NASA orders emergency repairs on Discovery
HOUSTON, United States (AFP) - NASA ordered an unprecedented repair operation on the Discovery shuttle to ensure it can make a safe return to Earth. The US space agency decided to cut off two ceramic fibre strands hanging from the belly of the shuttle to end any "uncertainty" about whether it would be in danger on re-entering the Earth's atmosphere, said Wayne Hale, deputy head of the US shuttle programme. Either Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi or American Steve Robinson [probably Robinson] will carry out the repairs during their third spacewalk of the mission on Wednesday, officials said. NASA experts are worried that the shuttle could overheat because of instability that the gap fillers, dangling from between thermal tiles on the underside of the shuttle, could cause.
NASA Sets Spacewalk to Repair Discovery's Heat Shield
Hale said that while the gap-filler repair is slated for an Aug. 3 spacewalk, an extra day added to the STS-114 mission on Sunday allows room to push the EVA back a day should the shuttle crew and spacewalk planners request it. "We would take the extra transfer day that we’ve added…and move it in front of the EVA instead of in back of it if they request," Hale said.
Gap Filler Repair Techniques
Engineers practice techniques to eliminate or trim protruding gap fillers that Astronauts Soichi Noguchi and Steve Robinson will use during their spacewalk. The ceramic coated-fabric gap fillers are used to prevent hot gas from seeping into gaps between the Shuttle’s protective tiles.
ironically, Wednesday, 03-August falls on the 10th House (Aries - Career, social stature, and destiny (Career)) in my Excel grid. Atu VII. The Chariot assigned to Day Triplicity (Aries 00°-15°) & Atu VIII. Adustment assigned to Night Triplicity (Aries 15°-30°).