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NATION : Torn Insulation Damaged Shuttle

From Times wire services

Insulation torn away from the nose cone of a shuttle booster during the December launch of Atlantis was blamed today for causing extensive damage to the orbiter’s fragile protective tile system.

More than 700 heat-shield tiles along the shuttle’s lower right-hand side showed signs of impact damage from the insulation, which ripped away from the right-side booster about 85 seconds after blastoff Dec. 2, but NASA officials said similar problems are not expected during Discovery’s launch next week on the year’s first shuttle flight.


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