Status Report

NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Report 24 February 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
February 24, 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 forward reaction control system was installed Monday. The control system provides the thrust for attitude (rotational) maneuvers (pitch, yaw and roll) and for small velocity changes along the orbiter axis.

Space shuttle main engines No. 2 and 3 were reinstalled in the vehicle last weekend and leak checks were successfully completed. Because the engines failed the previous leak checks, engineers evaluated the interface seals and decided to replace them with better fitting seals. Program management will continue its analysis to determine if these seals will fly, or if additional work will be needed prior to flight.

Analysis is under way to determine what effect, if any, a small metallic shard found in Discovery’s 12-inch liquid oxygen feed line filter screen will have. Options include cleaning or replacing the screen or flying as is if analysis determines the shard is inconsequential.

In the Vehicle Assembly Building, stacking of both solid rocket boosters is complete, and booster closeouts are under way.

The external fuel tank, designated ET-119, that will fly on the STS-121 mission is scheduled to leave the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans this weekend and be transported via barge to the Kennedy Space Center. It usually takes about five days to transport the tank.

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: To be determined
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Jett, Ferguson, Tanner, Burbank, MacLean and Stefanyshyn-Piper
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Preparations continue for Friday’s servicing of Freon coolant loops.

Only 57 thermal protection system tile cavities remain to be filled. More than 680 gap fillers have been removed and replaced in the top-priority area of the vehicle. This work is being performed due to two gap fillers that were protruding from the underside of Discovery on the first return-to-flight mission, STS-114. New installation procedures were developed to ensure the gap fillers stay in place and do not pose any hazard on re-entry to the atmosphere.

Endeavour (OV-105)

In Orbiter Processing Facility bay 2, work continues on Endeavour following an extensive modification period. Powered-up system testing continues, as well as implementation of the new return-to-flight modifications to the vehicle.

Ku-band antenna testing continues this week. Optics work is being performed on the shoulder and elbow pedestals that will hold the remote manipulator system, or shuttle arm. This work ensures proper alignment of the arm once installed.

SpaceRef staff editor.