Unflown transfer container for the degassed Part B of the STA-54 compound used in the Cured-In-Place Ablative Applicator (CIPAA). The CIPAA was a backpack-mounted system designed to fill in gouged or dinged tiles by mixing two compounds together into a pink caulk-like substance called Shuttle Tile Ablator-54 (STA-54); NASA engineers developed this shuttle tile repair tool after the 2003 Columbia disaster in an attempt to fix dings in the thousands of ceramic tiles on the shuttle's underside. The material would have been transferred to KSC in this container, where it was transferred into the flight container that contained Part A and Part B.
The instrument stands 12.25″ in height and 6.25″ in diameter, with an upper release handle and lower body consisting of a thick glass tube, which bears an affixed “US Government, Lockheed Martin” label and a more detailed parts label, which reads, in part: “Material: Ablative Material, TPS Tile, On-Orbit Repair / Boeing Specification: MB0130-199 SOW AJ / GFE / CIPAA Serial Number: AG104575-031 / Component: Uncured STA-54 Part B / Sample #2 / Date of Manufacture: 7/12/05 / Lot #203387MFGVE9745 / Date Filled: 7/12/05 / New Quantity (ml): 650 / Batch #7 / Line item 037.” Also attached is a metal parts tag: “Part Number: AG104575-031, Proof Pressure: 75 psig , Operating Pressure: 50 psig, Proof Date: 6/01/05,” and paper inspection tag, “Chg. Date: Apr. 10, 2006, Remarks: I. D. & Dammage [sic].” Includes the original transportation crate, 20.5 x 22.5 x 16.5, with original shipping labels and precautionary NASA labels affirming the containment of a “Critical Space Item.”
A CIPAA unit flew aboard the Discovery's STS-114 return-to-flight mission in late July 2005, but the instrument was not tested because NASA officials and the spaceflight crew did not believe it was ready. The STA-54 material tended to bubble in a weightless environment, which in turn created voids that could compromise an intended repair. An improved design called the Tile Repair Ablator Dispenser (T-RAD) was successfully implemented by Shuttle astronauts Mike Foreman and Bob Behnken during an STS-123 spacewalk.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.