Status Report

NASA STS-116 FD-12 Execute Package

By SpaceRef Editor
December 21, 2006
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NASA STS-116 FD-12 Execute Package

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FD11 MMT Crew Summary

Congratulations on your fourth successful EVA! The team was very proud of your accomplishment. It was an awesome sight to see the P6 solar array fully retracted and latched. Clearly, your expert touch, along with the help of hundreds of people here on the ground, has made the docked portion of STS-116 a huge success. The orbiter continues to perform near flawlessly and there are no new anomalies to discuss. The MMT closed with an in-depth review of the decision that was made on FD8 to perform late inspection in lieu of preserving a weather wave off day. All MMT team elements unanimously reaffirmed this decision as the correct course of action.

Weather Forecast – The Spaceflight Meteorology Group presented a weather forecast for all three CONUS sites, focusing on the EOM-1, EOM, and EOM+1 days. KSC was characterized as marginal on both EOM and EOM+1 due to low clouds and the chance of rain showers within the 30 nmi circle. Edwards was characterized as marginal on EOM due to high crosswinds, but the site returns to solid “GO” conditions on EOM+1. The Northrup lakebed condition is being watched closely as showers move through the area today. The Northrup forecast is “GO” on EOM and marginal on EOM+1 due to a slight chance of rain showers within the 30 nmi circle.

While assessing the weather forecast, the MMT team briefly touched on the option whereby a modified late inspection could be performed on the same day as FCS checkout in order to preserve the option of landing on FD13. This option is not feasible from a timeline perspective and will not be considered further. The intent of the MMT is for the mission operations team to land the vehicle on EOM unless it is precluded by bad weather at all three sites or a systems problem.

Northrup Discussion – KSC ground operations personnel summarized the capabilities available at Northrup. The community is confident that the orbiter can safely land at Northrup and there are adequate faculties to egress the crew. One of the main concerns with a landing at Northrup is how it affects the post-processing of the vehicle. During the extended period where the orbiter would remain at Northrup, the orbiter could be exposed to low temperatures that would increase the chances of leaking thrusters and freezing hydrazine/water lines. This concern extrapolates into some additional risk to the ground personnel that are post-processing the orbiter. After taking a poll, the MMT team unanimously agreed that crew safety will not be traded at the expense of vehicle turnaround concerns. With this decision, a full-up late inspection will remain in the FD12 timeline.

SpaceRef staff editor.