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Media Detail

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
John F. Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center, Florida 32899
FOR RELEASE: 01/10/2005
Open Image KSC-05PD-0119

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No copyright protection is asserted for this photograph. If a recognizable person appears in this photograph, use for commercial purposes may infringe a right of privacy or publicity. It may not be used to state or imply the endorsement by NASA employees of a commercial product, process or service, or used in any other manner that might mislead. Accordingly, it is requested that if this photograph is used in advertising and other commercial promotion, layout and copy be submitted to NASA prior to release.

PHOTO CREDIT:   NASA or National Aeronautics and Space Administration

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -In the Orbiter Processing Facility, Matt Scott (left), with United Space Alliance, and Donald Wall (right), with NASA Quality Assurance, closely inspect the final Reinforced Carbon-Carbon (RCC) panel to be installed on orbiter Discovery’s left wing. The leading edges of each of an orbiter’s wings have 22 RCC panels. They are light gray and made entirely of carbon composite material, which protect the orbiter during re-entry. The molded components are approximately 0.25- to 0.5-inch thick and capable of withstanding temperatures up to 3,220 degrees F. Following the Columbia accident in February 2002, which was caused by a breach in an RCC panel that allowed hot gases into the vehicle, each panel on Discovery was removed and thoroughly inspected before final reinstallation. Discovery is the designated orbiter to fly on the Return to Flight mission STS-114, the first Space Shuttle to launch since the accident. The launch window for the mission is May 12 to June 3, 2005.

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