Woodpeckers damage STS-70 External Tank

On 6/2/95, NASA managers decided to delay the launch of Discovery on Mission STS-70 in order to make repairs to foam insulation on the vehicle's external fuel tank. Earlier, technicans at Launch Pad 39-B discovered that woodpeckers had inflicted about six dozen small holes in the insulation material.

Due to the critical role the insulation plays in the ET thermal protection system during the Shuttle's launch and ascent , and the tank's re-entry into the atmosphere, it was determined that the damaged areas must be fixed prior to flight. After evaluating the location and nature of the areas in question, it was determined the repairs should be performed in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). This is due to access and environmental concerns at the launch pad. For more information about the Yellow-Shafted Flicker Woodpecker Click Here.

  • MPEG Movie of Woodpeckers (185K)

    This information is taken from NASA News Release N95-36 dated 6/2/1995. The images are from NASA select.

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    Last Updated Friday June 02 20:37:24 EDT 1995
    Jim Dumoulin (dumoulin@titan.ksc.nasa.gov)