Status Report

NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status 20 May 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
May 21, 2005
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Mission: STS-114 – 17th ISS Flight (LF1) – Multi-Purpose Logistics Module
Vehicle: Discovery (OV-103)
Location: Launch Pad 39B
Launch Date: Launch Planning Window July 13 – 31, 2005
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Collins, Kelly, Noguchi, Robinson, Thomas, Lawrence and Camarda
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

At Launch Pad 39B, an External Tank (ET) tanking test is being performed today for the Return to Flight (STS-114) mission to the International Space Station. The test involves the ground operations team at Kennedy Space Center filling the ET with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants. The team evaluates how the tank, Orbiter, Solid Rocket Boosters and ground systems perform under “cryo-load,” when the tank is filled with the two ultra-low-temperature propellants. The tank filling and draining portion of the test is about 11 hours and includes a simulated countdown through the T minus 31 second hold.

Prior to the test, engineers and technicians added new instrumentation to the tank to help troubleshoot two issues that arose during a tanking test on April 14. The instrumentation will provide data to analyze the liquid hydrogen sensors that gave intermittent readings and the liquid hydrogen pressurization relief valve that cycled more times than standard during last month’s test.

On Monday, Discovery will undergo hot-fire tests of its Auxiliary Power Units.

Technicians are preparing to roll Space Shuttle Discovery to the Vehicle Assembly Building on May 24. Once there, orbiter Discovery will be detached from its ET and lowered into the transfer aisle. On or about June 7, Discovery will be lifted and attached to its new ET and Solid Rocket Boosters, and finally, rolled back out to the pad in mid-June.

In the Vehicle Assembly Building, ET-121 was moved on Thursday from the checkout cell and attached to its Solid Rocket Boosters in high bay 3. The move was postponed one day to troubleshoot an issue with the crane. While the sling was being attached on Wednesday, the crane moved and caused a minor foam scrape (3/4-inch) on the intertank area. The small area will be repaired in the integration cell. A new heater will be added to the feedline bellows to minimize the potential for ice and frost buildup.

Mission: STS-121 – 18th ISS Flight (ULF1) – Multi-Purpose Logistics Module
Vehicle: Atlantis (OV-104)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 1
Launch Date: Launch Planning Window September 9 – 24, 2005
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Lindsey, Kelly, Sellers, Fossum, Nowak and Wilson
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Technicians continue power-up testing on Atlantis in Orbiter Processing Facility bay 1 for its mission, designated STS-121, to the International Space Station. The vehicle is currently powered down in support of orbiter electrical wiring and connector work. Forward-, midbody- and aft-area closeouts continue.

Earlier this week, a small crack was found in a retract link assembly on the right-hand main landing gear. There is a spare, and the assembly will be removed and replaced. The left-hand main landing gear Thermal Protection System (TPS) step and gap measurements are complete. The new TPS seal is installed for flight, and the compression checks were successfully completed.

In the Space Station Processing Facility, the Minus-Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer for the International Space Station science rack is being installed into the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Leonardo. Leonardo will fly on Space Shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-121. The science rack, known as MELFI, will provide cooling and storage for scientific experiment samples and perishable materials in four insulated containers known as “dewars” with independently selectable temperatures of -80 degrees Celsius, -26 degrees Celsius, and +4 degrees Celsius. MELFI will also be used to transport samples to and from the International Space Station. MELFI is provided as laboratory support equipment by the European Space Agency.

Endeavour (OV-105)

Endeavour is in its Orbiter Major Modification period, which began in December 2003.

SpaceRef staff editor.