From: email@example.com (Henry Spencer)
Subject: Re: Debris hits
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 16:56:55 GMT
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Sparks and Dr. Jules <email@example.com> wrote:
>"Inspections of Discovery's underside revealed about 136 debris hits to
>the black thermal protective tiles with about 42 hits measuring 1 inch or
>just wondering if these were small meteorite hits while in orbit or while
Most of those will have been hits during launch and landing, actually.
There is often quite a bit of flying debris during launch, in particular.
>I wonder how large an object the orbitor can handle being hit with and and
>what kind of protection the orbitor has to protect itself from these
An object a millimeter across probably wouldn't do anything drastic. An
object a centimeter across could be big trouble. I don't know just how
the situation looks in between.
About the only thing the orbiter can do for protection is to try to point
its vulnerable areas -- the windows in particular, and the upper surface
in general -- away from trouble. When the orbiter deploys a satellite
with an upper stage, for example, it's routine to point the orbiter's
belly at the satellite at upper-stage ignition time.
Mass-market software technology has | Henry Spencer firstname.lastname@example.org
been deteriorating, not improving. | (aka email@example.com)