NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Report 30 March 2007

Status Report From: Kennedy Space Center
Posted: Saturday, March 31, 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

In high bay No. 1 of the Vehicle Assembly Building, work is under way to assess and repair hail damage to the STS-117 external fuel tank, ET-124. Special scaffolding and access platforms have been erected to allow access to the tank and orbiter for inspections and repairs. Foam repairs on the liquid hydrogen tank, which is located on the bottom of the external tank, are complete. The focus is currently on repairs to the liquid oxygen tank.

Shuttle program managers will meet on or about April 10 to decide whether to use ET-124 or substitute it with a new tank, ET-117, which is scheduled to arrive at KSC in early April.

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, initial nose landing gear door closure was performed. Preparations are under way for the installation next week of the orbiter boom sensor system, which is a 50-foot extension for the shuttle's robotic arm. Technicians completed testing the audio/visual communications systems on the orbiter. The shuttle main engine "eyelids," which are thermal barriers that protect the aft compartment, were installed. Preparations are under way for the installation of the engine mounted heat shields.

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: 39-A
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.

The installation of the new station-to-shuttle power transfer system was completed this week. This system will allow the orbiter and International Space Station to share power, enabling the orbiter to remain docked for longer periods of time.

The orbiter power system validation was also finished this week. 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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