Asia Bizz: NASA Engineers Begin Examining Space Shuttle Discovery Before Commencing Repairs
NASA engineers have begun examining the Space Shuttle Discovery before commencing the repairs. They have discovered a leak in the ground umbilical carrier plate, or GUCP, and a huge crack in the tank insulation foam, which could have turned to be very dangerous during the launch process. It was the fourth time that the Shuttle launch was suspended and this time they have cancelled it for complete inspection.
The first major problem on the Space Shuttle is the leak that was discovered on the GUCP, in a 17 inch pipe which carries hydrogen from the shuttle tank to the flare stack when the engines are fired. Its a very highly inflammable gas, and there could have been a major tragedy on the launch pad itself if the engine were to be fired.
The next problem is crack in the external tank’s insulation foam, which too could have been very dangerous, as the crack was 20 inch long. The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster happened due to a problem similar to this, and it seem this was something that had to be paid attention before launching it.