CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA says all systems are "go" for launch of space shuttle Discovery between July first and the 19th.
After a two-day review of the shuttle and its fuel tanks, NASA managers and engineers say the risk of falling foam is within acceptable limits.
Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale says he expects to see some foam fly off at launch, but in significantly smaller pieces than in the past. The largest should be around an ounce and a-half.
The piece that fell off Discovery last year was about a pound. It was an even larger piece that led to the destruction of shuttle Columbia in 2003.
For the upcoming flight, engineers have removed 37 pounds of foam from the tank and plan to redesign the tank even further for future flights.
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