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Orbital impacts and the Space Shuttle windshieldThe Space Transportation System (STS) fleet has flown more than sixty missions over the fourteen years since its first flight. As a result of encounters with on-orbit particulates (space debris and micrometeoroids), 177 impact features (chips) have been found on the STS outer windows (through STS-65). Forty-five of the damages were large enough to warrant replacement of the window. NASA's orbital operations and vehicle inspection procedures have changes over the history of the shuttle program, in response to concerns about the orbital environment and the cost of maintaining the space shuttle. These programmatic issues will be discussed, including safety concerns, maintenance issues, inspection procedures and flight rule changes. Examples of orbital debris impacts to the shuttle windows will be provided. There will also be a brief discussion of the impact properties of glass and what design changes have been considered to improve the impact properties of the windows.
Document ID
19950019959
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Authors
Edelstein, Karen S. (NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
March 1, 1995
Subject Category
SPACE TRANSPORTATION
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:110594
NASA-TM-110594
Meeting Information
Aerospace/Defense Sensing and Dual-Use Photonics(Orlando, FL)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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