Arrival of External Tank #119

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March 1, 2006

The 153.8-foot long External Tank holds the propellant. Known as the structural backbone for the Shuttle, the tank supports the vehicle on the launch pad and absorbs the 7.3 million pounds of thrust generated during launch. Yet, its aluminum skin is less than a half-inch thick -- if a soft drink can were expanded to tank size its skin would be slightly thicker than the tank's skin.

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Engineers walk with the tank as it is moved to the VAB. With the VAB in the background, the re-designed tank - less the PAL ramps - passes. The ET carrier has steerable rear wheels to facilitate tight turns.
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Close-up of the rear steering station. Crossing Saturn Causeway, ET #119 nears the VAB and its upcoming tests and certifications.