NASA does repair job on Atlantis before launch | india | Hindustan Times
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NASA does repair job on Atlantis before launch

NASA workers at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida began a risky repair job on Saturday to replace faulty bolts on the US space shuttle Atlantis a week before its scheduled launch.

india Updated: Aug 21, 2006 12:48 IST

NASA workers at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida began a risky repair job on Saturday to replace faulty bolts on the US space shuttle Atlantis a week before its scheduled launch.

Technicians set up work platforms to reach into the forward portion of the shuttle's 60-foot-long payload bay, as Atlantis stood upright on its launch pad. Atlantis is due to blast into orbit on August 27 on the first shuttle mission aimed at resuming construction of the $100 billion International Space Station since the 2003 Columbia disaster.

Two shuttle missions carried out since the Columbia accident have tested safety upgrades. NASA decided to swap two of the four bolts holding Atlantis' main communications antenna in place because they were found to be dangerously short, and liable to pop out during liftoff with potentially catastrophic results.

The mistake was made 25 years ago when Atlantis was built and the spacecraft has safely flown 26 times.