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Fuel Tanks

NATIONAL
December 29, 2004 | From Reuters
NASA has finished building a fuel tank that was reconfigured to eliminate the debris problem that doomed the shuttle Columbia and its seven astronauts, agency officials said Tuesday. Project managers called the step a major advance in returning the U.S. space program to manned flight after the shuttles were grounded when Columbia broke apart over Texas on Feb. 1, 2003.
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NATIONAL
December 14, 2004 | Sam Howe Verhovek, Times Staff Writer
Savage weather Monday hampered oil cleanup efforts at the site of last week's freighter wreck off Alaska's Aleutian Islands, but Coast Guard officials also said the damage from the oil spill did not appear as extensive as they had first feared. Several booms have been set in place to contain the slick from the Malaysian-registered Selendang Ayu, which split in two Wednesday after its engines failed and the craft ran into shoals off Unalaska Island, about 800 miles southwest of Anchorage.
NATIONAL
February 18, 2004 | Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Times Staff Writer
An aviation safety breakthrough by government scientists has led to affordable technology that could virtually eliminate catastrophic fuel tank explosions like the one that destroyed TWA Flight 800, Federal Aviation Administration officials said Tuesday. FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey said the agency planned to require the airline industry to install new equipment on about 3,800 Boeing and Airbus passenger jets -- the bulk of the commercial fleet.
NATIONAL
April 16, 2003 | Scott Gold, Times Staff Writer
The space shuttle Columbia's wings and fuel tank were riddled with a virtual minefield of holes and cracks, a flaw that was largely overlooked by NASA but which almost certainly contributed to the craft's demise, investigators said Tuesday. According to interviews and internal documents, NASA has known since the early 1990s that its fleet of aging shuttles was pocked with pinholes. What it failed to grasp -- and could not see -- was the danger beneath the holes.
NATIONAL
March 4, 2003 | Scott Gold, Times Staff Writer
A former engineer at the plant where NASA fuel tanks are built said Monday that a layer of epoxy on the tank used by the Columbia was not applied properly before insulation was sprayed on top of it, a mistake that might have contributed to the space shuttle's Feb. 1 destruction. John Ehlers, who no longer works at the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co.
BUSINESS
February 12, 2003 | John O'Dell
An Irvine fuel systems firm has received approval in Europe to sell a pressurized fuel tank that will extend the driving range of experimental hydrogen-powered cars. The carbon fiber and epoxy tank from Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc. will give a 60% boost in range to hydrogen-using fuel-cell cars being developed by a variety of automakers and hailed by President Bush as the zero-emission, oil-independent passenger vehicles of the future. General Motors Corp., which holds a 19.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 5, 2003 | From Staff and Wire Reports
A propane leak has closed a school, shut down businesses and snarled traffic for more than a week. As many as 22,000 gallons of propane have seeped into the ground from an AmeriGas station, Truckee town spokesman Alex Terrazas said. Road and building closures may continue for another week, but cleanup will last for an undetermined period, he said.
NATIONAL
February 3, 2003 | Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Times Staff Writer
The fragile thermal tiles that protect space shuttles on their fiery reentries to Earth's atmosphere are extremely effective in dissipating heat, but they also have a history of problems that make them a constant concern. The focus on the tiles' role in the Columbia disaster intensified Sunday as shuttle program manager Ron Dittemore discussed sensor readings that suggested the shuttle may have been losing tiles before it disintegrated in the skies over Texas.
NATIONAL
January 3, 2003 | From Associated Press
New York State Police troopers will not drive their Ford Crown Victorias until they are retrofitted to prevent fires caused by violent rear-end collisions, officials said Thursday. State Police Supt. James McMahon said he has told supervisors not to send troopers out in Crown Victorias not fitted with fuel tank shields. Officials said there are enough retrofitted vehicles to comply with the order without reducing patrols.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 31, 2002 | Dan Weikel, Times Staff Writer
Two novel fuel stations that supply liquefied natural gas to the county's ailing fleet of clean-air transit buses have been inadequate and undependable, regional air quality regulators say. The Orange County Transportation Authority operates two fuel depots for 232 natural gas buses at facilities in Anaheim and Garden Grove. The stations, which cost $4.
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