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A U.S. Navy NP-3D Orion aircraft prepares for takeoff from the Skid Strip at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

NASA

NASA
Washington, DC, United States

A U.S. Navy NP-3D Orion aircraft prepares for takeoff from the Skid Strip at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The plane will fly below space shuttle Discovery as it approaches Kennedy Space Center for landing following the STS-119 mission. Onboard instruments will check the orbiter’s exterior temperatures and a long-range infrared camera will remotely monitor heating to the shuttle’s lower surface, part of the boundary layer transition flight experiment. For the experiment, a heat shield tile with a “speed bump” on it was installed under Discovery’s left wing to intentionally disturb the airflow in a controlled manner and make the airflow turbulent. The tile, a BRI-18, was originally developed as a potential heat shield upgrade on the orbiters and is being considered for use on the Constellation Program’s Orion crew exploration vehicles. The data will determine if a protuberance on a BRI-18 tile is safe to fly and will be used to verify and improve design efforts for future spacecraft. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann

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  • Title: A U.S. Navy NP-3D Orion aircraft prepares for takeoff from the Skid Strip at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
  • Location: Kennedy Space Center, FL
  • Owner: KSC
  • Album: cbabir
  • About Title: To help you find images you’re searching for, previously untitled images have been labelled automatically based on their description

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