Status Report

NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Report 7 APril 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
April 7, 2006
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Mission: STS-121 – 18th ISS Flight (ULF1.1) – Multi-Purpose Logistics Module
Vehicle: Discovery (OV-103)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3
Launch Date: Launch Planning Window July 1-19, 2006
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Lindsey, Kelly, Sellers, Fossum, Nowak, Wilson and Reiter
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Final area closeouts continue in preparation for Discovery’s move to the Vehicle Assembly Building and then to the launch pad for its mission to the International Space Station. Technicians plan to power up Discovery on Saturday to support the aft area structural leak test and orbiter compartment positive pressure test.

Final cleaning operations of the environmental control and life support system bay continue in preparation for closeout prior to flight. Work continues on the nose and main landing gear prior to the final functional test.

Mission: STS-115 – 19th ISS Flight (12A) – P3/P4 Solar Arrays
Vehicle: Atlantis (OV-104)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 1
Launch Date: No earlier than Aug. 28, 2006
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Jett, Ferguson, Tanner, Burbank, MacLean and Stefanyshyn-Piper
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Technicians continue performing powered-up system testing on Atlantis for its mission to the International Space Station. Water coolant loop servicing is complete following the replacement of the water coolant loop No. 2 pump package. Technicians also successfully performed compression testing on the water coolant pump.

The orbiter boom sensor system was installed in the payload bay of Atlantis on Monday. The 50-foot-long boom attaches to the remote manipulator system, or shuttle arm, and is one of the new safety measures added prior to the Return to Flight. It equips the orbiter with cameras and laser systems to inspect the space shuttle’s heat shield while in space.

Endeavour (OV-105)

Powered-up system testing continues on Endeavour in Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 2 following an extensive modification period. On Wednesday, technicians installed Endeavour’s reinforced carbon-carbon nose cap.

Endeavour’s external airlock was installed in the payload bay on Thursday. The airlock is located in the shuttle’s middeck and permits flight crew members to transfer from the middeck crew compartment into the payload bay for extravehicular activities in their space suits without depressurizing the orbiter crew cabin.

External Tank

Work is under way in the Vehicle Assembly Building checkout cell on the external tank that will fly with Discovery on mission STS-121. Last weekend, technicians removed and replaced the tank’s four liquid hydrogen engine cutoff sensors, which indicate whether the tank still has fuel during its climb to orbit. They also installed a new gaseous oxygen vent valve under the nose cap of the tank.

With the change out of the sensors complete, the access cover on the bottom of the tank called the “manhole” was reinstalled. On April 11, the tank will be lifted from the checkout cell and placed horizontally on the transporter in the transfer aisle. Once in the transfer aisle, technicians will reapply the thermal protection system foam that had to be removed in order to perform the sensor change out.

SpaceRef staff editor.