Status Report

NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Report 4 August 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
August 4, 2006
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NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Report 4 August 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. This report does not necessarily reflect the chronological order of future space shuttle missions. 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: No earlier than Aug. 27, 2006
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Jett, Ferguson, Tanner, Burbank, MacLean and Stefanyshyn-Piper
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Early on Wednesday, Space Shuttle Atlantis rolled from high bay 3 in the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39B. Early Thursday, the orbiter’s auxiliary power units were successfully test fired. Also on Thursday morning, the rotating service structure was moved to the mate position and is now surrounding the orbiter as it sits on the mobile launch platform. Functional tests and checkout of the shuttle and pad systems are under way.

The STS-115 payload is scheduled to be installed in Atlantis’ payload bay on Saturday. The payload for STS-115 is the Port 3/4 truss segment, the next major addition to the 11-segment integrated truss structure that will eventually span more that 300 feet. The P3/P4 truss, with its two large solar arrays, will provide one-fourth of the total power generation capability of the completed station.

Mission managers made the decision to move the opening of Atlantis’ launch planning window to Aug. 27. The decision was made after it was determined that lighting conditions for launch and external tank separation were sufficient to support imagery analysis.

Next week, the STS-115 crew will visit KSC for a launch dress rehearsal, called the terminal countdown demonstration test.

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 and Fuglesang 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. Following discovery of a leak, fuel cell no. 2 was removed and replaced. Work is under way to remove and replace the L5L vernier thruster, located on the portside orbital maneuvering system pod, following a thruster heater malfunction during the STS-121 mission. Windows no. 1, 2 and 5 have been replaced, with replacement of windows no. 3 and 4 to follow this week. The orbiter boom sensor system was re-installed Thursday after completion of post-flight inspections. Post-flight inspection of the thermal protection system is 90 percent complete.

Endeavour (OV-105)

Powered-up system testing continues on Endeavour in Orbiter Processing Facility bay 2 following an extensive modification period. Workers performed brake leak checks, main propulsion actuator leak checks and environmental control life support system rotary equipment checks this week. Fuel tank installation for the power reactant storage and distribution (PRSD) system is under way. Oxygen tank no. 5 will be installed Monday. The PRSD supplies liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to the orbiter’s fuel cells, which serve as the electrical power plant for the vehicle. The seats for the shuttle crew commander and pilot were installed in the flight deck this week. Testing of the atmosphere revitalization pressure control system was completed this week.

SpaceRef staff editor.