NASA News

Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
321-867-2468


Oct. 24, 1995
 
STATUS REPORT : S-19951024
 
 
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER SPACE SHUTTLE STATUS REPORT
 
 
MISSION: STS-73 -- U.S. MICROGRAVITY LABORATORY-2

VEHICLE: Columbia/OV-102
LOCATION: Orbit
LAUNCH DATE/TIME: Oct. 20 at 9:53 a.m. (EDT)
KSC LANDING DATE/TIME: Nov. 5 at 6:48 a.m. (EST)
MISSION DURATION: 15 days, 21 hours, 55 minutes
CREW SIZE: 7
ORBITAL ALTITUDE and INCLINATION: 172 statute miles/39 degrees

Work is continuing to disassemble the STS-73 solid rocket boosters at Hangar AF. Exterior thermal protection material is being removed by hydrolasing operations. The boosters will be disassembled and preliminary post-flight inspections will be made. By Friday, the nozzles will be shipped to booster manufacturer, Thiokol, in Utah for thorough inspections and refurbishment.

During analysis of flight data from the STS-73 Reusable Solid Rocket Motors, engineers observed a slight chamber pressure variation in the left-hand motor about 73 seconds into the flight. The pressure varied 2.4 percent from the normal pressure for only a portion of a second, then returned to near nominal operation pressure for the remainder of the flight. Variations of approximately this magnitude have been experienced on prior flights and are a natural attribute of normal motor performance and are expected occasionally during flights. The predicted maximum pressure variation is 3.2 percent from the normal operating pressure at any given time in the flight. The normal pressure at this point during ascent is 640 pounds per square inch (PSI). No anomalous condition has been identified associated with the occurrence and no safety concern for the flight has been identified on this or the previous occurrences.

The STS-73 crew are: Commander Ken Bowersox; Pilot Kent Rominger; Mission Specialists Catherine Coleman, Michael Lopez-Alegria and Kathryn Thornton; and Payload Specialists Fred Leslie and Albert Sacco.

MISSION: STS-74 -- 2nd MIR DOCKING (Docking Module)

VEHICLE: Atlantis/OV-104
LOCATION: Pad 39A
TARGET LAUNCH DATE/TIME: Nov. 11 at about 7:57 a.m. EST
LAUNCH WINDOW: 6 minutes, 57 seconds
TARGET MIR DOCKING DATE: Nov. 14
TARGET KSC LANDING DATE/TIME: Nov. 19 at about 7:04 a.m.
MISSION DURATION: 7 days, 21 hours
CREW SIZE: 5
ORBITAL ALTITUDE and INCLINATION: 196-245 statute miles/51.6 degrees

WORK IN PROGRESS:
* Loading hypergolic fuel into the orbiter's onboard storage tanks (pad cleared)

KEY STS-74 OPERATIONAL MILESTONES:
* Helium signature test (Oct. 26)
* Flight Readiness Review (Oct. 26)
* Main engine controller checkout and flight readiness test (Oct. 27)
* Begin aft engine compartment closeouts (Oct. 30)

WORK COMPLETED:
* Launch Readiness Review
* Loaded nitrogen tetroxide into Atlantis' onboard storage tanks

MISSION: STS-72 -- SFU-Retrieval & OAST-Flyer

VEHICLE: Endeavour/OV-105
LOCATION: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3
TARGET LAUNCH DATE/TIME: Jan. 11 at 4:18 a.m. EST
LAUNCH WINDOW: 60 minutes
TARGET KSC LANDING DATE/TIME: Jan. 20 at 2:54 a.m.
MISSION DURATION: 8 days, 22 hours, 36 minutes
CREW SIZE: 6
ORBITAL ALTITUDE and INCLINATION: 184 statute miles/28.45 degrees

WORK IN PROGRESS:
* Transfer left orbital maneuvering system pod to the Hypergolic
Maintenance Facility
* Evaluation of contamination found on the left aft center booster segment

KEY STS-72 OPERATIONAL MILESTONES (dates are target only):
* Install main engines (Oct. 25-26)
* Final payload bay door closure (Nov. 21)
* Roll to Vehicle Assembly Building (Nov. 29)

 

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