Status Report

NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Report 1 September 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
September 1, 2006
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NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Report 1 September 2006

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-115 – 19th International Space Station Flight (12A) – P3/P4 Truss Segment and Solar Arrays
Vehicle: Atlantis (OV-104)
Location: Launch Pad 39B
Launch Date: Sept. 6, 2006, 12:29 p.m. EDT
Crew: Jett, Ferguson, Tanner, Burbank, MacLean and Stefanyshyn-Piper
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

At Launch Pad 39B, preparations for Wednesday’s launch are under way, with the launch countdown scheduled to begin on Sunday at 8 a.m. The liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen transfer lines used for filling the external fuel tank (ET) were reconnected to the mobile launch platform. The ET hydrogen vent line hook-up is complete. The ordnance was disconnected to allow for vehicle power-up and will be reconnected this weekend. The Orbiter Midbody Umbilical Unit (OMBUU) mate is complete. This is the connection point for lines that will be used to provide hydrogen and oxygen reactants for the fuel cells. Weekend work includes pressurization of the orbital maneuvering system, the reaction control system and the main propulsion system. The two doors to the aft compartment of Atlantis were removed for access to ordnance, and they will be closed during the weekend to allow for the aft confidence test on Sunday. This test involves powering up and testing all aft systems, such as the main propulsion system circuits.

On Tuesday, the shuttle was moved off the pad in advance of Tropical Storm Ernesto, then returned to the pad after traveling about 2 miles toward the Vehicle Assembly Building when the storm predictions became more favorable. On Thursday, engineers inspected the ET thermal protection system, post-rollback, and found three areas of minor foam damage. One area, about 3/8 inches long, is located at the midsection of the liquid oxygen tank, about 2 feet outboard of the ice frost ramps. A second area, about 1 inch long by 1/16 inch wide, is located near the ET/right SRB aft fairing, which is the attach point between the two components. Both of these resemble a scratch, are accessible and are expected to be easily repaired. The third area, a missing foam nodule from the liquid hydrogen barrel between the ET and the left SRB, about five feet below the intertank flange closeouts, will not need repair.

Mission: STS-116 – 20th International Space Station Flight (12A.1) – P5 Truss Segment
Vehicle: Discovery (OV-103)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3
Launch Date: No earlier than Dec. 14, 2006
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Polansky, Oefelein, Curbeam, Higginbotham, Patrick, Fuglesang and Williams
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Processing of Discovery for its next mission, STS-116, continues in Orbiter Processing Facility bay 3. Work was interrupted this week by the arrival of Tropical Storm Ernesto, but the vehicle is now configured for normal operations, and system testing on the main propulsion system continues. Preparations for removal and replacement of auxiliary power unit No. 3 are in work. The brake anti-skid and nose wheel steering testing is in work. Final closeouts are under way to complete installation of the orbiter’s drag chute. This weekend the orbiter’s thermal protection system will be waterproofed.

Endeavour (OV-105)

Powered-up system testing continues on Endeavour in Orbiter Processing Facility bay 2 following an extensive modification period. Work was interrupted this week by the arrival of Tropical Storm Ernesto, but the orbiter is now configured for normal work and technicians are performing electrical tests on the remote manipulator system (shuttle arm) pedestal wire harnesses. Rigging of the orbiter boom sensor system pedestals is under way. Workers continue to remove and replace gap fillers in the high priority areas of the orbiter’s underside.

SpaceRef staff editor.