New Image Scans of Discovery's External Tank Progressing Well

Technicians in the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida are making good progress with X-ray type image scans of ‪space shuttle Discovery's external fuel tank.

By Tuesday evening, they'll be more than half way done with the computed radiography scans of all 108 support beams, called stringers, on the outside of the external tank’s intertank section.

Engineers at various other NASA locations already are analyzing the new image scans, which began Sunday. The new data, along with previous testing and analysis, will help engineers and managers determine what caused small cracks on the tops of two stringers during Discovery’s launch countdown on Nov. 5.‬

‪‬Technicians expect to complete their scans by Thursday (Dec. 30) when Space Shuttle Program managers are set to decide whether testing and analysis indicate modifications are needed on some of the stringers.

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