Re: [MV] Columbia. No negligence there.

From: Ryan M Gill (
Date: Mon Feb 03 2003 - 12:26:48 PST

At 1:50 PM -0500 2/3/03, Dave Cole wrote:
>I remember that also about the custom fit tile, etc. But that was
>20+ years ago. I would have thought that by now they would have
>figured out a way to
>patch a tile or two in space. IE, Acme space tile replacement kits, etc.

I don't think they carry bits to repair tiles. Its just not something
you can do easily in space. How would you press on the tile to remove
it? There aren't work fixtures under the shuttle to attach yourself
to. Even if you could remove the other tile's fragments correctly,
you'd have a hard time placing the new one. When they work in the
shuttle payload bay, they have hand holds, foot brackets and other
fixtures that the guys doing the EVA's hold onto/attach themselves
too and work around to keep themselves in one place. Look at pictures
of the ISS.

The gold bars are handholds. If you look at some of the handholds,
you'll see a socket for a foot bracket that the astronauts will
install for his feet to fit into. It provides a solid mounting for
him/her when doing shifting moving work.

Remember, this is space, a simple task like removing a bolt is
confounded by thick gloves, a stiff suit, limited mobility and no
gravity to keep you in place when you attach something. Imagine
working underwater, deep underwater. That's only half of it.

>And the fact that they can't do an EVA on the underside of the
>shuttle? What about a rope? Maybe they just needed a longer one?

NASA is really careful about EVA's. They like to have some kind of
mechanism for getting someone back and rescuing them if something in
the EVA goes wrong.

They've got the MMU on some flights. I don't know if this flight even
had a configuration that involved an airlock or an MMU since they
don't carry that gear unless it's planned on being used. Looking at
some press pages for the STS 107 configuration, I don't see where the
airlock would be. Its not in the tunnel and I know the space hab
doesn't have it.

The airlock in the midbody is mated with the tunnel to the space hab
module. The airlock needs to be bigger than that mating port on that
tunnel from my understanding.

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