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Image: (left) Damaged insulation; (right) owl decoy.How was STS-70's external tank insulation damaged?

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Prior to shuttle mission STS-70, workers discovered 195 damaged spots in the insulating foam on Discovery's external tank. A nesting pair of Flicker Woodpeckers caused the damage. Workers located a nest in the gaseous oxygen vent arm area and removed the nest. In addition, workers placed plastic decoy owls, pictured left, and a "Terror Eyes" balloon on the pad and used horns and chirpers to discourage birds. These measures were set up by NASA's Bird Investigation Review and Deterrent, or BIRD, team to discourage future destructive action by the woodpeckers.

STS-70 launched on July 13, 1995.

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Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 04/07/2002
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