NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Report 16 March 2007

Status Report From:
Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Note: NASA's Kennedy Space Center issues Space Shuttle Processing Status Reports periodically and is the source for information regarding processing activities associated with the vehicles and payloads. If you are a member of the media and would like further information, visit:

Mission: STS-117 - 21st International Space Station Flight (13A) - S3/S4 Truss Segment Solar Arrays
Vehicle: Atlantis (OV-104)
Location: Vehicle Assembly Building
Launch Date: Targeted for April 2007
Launch Pad: 39A
Crew: Sturckow, Archambault, Reilly, Swanson, Forrester and Olivas
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Space Shuttle Atlantis, now parked in high bay No. 1 of the Vehicle Assembly Building, continues to undergo inspection for hail damage. Special scaffolding and access platforms have been erected to allow for the mapping and inspection of the external fuel tank, and repair methods and criteria are being developed.

Repairs to the orbiter's thermal protection system tiles are nearly complete, and technicians are preparing to conduct non-destructive evaluation of the vehicle's reinforced carbon-carbon panels on the left wing leading edge using thermography equipment.

Shuttle program managers plan to meet next week to assess the damage and repair status.

Mission: STS-118 - 22nd International Space Station Flight (13A.1) - S5 Truss Segment
Vehicle: Endeavour (OV-105)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 2
Launch Date: Targeted for June 28, 2007
Launch Pad: 39A
Crew: Kelly, Hobaugh, Williams, Morgan, Mastracchio, Caldwell and Anderson
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Endeavour remains in Orbiter Processing Facility bay 2, and technicians continue preparing the vehicle for its first launch in more than four years. The vehicle has undergone an extensive modification period, including the addition of all of the return-to-flight safety upgrades added to both Discovery and Atlantis.

This week, technicians completed checkout of the trajectory control sensor system, and the payload pre-mate testing is nearly finished. Preparations are under way for the installation of the orbiter boom sensor system, which is a 50-foot extension for the shuttle's robotic arm. The waste contamination system checkout is complete. Testing of the aerosurface control system has also concluded. This involved moving flight control systems such as the elevons, body flap and rudder speed break using the hydraulic systems.

Mission: STS-122 - 24th International Space Station Flight (1E) - Columbus Laboratory
Vehicle: Discovery (OV-103)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3
Launch Date: Targeted for Fall 2007
Launch Pad: TBD
Crew: Frick, Poindexter, Walheim, Love, Melvin, Schlegel and Eyharts
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Processing of Discovery, which returned from the STS-116 mission on Dec. 22, continues in Orbiter Processing Facility bay 3.

Work on the installation of the new Station to Shuttle Power Transfer System continues in the forward, mid-body and aft sections of the vehicle. This system will allow the orbiter and International Space Station to share power, which will enable the orbiter to remain docked for longer periods of time.

Work is also under way to prepare for the installation of fuel cell No. 2. Technicians continue replacing thermal tile around the main landing gear door and the external tank doors with a stronger tile, known as BRI tile.

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