Shuttle Reentry Thruster Fails - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Government // Enterprise Architecture

Shuttle Reentry Thruster Fails

A propulsion jet that guides Endeavour during descent to Earth has malfunctioned.

A thruster used to control the space shuttle Endeavour's speed and attitude as it reenters Earth's atmosphere at hundreds of miles per hour failed during a test burn Thursday, NASA said.

Endeavour is slated to land Friday at Florida's Kennedy Space Center following a two week return voyage to the International Space Station.

NASA said one of two thrusters used to control Endeavour following its de-orbit burn failed Thursday morning's test. The space agency, however, said the jet's failure "will not be an issue for landing." It provided no further details.

The crew also tested Endeavour's aerospace surfaces and flight control systems. NASA did not report any problems with those systems.

Endeavour crewmembers on Wednesday inspected the craft's heat shield to ensure it can withstand reentry. NASA again reported no issues. The shield already passed one inspection, but NASA wanted to be certain that the shuttle's protective tiling was not seriously damaged by liftoff debris when it blasted off on July 15.

NASA also wanted to ensure the heat shield was not damaged in space.

Pieces of foam insulation from the external fuel tank damaged heat shields on the space shuttle Columbia in 2003. The vehicle disintegrated upon reentry to Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts aboard.

The seven space shuttle Endeavour crewmembers said their goodbyes to counterparts aboard the ISS early Tuesday as the shuttle undocked from the orbiting research platform. On Monday, a pair of astronauts from Endeavour worked their way through a five hour spacewalk around the ISS. The jaunt saw them complete a range of maintenance and research tasks outside the station.

Endeavour lifted off on July 15th after a series of delays caused by faulty equipment and bad weather.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on leading-edge government IT -- and how the technology involved may end up inside your business. Download the report here (registration required).

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Becoming a Self-Taught Cybersecurity Pro
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  6/9/2021
Ancestry's DevOps Strategy to Control Its CI/CD Pipeline
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  6/4/2021
IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Flash Poll