rocket seal leak held no problem
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On September, on the nozzle of the solid booster rocket used to launch the space shuttle Discovery, the heat penetrated from the seal, but space officials said yesterday that the leak was not surprising and would not pose a threat to astronauts, nor will future tasks be delayed.
Officials at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Natural gas leaks are not considered \"operational anomalies\", he said \".
No damage to the primary or secondary O-rings of the main barrier as a gas or flame breakthrough in the five small joints in which leakage occurs may result in catastrophic explosions.
In response to the published gas leak report, Royce Mitchell, manager of the solid department of the space shuttle-
The rocket booster program at the Marshall Center said the phenomenon had been seen in ground rocket launch trials and was identified as \"no problem \".
\"The accident of destroying the challenger in January 1986 was caused by a leak of gas and flame at the joint between the two outer shells of one of the shuttle\'s two boosters through the O-ring.
Subsequently, after the Challenger explosion killed all seven astronauts, all rocket joints, including those in the nozzle, were redesigned and re-tested.
In an article published yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the gas in the incident \"improperly burned\" a layer of nozzle insulation, and describe it as evidence that the redesigned booster did not work the way it was intended.
But NASA insisted in a statement yesterday that the nozzle seal \"runs as expected \".
\"No burns --
Burn through or close
The mechanism says insulation through any joint.
\"O the ring is also not damaged or burnt in any way.
\"Jerry Berg, spokesman for the Marshall Center, said that five of the 10 joints of the nozzle cone had a leak that flowed out of the two shuttle boosters burning solid propellant.
There is no such problem with any joint between the metal casing section or the joint where the casing and nozzle meet.
The nozzle joint was subject to special scrutiny as it was revealed that several dangerous leaks occurred on the flight there prior to the Challenger accident.
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During the Exploration Flight, Berg said, these gases only penetrate rubber silicone materials used as joint fillers.
The caulking material adds protection in the gap between the insulating materials covering the nozzle wall.
To allow the thermal expansion of the insulation, the gap is left there.
We have long been aware of the gas intrusion into the filling material. Berg said.
\"This gas intrusion is understandable and does not constitute an operational abnormality.
It does not involve damage or violation of any O-ring seals.
\"The engineer explained that the leak was due to the occasional air being trapped in the filling material.
The gas passes through these weakened places, which is observed in the test ignition on the ground. In a full-
Scale test, August, 10-
The caulking material deliberately leaves gaps in inches.
The test showed no damage to the O-ring in the exposed area.
When it was found that the booster used in the mission was inspected, soot was found near the O-rings of the two joints, indicating that the gas had reached them, SirBerg said.
Although NASA engineers will review the data
No new tests or modifications were considered, Berg said.
\"This is not a priority,\" he said . \"
\"This is not a security issue.
\"A version of this article appears on page 1001050 of the national edition of December 10, 1988, with the title: there is no problem with the rocket seal leak.