December 31, 2004 |
A 27-ton fuel tank is making a five-day voyage across the Gulf of Mexico to NASA's Kennedy Space Center as the agency prepares for its first shuttle flight since the Columbia disaster in 2003. Workers at NASA's New Orleans facility gave the massive tank a final inspection Thursday, readying it for the trip down the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet and into the gulf. Escorted by a Coast Guard patrol boat, the tank is to travel in a barge around the Florida Keys and arrive next week at the space center at Cape Canaveral, Fla. The tank "feels like our baby.
December 29, 2004 |
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.
December 14, 2004 |
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.
February 18, 2004 |
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.
May 7, 2003 |
General Motors Corp. has paid out at least $495 million -- an average of more than $1.6 million per case -- to settle a series of lawsuits brought by victims of fiery crashes involving a popular line of pickup trucks. The revelation of the payouts emerged late Tuesday, when a federal judge in Missoula, Mont., released an exhibit in a case brought by the estate of a family killed in a pickup accident.
April 16, 2003 |
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.
March 4, 2003 |
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.
February 12, 2003 |
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 |
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.
February 3, 2003 |
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.