destructive evaluation of the thermal protection system.

Key photos from the workshop appear below. High-resolution versions of the images may be viewed at http://www.msfc.nasa.gov/news/news/photos/2004/photos04-205.html

The STS-114 crew, the next crew slated for flight on the Space Shuttle, examines the work being done on the External Tank's intertank flange area. Image right: The STS-114 crew, the next crew slated for flight on the Space Shuttle, examines the work being done on the External Tank's intertank flange area. Click thumbnail for larger image (Lockheed Martin/NASA Michoud)





The Protuberance Air Load Ramp, or PAL ramp, is one of the focus areas for the External Tank Return to Flight efforts. Image right: The Protuberance Air Load Ramp, or PAL ramp, is one of the focus areas for the External Tank Return to Flight efforts.Click thumbnail for larger image (Lockheed Martin/NASA Michoud)





The STS-114 crew is shown with ET-120, which will carry the fuel for the next Space Shuttle flight. Image right: The STS-114 crew is shown with ET-120, which will carry the fuel for the next Space Shuttle flight. Click thumbnail for larger image (Lockheed Martin/NASA Michoud)






The Liquid Oxygen Feedline Bellows is one of the focus areas for the External Tank Return to Flight. Image right: The Liquid Oxygen Feedline Bellows is one of the focus areas for the External Tank Return to Flight.Click thumbnail for larger image (Lockheed Martin/NASA Michoud)






The External Tank's bipod area is being readied for the bipod fitting. Image right: The External Tank's bipod area is being readied for the bipod fitting.Click thumbnail for larger image (Lockheed Martin/NASA Michoud)






When the Space Shuttle returns to flight, the External Tank will fly with the bipod fitting exposed -- without a bipod foam ramp. Image right: When the Space Shuttle returns to flight, the External Tank will fly with the bipod fitting exposed -- without a bipod foam ramp.Click thumbnail for larger image (Lockheed Martin/NASA Michoud)





The illustration shows the External Tank's bipod fittings -- covered by foam ramps -- as flown on the Space Shuttle Columbia. Image right: The illustration shows the External Tank's bipod fittings -- covered by foam ramps -- as flown on the Space Shuttle Columbia.Click thumbnail for larger image (Lockheed Martin/NASA Michoud)





The illustration shows the External Tank's bipod fitting as it will fly when the Space Shuttle returns to flight. Image right: Illustration shows the External Tank's bipod fitting as it will fly when the Space Shuttle returns to flight.Click thumbnail for larger image (Lockheed Martin/NASA Michoud)






ET-120, the External Tank that will carry the fuel for the STS-114 Space Shuttle Mission, is shown in the modification center at the Michoud Assembly Facility. Image right: ET-120, the External Tank that will carry the fuel for the STS-114 Space Shuttle Mission, is shown in the modification center at the Michoud Assembly Facility. Click thumbnail for larger image (Lockheed Martin/NASA Michoud)





The redesigned Liquid Oxygen feedline bellows, shown here, will fly with a Nanogel and scrim cloth retainer. Image right: The redesigned Liquid Oxygen feedline bellows, shown here, will fly with a Nanogel and scrim cloth retainer. Click thumbnail for larger image (Lockheed Martin/NASA Michoud)






New processes are being used to apply foam on the External Tank's intertank flange area. Image right: New processes are being used to apply foam on the External Tank's intertank flange area. Click thumbnail for larger image (Lockheed Martin/NASA Michoud)






Technicians ready a panel for testing foam loss on the External Tank's intertank tank. Image right: Technicians ready a panel for testing foam loss on the External Tank's intertank tank. Click thumbnail for larger image (Lockheed Martin/NASA Michoud)






The External Tank's in-flight imaging system is being attached to ET 120, the next tank slated for flight. Image right: The External Tank's in-flight imaging system is being attached to ET 120, the next tank slated for flight. Click thumbnail for larger image (Lockheed Martin/NASA Michoud)






Several fact sheets provided detailed information about External Tank systems:

+ Thermal Protection System facts
+ Protuberance Air Load Ramps facts
+ Liquid Oxygen Feedline Bellows facts
+ Intertank Flange facts
+ Forward Bipod Fitting facts

Presentation charts from the workshop can be viewed at the following links:

+ Overview: External Tank Workshop
+ ET-120 Retrofit Status
+ External Tank Overview
+ Return to Flight Status

Animation of External Tank modification presented at the workshop:
+ View Quicktime (10 Mb)

 
 
Contact:
June Malone, Marshall Space Flight Center
256.544.0034