Wednesday, February 28, 2007
NASA managers have scrapped the March launch date for the Space Shuttle Atlantis and will send the vehicle back into the assembly building for a thorough examination damage done on the pad by 62-mph gusts driving hail as large as golf balls. Shuttle program manager Wayne Hale said, "This constitutes the worst damage we have ever seen from hail on ET foam. It is clear that areas will need to be repaired. We will need to move Shuttle back to VAB to assess and then repair damage to foam." Orbiter tiles and the wing leading edges will likewise need to be checked out.