Friday, August 12, 2005
Shuttle Foam -- Try the Original Drawing on the Board
I just read an AP story about the problem with foam on the space shuttle, titled "Nasa Stumped by Shuttle Foam Loss". The article ended with a list of "long-term options". Those options didn't include returning to the original foam formula (unless that was the meaning behind the somewhat cryptic "adding fiber to the foam to make it adhere better"). As I understand it, the original foam formula was abandoned because it included flourocarbons, and fluorocarbons are thought to cause some damage to the ozone layer. I don't know whether this is firmly substantiated -- far from a certainty where claims of environmental damage are concerned -- nor what level of damage we're talking about from what amount of use. But I seriously doubt that the amount of fluorocarbons involved in space shuttle foam is significant enough to justify using a substitute foam that won't stick to the shuttle.