Status Report

NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status 20 January 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
January 21, 2006
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Discovery (OV-103)

Mission: STS-121 – 18th International Space Station Flight (ULF1.1)
Payload: Multi-Purpose Logistics Module
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3
Launch Date: No earlier than May 2006
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Lindsey, Kelly, Sellers, Fossum, Nowak, Wilson and Reiter
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

The shuttle arm (remote manipulator system) was installed Monday. Arm verification testing starts next week. All three main engines were installed last week and leak checks continue.

Preparations are under way for installation of the dome-mounted heat shields that surround the three engines. That heat shield is made of two semicircular sections of thermal protection system tiles.

Solid rocket booster stacking for Discovery’s launch starts Monday in the Vehicle Assembly Building. Monday, the right aft booster, comprised of the aft shirt and the aft motor segment, will be transported from the Rotation Processing and Surge Facility to the assembly building for lifting onto the mobile launcher platform. Technicians will perform the same procedure for the left aft booster on Tuesday.

Atlantis (OV-104)

Mission: STS-115 – 19th International Space Station Flight (12A)
Payload: P3/P4 Solar Arrays
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 1
Launch Date: TBD
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Jett, Ferguson, Tanner, Burbank, MacLean and Stefanyshyn-Piper
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Atlantis was powered down, so a cold plate could be removed and replaced. The cold plate change-out is complete and leak checks are under way. Cold plates keep electronics boxes cool.

Work is scheduled to begin on the shuttle’s gap fillers in early February. Technicians will remove and replace approximately 3,000 gap fillers in the main priority area at a rate of about 100 per day. This work is being performed due to two gap fillers that were protruding from the underside of Discovery during the last mission, STS-114. New installation procedures were developed to ensure the gap fillers stay in place and do not pose any hazard during the shuttle’s re-entry to the atmosphere.

Endeavour (OV-105)

In Orbiter Processing Facility bay 2, processing continues on Endeavour following an extensive modification period. The Ku-band antenna was installed on Wednesday. All mid-body structural inspections are complete.

Work continues on the manipulator positioning mechanism for the shuttle’s robotic arm before installation in the vehicle. The mechanisms are pedestals that keep the arm secured in the payload bay when it’s not in use.

SpaceRef staff editor.