KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Orbiter Processing Facility, Jerry Belt, with United Space Alliance, checks a spar attachment on the wing of the orbiter Atlantis before installing Reinforced Carbon Carbon (RCC) panels on the wing. The spars - floating joints - reduce loading on the panels caused by wing deflections. The gray carbon composite RCC panels have sufficient strength to withstand the aerodynamic forces experienced during launch and reentry, which can reach as high as 800 pounds per square foot. The operating range of RCC is from minus 250º F to about 3,000º F, the temperature produced by friction with the atmosphere during reentry.
Visually similar work