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Oct. 7, 1995
 
STATUS REPORT : S-199510072
 
 
NASA's Space Shuttle Processing Status Report
 
 
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER SPACE SHUTTLE STATUS REPORT
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7, 1995 (2:37 PM EDT)

MISSION: STS-73 -- U.S. MICROGRAVITY LABORATORY-2

VEHICLE: Columbia/OV-102
LOCATION: Pad 39B
TARGET LAUNCH DATE/TIME: Oct. 14 at 9:46 a.m. EDT (NET & U/R)
LAUNCH WINDOW: 2 hours, 30 minutes
TARGET KSC LANDING DATE/TIME: Oct. 30 at 6:41 a.m. EST
MISSION DURATION: 15 days, 21 hours, 55 minutes
CREW SIZE: 7
ORBITAL ALTITUDE and INCLINATION: 172 statute miles/39 degrees
(NET = no earlier than)
(U/R = under review)

NOTE: Launch of Space Shuttle Columbia was scrubbed today at the T-20 minute mark due to the failure of a Master Events Controller (MEC). The postponement came at about 10 a.m. EDT. The problem was first noticed during the MEC self-test at about T-29 minutes.

The MECs control all critical functions that occur on the Shuttle at T-0 and through flight, including routing commands from the Shuttle’s onboard computers to fire the explosive bolts that hold the solid rocket boosters to the mobile launcher and the pyrotechnics that separate the boosters from the external tank during flight.

There are two MECs aboard the vehicle and they are located in the aft engine compartment. Each MEC has two cores. The failure was in the "B" core on MEC no. 1. (The four cores are all redundant allowing the Shuttle quad-redundancy. Launch commit criteria rules require all four cores to be operating properly for safe flight.)

At this time, the external tank will be drained and purged, the rotating service structure moved back around the vehicle and preparations made to gain access to the aft engine compartment to remove and replace the MEC. The MEC is scheduled to be removed on Monday and the replacement MEC tested on Tuesday. Also, some of the experiments in the spacelab must be serviced before another launch attempt can be made and the onboard cryogenic tanks must be off-loaded and then re-loaded with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen reactants.

Managers believe that with a success oriented schedule, Columbia could be ready to fly as early as Saturday, Oct. 14. This is a preliminary launch date assessment. Over the next several days, managers will be discussing this assessed launch date and its implications impacting other missions. If we continue with plans to launch Saturday, the countdown would begin Wednesday morning, Oct. 11.

The crew is scheduled to return to their homes in Houston. The Red Team of Bowersox, Rominger, Thornton and Sacco, will return later today. The Blue Team of Coleman, Lopez-Alegria and Leslie will return on Monday.

Also, the Space Shuttle Atlantis, slated for mission STS-74, is scheduled to be rolled out to Pad 39A on Tuesday. First motion from the Vehicle Assembly Building is set for 7 a.m.

 

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