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[i]During the post-launch walk down of Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the pad team noted severe launch damage on a 100' X 20' section of the east wall of the north flame trench (seen here). Broken sections of the flame trench wall were scattered from the flame trench to the pad perimeter fence.
NASA is forming an investigation board.
The flame trench transecting the pad's mound at ground level is 490 feet long, 58 feet wide and 40 feet high. It is made of concrete and refractory brick. The top of the solid rocket booster flame deflector abuts with that of the orbiter flame deflector to form a flattened, inverted V-shaped structure beneath the mobile launcher platform's three exhaust holes.
The orbiter flame deflector is fixed and is 38 feet high, 72 feet long and 57.6 feet wide. The deflector weighs 1.3 million pounds. The solid rocket booster deflector is 42.5 feet high, 42 feet long and 57 feet wide. The structure weighs 1.1 million pounds. The deflectors are built of steel and covered with a high-temperature concrete surface with an average thickness of 5 inches.
There are two movable solid rocket booster side flame deflectors, one located on each side of the flame trench. They are 19.5 feet high, 44 feet long and 17.5 feet wide.[/i]
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