During todays Mission Management Meeting (MMT) NASA confirmed all damaged tiles had been cleared as safe for re-entry. Data provided by an earlier focused inspection (which included laser scanning) showed the gouge to be only 0.89 inches deep.
The maximum temperature the underlying structure of the orbiter should experience during re-entry is 219 degrees, well within the tolerance limit of 350 degrees.
STS-134 Mission Specialists Drew Feustel, Mike Fincke and Greg Chamitoff then worked for about two hours to prepare tools for the next EVA (Spacewalk). Feustel and Fincke are now spending the night in the reduced pressure of the station’s “Quest” airlock, which will reduce the nitrogen content of their blood and reduce the possibility of nitrogen narcosis in the low pressure of the spacesuits.
EVA 2 is due to begin at 02:16 EDT (06:16 GMT/07:16 BST) and will be covered live on NASA TV, lasting about six and a half hours. Watch above or click the link below to go direct to the site!
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