Left wing of Atlantis may have been damaged
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
NASA has reported that a sensor aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis recorded a force of 1G on the shuttle's left wing. This could have been a small impact caused by a meteorite or space junk, or a sensor glitch. The anomaly was recorded on reinforced carbon panels 7 and 8 and reported during a mission briefing on Tuesday afternoon by NASA.
"[Sensors recorded a] 1G change at one part of the wing's leading edge," said Chairman of the Atlantis Shuttle Mission team, John Shannon who also said that other sensors on Atlantis have not recorded the impact.
Damage resulting from impact to a wing during liftoff caused Space Shuttle Columbia to disintegrate when it was re-entering Earth's atmosphere on February 1, 2003. As required by new routines put in place after the accident, astronauts will now have to use a camera or laser to determine if there is any damage to Atlantis's left wing or not. NASA has a spacewalk scheduled for today, but it is not known yet during which of the 3 remaining spacewalks they will be inspecting this .
NASA says they do not believe that there is any damage, because the other sensors around the one that reported the anomaly did not register anything out of the ordinary, as they would be expected to do in case of an actual impact. However, they will examine the area to make sure.
- Tara Powers. "Atlantis's Wing May Have Been Hit" — , June 12, 2007
- "Shuttle Impact Warning Routine, NASA Says" — , June 12, 2007
- "Space Shuttle's Left Wing May Be Damaged" — , June 12, 2007