KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - United Space Alliance technician Jerry Goudy performs arc welding on one of Atlantis' flow liners. Following an extensive investigation into the cause of tiny cracks inside fuel lines of the four space shuttle orbiters, a welding and polishing process is being implemented that will restore flow-liner integrity to design condition. These liners are inside the space shuttle Main Propulsion System fuel lines to preclude liquid hydrogen and oxygen turbulent flow into the engines during launch and climb to orbit. The technique has called for welds of three very small cracks on Atlantis and two on Endeavour. Additionally, the microscopic rough edges of the liner holes are being smoothed by polishing to reduce the chance of more cracks developing in the future. Atlantis is scheduled on mission STS-112, an assembly flight to the International Space Station, no earlier than Sept. 28, 2002. (Photo Release Date: 08/09/2002 )
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