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The internal joints of the nozzle metal parts have been redesigned to incorporate redundant and verifiable O-rings at each joint. The nozzle steel fixed housing part has been redesigned to permit the incorporation of the 100 radial bolts that attach the fixed housing to the case's aft dome. Improved bonding techniques are being used for the nozzle nose inlet, cowl/boot and aft exit cone assemblies. The distortion of the nose inlet assembly's metal-part-to-ablative-parts bond line has been eliminated by increasing the thickness of the aluminum nose inlet housing and improving the bonding process. The tape-wrap angle of the carbon cloth fabric in the areas of the nose inlet and throat assembly parts was changed to improve the ablative insulation erosion tolerance. Some of these ply-angle changes were in progress prior to STS 51-L. The cowl and outer boot ring has additional structural support with increased thickness and contour changes to increase their margins of safety. Additionally, the outer boot ring ply configuration was altered.

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