Status Report

NASA STS-116 FD-13 Execute Package

By SpaceRef Editor
December 21, 2006
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NASA STS-116 FD-13 Execute Package

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FD12 Crew MMT Summary

Today the MMT met for an hour and primarily discussed the entry strategy as well as landing weather. Overall, the orbiter continues to perform well and there were no significant orbiter issues discussed.

Imagery Review – The imagery teams continue to review data obtained from the SRB cameras. This video review uncovered an event at 124.8 seconds (SRB Sep). The left- hand SRB aft camera captured video of debris striking the Orbiter TPS in the vicinity of the LH2 umbilical. The debris size is estimated at 2 inches x 6 inches x +/- 1 inch. The debris appears to originate from the left SRB aft Booster Sep Motor and may be BTA closeout insulation around the Booster Sep Motor nozzle. The Damage Assessment reviewed the analysis of the RPM photography and associated thermal/structural analysis for this area one more time prior to the MMT today. The team concluded that the TPS is still clear for entry and the damage in this area has substantial positive thermal and structural margins.

Entry Strategy – Entry Flight Director/ Norm Knight presented the entry strategy in terms of systems deltas and deorbit opportunity management. As you know all three sites (KSC/EDW/NOR) will be activated with the plan to land on EOM. Consumables support three deorbit attempts per day. For EOM, there is only a KSC opportunity on Orbit 202 while there are KSC/EDW/NOR opportunities on Orbit 203, and EDW/NOR opportunities on Orbit 204. There is one additional EDW opportunity on Orbit 205 that will only be considered if the 1st opportunity to KSC (Orbit 202) is waved off early prior to suit donning.

APU Plan: The current plan is to use APU 3 for FCS C/O. APU 2 then APU 1 will be the pre-TIG starters on entry day for attempt two weather conditions. If you are attempt one APU, you will start only APU 2 at TIG-5 minutes. Per the pre mission plans, the APU Heaters will be powered off at ~Deorbit TIG-10 minutes for the GGVM heater concern. There is no concern for APU operations during entry without heaters. You can expect deorbit prep back-out and entry checklist procedure deltas to be uplinked by the Entry Team on FD 13 for these heater actions.

FES Operations: Given the previous orbit failures of FES PRI B during the topping mode, the entry plan is to use FES PRI A. Some slight Deorbit Prep Checklist and Orbit Ops Checklist Rad Bypass/FES Checkout procedure deltas will be uplinked with the entry messages on FD 13.

GPS: GPS continues to perform well and the plan has not changed from pre-flight. GPS will be taken to auto in MM201 during the entry shift on FD 13 and during deorbit prep on an MCC call after Block 12. GPS will be inhibited prior to the Deorbit burn and then the MCC will call to take it to AUTO after C-band tracking confirmation of navigation performance.

Entry Weather – The Spaceflight Meteorology Group and the Entry Team continues to monitor the weather and associated forecasting models. Overall, the weather forecast has not changed significantly since yesterday. Both KSC and EDW continue to have marginal forecasts for EOM. For KSC, there is a chance of rainshowers and broken clouds at 5000 feet. At Edwards the crosswinds (310/12G18) are forecast to be out of limits, gusting to 18 knots although the EDW winds might swing to the west and decrease as the day progresses such that the second EDW rev may be better. NOR weather is GO for a landing on EOM. There was 0.16 inches of rain at NOR on FD 11 but the lakebed remains green and the runways are in good condition.

Northrup Landing – KSC is making plans to send additional GSE and personnel to NOR prior to FD14 (EOM) landing opportunities. At NOR, the ground team is planning to open the hatch, per nominal KSC/EDW ops, but there is no crew transport vehicle. There will be a stairway truck with a small white room at the top. The current plan is to tow off the runway as soon as possible in order to get Discovery to power and purge units which will be stationed at the staging area.

SpaceRef staff editor.