Status Report

Space Shuttle Status Report 16 Jan 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
January 16, 2001
Filed under ,

NOTE: This is an orbiter processing report and does not necessarily reflect
the chronological order of upcoming Space Shuttle flights. Visit on the KSC Home
Page for the latest schedule of future Shuttle missions.

MISSION: STS-98 – 7th ISS Flight (5A) – U.S. Laboratory

VEHICLE: Atlantis/OV-104

LOCATION: Launch Pad 39A

TARGET KSC LAUNCH DATE/TIME: No earlier than Feb. 6, 2001


LAUNCH WINDOW: less than 5 minutes

MISSION DURATION: 10 days, 19 hours and 40 minutes

CREW: Cockrell, Polansky, Curbeam, Jones, Ivins

ORBITAL ALTITUDE and INCLINATION: 177 nautical miles/51.6 degrees

Shuttle Processing Note: Workers at Launch Pad 39A are preparing to roll
Space Shuttle Atlantis back into the Vehicle Assembly Building to undergo
additional solid rocket booster cable testing. This unplanned work leads to
a launch date of no earlier than Feb. 6.

At the pad, technicians will begin disconnecting Shuttle ordnance tomorrow.
The U.S. Lab payload will be disconnected from the vehicle today and removed
from the payload bay tomorrow. It will be stored in the payload changeout
room at the launch pad. Atlantis is scheduled to begin its move back to the
VAB Friday at 7 a.m. and should arrive in high bay 3 at about 1 p.m.

While in the VAB, workers will conduct X-ray analysis and continuity or
“wiggle” tests on a total of 36 cables located in the system tunnels of both
solid rocket boosters (SRB). The tunnel, located on the booster’s exterior,
is a protective cover that runs the length of each booster from the aft
skirt to the forward skirt. Eighteen cables will be evaluated on each SRB.
These cables carry critical commands and data to support successful SRB
operation not limited to booster separation.

Though similar in construction, these cables serve a different function than
the ordnance cables that were cleared for flight prior to Atlantis’ roll
out. The previous investigation lead to an extensive evaluation of NASA’s
SRB cable inventory. Engineers found conductor damage on only 4 out of more
than 200 such cables on the shelf. As a precaution, Shuttle managers
decided to prove the system tunnel cables integrity using the same scrutiny
that was employed on the ordnance cables and inventory cables. Should the
testing and analysis go as expected, Atlantis will be in a posture to return
to the pad as early as Jan. 25. The impact to the downstream Shuttle
manifest is being assessed.

SpaceRef staff editor.