Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


Audio Spot: ORNL materials scientist assesses shuttle mission

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Aug. 18, 2005 — Following Space Shuttle Discovery's landing, a material scientist at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory is studying ways to prevent foam from falling off the shuttle.

Edgar Lara-Curzio said the foam issue is critical to the shuttle mission's future.

"It's unfortunate the problem with the foam remains there," Lara-Curzio said. "We have started a little brain storming here at the lab on ways to improve the tank."

Lara-Curzio expects it to be some time before the foam issue is resolved and another shuttle is launched.

"In the next launch, there's going to be a high level of reliability in insurance that nothing like that will happen again," Lara-Curzio said.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.