A brief hailstorm that dropped golf ball sized hail on the Kennedy Space Center caused significant damage to the insulation for the external fuel tank of the space shuttle Atlantis. The vehicle will have to be rolled back to the Vehicle Assembly Building for repairs. The next launch, scheduled for the middle of March, will be postponed until repairs are completed.
A brief hailstorm at the Kennedy Space Center significantly damaged the external fuel tank of the space shuttle Atlantis on Monday, and NASA officials said yesterday that a mid-March launch of the spaceship will have to be postponed as a result.
The golf-ball-size pieces of ice, which fell only in a small area around the Cape Canaveral launchpad, left hundreds of "dings and divots" that officials said will require repair. Shuttle program manager N. Wayne Hale Jr. said he hoped the work could be finished in time for a launch in April or May, although it could take longer.
Nature isn't cooperating real well at the moment. NASA was on a bit of a roll in recent months. This is too bad. But they are doing the right thing, of course.