UglyTool writes "A small object, possibly a micrometeoroid, hit a radiator panel on the Space Shuttle Atlantis in September. The impact also damaged a one-inch (2.5-centimeter) area in the radiator's honeycomb-like aluminum mesh, but did not sever any of the panel's 26 vital coolant tubes as it passed through the half-inch wide panel. This brings up some interesting questions. Is there a better way to protect the shuttle in orbit? Will a serious mishap in space be the end of our manned space program?" From the article: "The impact left a hole about one-tenth of an inch in diameter, NASA reported Thursday on its Web site. The damage 'didn't endanger the spacecraft or the crew, nor did it affect mission operations,' NASA said. The radiators were brought inside the bay before the shuttle's landing last month, so the damaged area did not encounter searing heat during re-entry through Earth's atmosphere."
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