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Katherine K. Martin
Media Relations Office

April 3, 2006
Media Invited to Learn About Wind Tunnel Testing to Support Next Space Shuttle Launch
Media are invited to NASA's Glenn Research Center, Cleveland on Monday, April 10 at 10:30 a.m. EDT to learn more about wind tunnel testing that will help verify that the space shuttle is safe to fly with a modified external fuel tank.

Wind tunnel tests are underway at Glenn to determine whether removing the protuberance air load (PAL) foam ramps from the external tank will create potentially dangerous aerodynamic effects. The PAL ramps were removed after a large piece of foam fell from that area during shuttle Discovery's July 2005 launch. The hardware currently in the Glenn tunnel features a 25 percent scale model of a portion of the external tank.

Glenn engineers are documenting the aerodynamic pressures and forces on the cable tray hardware with the PAL ramps removed. NASA will compare the data to the computer predictions of this environment to confirm that the shuttle can launch without the foam PAL ramps. Glenn's test team personnel are supporting around the clock operations on this test. All testing is scheduled to be completed by April 7, 2006.

Members of the media will have the opportunity to view the model in the 8 X 6 Supersonic Wind Tunnel and interview NASA Glenn wind tunnel engineers.

Media representatives wishing to attend this event must contact Katherine Martin or the Media Relations Office at 216-433-2901 by 4:30 p.m. EDT on April 7 in order to be cleared through security.

For information about Glenn's work in safety improvements to the space shuttle, visit:

For information on the Space Shuttle Program and the upcoming STS-121 shuttle mission to the International Space Station, visit:


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