Status Report

Space Shuttle Processing Status 12 Mar 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
March 12, 2002
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Within a four-hour time span at the Kennedy Space Center this morning, Shuttle Columbia glided to a smooth night landing to complete the Hubble servicing mission, and Shuttle Atlantis began its rollout to the launch pad for the start of final preparations for the upcoming STS-110 flight to the International Space Station (ISS).

With Commander Scott Altman at the controls, Columbia touched down at the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at 4:32 a.m. EST, completing the highly successful 11-day STS-109 mission that revitalized the Hubble Space Telescope, making it more capable and versatile than ever. After safing operations were completed at the SLF, Columbia was towed to its bay in the Orbiter Processing Facility where it will remain powered up in flight configuration to permit x-ray analysis of a freon coolant loop that displayed degraded but acceptable performance during the flight.

After a mission elapsed time of 10 days, 22 hours, 11 minutes and nine seconds, the recorded landing times for STS-109 were:

Main gear touchdown: 4:31:52 a.m.

Nose wheel touchdown: 4:32:02 a.m.

Wheel stop: 4:33:09 a.m.

At 8:30 a.m., about the time Columbia was in tow to the OPF, the Atlantis space vehicle began its rollout aboard the crawler-transporter from High Bay 1 in the Vehicle Assembly Building enroute to Complex 39, Pad B where it will undergo final processing operations for its scheduled April 4 launch, the 13th flight to the ISS. The trip to the pad takes about 6¸ hours at a speed of .9 m.p.h.

The STS-110 mission sihHÁ{s a return to ISS construction operations with the installation of the initial section of the framework of an Integrated Truss Structure that eventually will hold the power and cooling systems required for future international research laboratories. Michael J. Bloomfield, a veteran of two previous space flights, commands the seven-person STS-110 flight crew that includes Jerry Ross, who will be making a record seventh flight aboard the shuttle, the most of any astronaut in history.

The other crewmembers are pilot Stephen Frick and mission specialists Rex Walheim, Ellen Ochoa, Lee Morin and Steven Smith. Four spacewalks are planned during the mission.

Atlantis returns to the launch pad after undergoing a planned “mini-modification” period during its latest processing flow. The orbiter was powered down for 10 weeks for the maintenance effort that included 24 modifications to enhance safety and flight performance. The modifications included extensive wire separation work, installation of a modified wire harness for the monoball that provides the electrical connections between the orbiter the external tank and a new solid state Modular Memory Unit.

SpaceRef staff editor.