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NASA's Space Shuttle Processing Status Report S-040607

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Apr 7, 2007 1:43 pm
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NASA Press Release:

Mission: STS-117 – 21st International Space Station Flight (13A) – S3/S4 Truss Segment Solar Arrays
Vehicle: Atlantis (OV-104)
Location: Vehicle Assembly Building
Launch Date: Targeted for no earlier than May 2007
Launch Pad: 39A
Crew: Sturckow, Archambault, Reilly, Swanson, Forrester and Olivas
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

In high bay No. 1 of the Vehicle Assembly Building, work is under way to assess and repair hail damage to the STS-117 external fuel tank, ET-124. Special scaffolding and access platforms have been erected to allow access inspections and repairs. Foam repairs on the liquid hydrogen tank, which is located on the bottom of the ET, are complete, and the focus is currently on repairs to the liquid oxygen tank.

Shuttle Program managers will meet on April 10 to decide whether to use ET-124 or substitute a new tank, ET-117, which arrived at KSC today.

Shuttle Program managers decided this week to inspect the main propulsion systems on Atlantis and Endeavour for contamination after a small amount of material was found during routine post-flight inspections in one engine that flew on the STS-116 mission of Discovery in December 2006 and one engine that flew on the STS-121 mission of Discovery in July 2006. The contaminant is a substance called RepliSet, which is a material used to make a mold of the flow liner surface. It is used to check for cracks and imperfections. The inspections can be accomplished within the timeframe of the hail damage recovery effort, with no impact to the launch schedule for STS-117.


Mission: STS-118 – 22nd International Space Station Flight (13A.1) – S5 Truss Segment
Vehicle: Endeavour (OV-105)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 2
Launch Date: Targeted for June 28, 2007
Launch Pad: 39A
Crew: Kelly, Hobaugh, Williams, Morgan, Mastracchio, Caldwell and Anderson
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Endeavour remains in Orbiter Processing Facility bay 2, and technicians continue preparing the vehicle for its first launch in more than four years. The vehicle has undergone an extensive modification period, including the addition of all of the return-to-flight safety upgrades added to both Discovery and Atlantis.

This week, the orbiter boom sensor system (OBSS) was installed in the vehicle. The OBSS is a 50-foot extension for the shuttle’s robotic arm. Closeout of the payload bay compartments is under way. The wing leading edge instrumentation system flight batteries were installed, and the space-to-space orbiter radio system checks are complete and good. Preparations are under way for removal of Endeavour’s three main engines for contaminant inspection.

Mission: STS-122 – 24th International Space Station Flight (1E) – Columbus Laboratory
Vehicle: Discovery (OV-103)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3
Launch Date: Targeted for Fall 2007
Launch Pad: 39A
Crew: Frick, Poindexter, Walheim, Love, Melvin, Schlegel and Eyharts
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Processing of Discovery, which returned from the STS-116 mission on Dec. 22, continues in Orbiter Processing Facility bay 3.

The orbiter’s thermal protection system waterproofing is 90 percent complete. Leak checks on fuel cells No. 1 and 3 are complete and good. Servicing of the water spray boiler system began this week, and fuel cell coolant servicing continues. Wire tray closeouts in the mid-body are ongoing, and cargo bay closeouts are under way.

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