Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
Dec. 22, 2004
NASA Plans News Briefing About Improved Shuttle Tank
An improved Space Shuttle External Tank is nearly ready for its role in returning the Orbiter to flight. NASA has scheduled a news media briefing to address the improvements and rollout of External Tank number 120 for shipping to NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
The telephone briefing is Tuesday, Dec. 28, at 11 a.m. EST. To participate, reporters should call June Malone (256/544-0034) at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., by 4 p.m. EST Dec. 27. News media who do not want to ask questions can listen to a live audio stream of the briefing on the Web at:
– Sandy Coleman, External Tank Project Manager, Marshall Space Flight Center
– Ron Wetmore, vice president of the External Tank Project, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Michoud Assembly Facility
The tank will help launch Space Shuttle Discovery on its Return to Flight mission (STS-114), targeted for launch next spring. The tank will be shipped from NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans within the next two weeks. NASA has spent approximately 18 months developing, testing and implementing safety enhancements for the tank to meet the Columbia Accident Investigation Board's recommendation to reduce the risk of falling debris hitting the Shuttle during launch.
The Space Shuttle Propulsion Office at Marshall Space Flight Center manages the tank project. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. is the primary contractor. For information about NASA's Return to Flight on the Internet, visit:
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