Status Report

NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Report 9 July 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
July 9, 2004
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NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Report 9 July 2004

Discovery (OV-103)

Technicians in the Orbiter Processing Facility continue work
on Discovery prior to the vehicle coming out of its scheduled
power-down period for its Return to Flight mission,
designated STS-114. Following the replacement of the Rudder
Speed Brake actuators on Discovery, all four panels are
reinstalled. Now workers are rigging the lower panels for a
standard optics shoot. This test ensures that the panels are
reinstalled properly and will function correctly during the

Dome Heat Shield (DHS) No. 1 is removed, while DHS No. 2
installation for fit check is complete. The DHS comprises two
semicircular sections of Thermal Protection System tile
mounted on an aluminum structure that are installed to make a
ring around each of the three Space Shuttle Main Engines.

Atlantis (OV-104)

Atlantis continues to be processed in the Orbiter Processing
Facility for its future mission to the International Space
Station. The vehicle remains in a scheduled four-month power-
down period in which Return to Flight modifications are
progressing well.

On the right-hand wing leading edge, 13 spar fittings are now
installed. The Reinforced Carbon-Carbon panels are
mechanically attached to the wing with spar fittings, which
are a series of floating joints to reduce stress on the
panels when the Shuttles are in flight.

Chin panel installation is continuing. The chin panel is the
smile-shaped section of Reinforced Carbon-Carbon that is
installed directly below the nose cap to provide a thermal
barrier during re-entry.

Endeavour (OV-105)

Space Shuttle Endeavour is in its Orbiter Major Modification
period, which began last December. Electrical modifications
continue in the crew module. The fit check of the nose cap is
scheduled for today.

External Tank door and DHS tile bonds continue. Flex hose
inspections have begun in the aft of the vehicle. Each
vehicle has about 300 flex hoses, which are flexible metal
hoses that connect between two fixed ends.

Right-hand wing leading-edge bead blasting is complete. Bead
blasting is a process using a pressurized pneumatic gun
containing silica carbide, plastic pellets or glass beads to
remove primer, paint and corrosion from orbiter vehicle

SpaceRef staff editor.