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After observing a torn insulation blanket near the window of the Space Shuttle Discovery, personnel at the NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. tested the material to simulate what would happen during re-entry and determine if space repairs were necessary. To do this, the blanket was subjected to a supersonic wind tunnel.
The test indicated that little extra damage would occur during re-entry and allowed NASA managers to call off a potential spacewalk to repair the damage.
Thermal blanket damage
Here's a closer look at what the thermal blanket might look like after Discovery's re-entry.