Status Report

XA/EVA Project Office Weekly Activity Report August 2, 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
August 2, 2001
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Corrosion found in Top Mounted Handrail Brackets

Corrosion was discovered in the through hole of several gold anodized top mounted handrails brackets during a Pre-Delivery Acceptance Test (PDA) on July 23, 2001. The corrosion could possibly reduce the structural integrity of the handrail bracket. A Failure Investigation and Analysis Report (FIAR) has been opened for all gold anodized top mounted handrails, clear anodized top mounted handrail, and custom handrails since the type of handrail bracket displaying the corrosion is common to each of these assemblies. Preliminary investigations have indicated that the corrosion is a result of insufficient removal of chemicals used during the anodizing process. Research and inspections are continuing in order to determine if this corrosion is only occurring within one specific build set of handrail brackets. If this anomaly is contained within one build set, the earliest flight to be affected by the discrepant handrails is STS-108/UF-1.

Rendezvous/Proximity Sensor System (RPSS) NBL Development Test

The proposed RPSS antenna/radome is an orbiter subsystem upgrade planned to replace the radar function of the Ku-band antenna. The current plan is to locate the RPSS on the orbiter docking system (ODS) above the EVA hatch on the Shuttle external airlock. The Space Shuttle Program has asked the EVA Project Office to provide an impact assessment to this proposal. In response, the RPSS was evaluated as an additional objective during the recent Cupola NBL development test. The primary EVA concerns are that the antenna assembly will present an unacceptable interference with ODS contingencies (“96 bolts”), airlock ingress/egress, tether reel operations, and access to the tool stowage assembly. As a result, the EVA Project Office has submitted several design requirements, (e.g., EVA removal of the RPSS assembly, sharp edge criteria, addition of EVA handrails, and use of standard EVA electrical connectors and bolts) and will remain involved with the RPSS project managers as the antenna design matures. The crew consensus report from this test has not been generated yet, but will be published in the very near future.

NASA-NASDA Joint Neutral Buoyancy Simulation

In preparation for the next series of EVA underwater test simulations at the NASDA neutral buoyancy facility, a Joint EVA Technical Interchange Meeting was conducted at the NASDA-Houston Liaison Office on July 23-26, 2001. The 3-week EVA test is currently planned to take place during the period of November 5-23, 2001, with Astronauts Joe Tanner and Soichi Noguchi serving as the EMU-suited test subjects. The crewmembers will verify several new Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) hardware designs, and evaluate a series of JEM assembly and contingency EVA tasks associated with the JEM-pressurized section. The three new NASDA Astronaut Candidates will also evaluate selected JEM assembly tasks. NASDA is considering some possible changes to the overall schedule of test subjects, but plans on resolving the schedule by the end of August 2001. Meeting protocols and a draft NASA-NASDA agreement for the loan, on a non-interference basis, of space suit components and EVA tools were also prepared during the meeting. EVA Project Office personnel will continue to coordinate the details of this Joint NASA-NASDA event through monthly EVA telecons.

Original signed by:

G. Allen Flynt

Acting Manager

SpaceRef staff editor.