Sunday, November 06, 2011

Last Discovery Mission

This is a picture of Discovery's last crew, STS 133, with everybody's signature. Discovery carried my EVA tools all those years ago, and the final mission is the one that I supported with the test fixture analysis. The fixture was for testing to support the repair of the external tank stringer, which cracked during tanking.

Monday, September 19, 2011


I never thought I'd get a Silver Snoopy! And my good friend got one at the same time, making it that much more special.

TBE Article
Marshall Star Article
NASA Awards Database

Friday, June 10, 2011

Closing the door.

In my earlier post, the shuttle scaffolding was being removed from the Dynamic Test Stand to make room for Ares I.

They have completed the removal process.

Looking down from the top floor.

 Looking down from mid-building

 Looking across from mid-building

Looking up from mid-building.`

Ready to be outfitted for Ares I...

Closing the door, prepping to put the roof back on.

Sadly, they have now closed the door back on an empty test stand. No rocket in the building. I hope we'll have one to test some day soon.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Stringer test fixture

These are photos of the hardware that was the subject of the stress analysis that I posted about, below.

Photos of the stringer test fixture.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Salute to Discovery

This is my salute to Discovery, with a vintage 1960's Astronaut Snoopy and my mission cup from Discovery's STS-51 in the foreground, and one of the big test stands out my office window in the background. Snoopy is somewhat worse for wear, because he was a gift from my father, and my brother and I enjoyed him as kids.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

FEA of Stringer Test Fixture

Here are some clips from a stress report I collaborated on. The hardware was designed specifically for the ET-137 Intertank that flew with STS-133. The fixture was used during the effort to repair and qualify the tank for flight, after a fracture was found in the stringer at the rivet line.

Hardware description:

This test fixture is designed to test a one-stringer section of STS External Tank panel under loading conditions similar to those experienced during tanking. The simulated loads are experienced when the bottom of the tank contracts under the cryogenic thermal load, but the top of the tank is at ambient temperature. This fixture uses mechanical means to deliver the simulated load without applying any actual thermal load to the test panel. The loading is intended to cause cracking in the stringers similar to that of the flight article.