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Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 243–246 | Cite as

Industry Updates

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Space Shuttle Valve Concerns Resolved

Space shuttle Discovery’s STS-119 mission to the International Space Station, originally targeted for February 12, was delayed until March 15 primarily due to analysis and particle impact testing associated with a flow control valve in the shuttle’s main engines. The valve is one of three that channels gaseous hydrogen from the engines to the external fuel tank. One of these valves in shuttle Endeavour was found to be damaged after its mission last November. As a precaution, Discovery’s valves were removed, inspected, and reinstalled.

A post-readiness review news conference from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida concluded on March 6. On the resolution of the flow control valve issue, John Shannon, Space Shuttle Program manager said, “This is one of those problems requiring a lot of work. It was a little premature before today. The signs were there that we were safe, but the teams went off and came up with definitive data to prove it.” After...

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