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Friday, March 21, 2008

NASA's Goo Test - Looking Good

The lead spacewalk planner for the Johnson Space Center, Zebulon C. Scoville called an Orbital Putty test during the most recent space walk “a huge success,” saying “We’re just thrilled with the way it turned out.” The putty was dispensed using a “goo gun” formally known as a tile repair ablator dispenser. The substance has been under development in an effort to give shuttle crews a means of repairing damaged heat resistant tiles before re-entry. The test results will have to be examined further on earth once the crew returns, but the tile repair kit seems to have preformed as well as it did during trials back on earth. The NY Times points out that the Columbia crew would not have been saved by such advances as the hole that proved to be the cause of the tragic re-entry disaster was too large to be fixed in such a fashion. NASA has however, been working hard to limit the amount of foam and ice that contacts the delicate shuttle tiles and the combination of that work and the new repair kit could save future flights. This is a great step, and I love that name... Zebulon! It's fitting that he works for NASA.

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