NASA News

Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
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May 13, 1999
 
STATUS REPORT : S-19990513
 
 
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER SPACE SHUTTLE STATUS REPORT
 
 
6:05 PM EDT

MISSION: STS-96 -- 2nd U.S. INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION FLIGHT - SPACEHAB DOUBLE MODULE
VEHICLE: Discovery/OV-103
LOCATION: Launch Pad 39B
TARGET KSC LAUNCH DATE/TIME: No earlier than May 27, 1999 at 6:48 a.m. EDT
TARGET KSC LANDING DATE/TIME: June 6, 1999 at 2:45 a.m. EDT
LAUNCH WINDOW: 10 minutes
ISS DOCKING DATE: May 29, 1999 at 12:25 a.m. EDT
ISS UNDOCKING DATE: June 3, 1999 at 6:37 p.m. EDT
MISSION DURATION: 9 days, 19 hours
CREW: Rominger, Husband, Ochoa, Jernigan, Barry, Payette, Tokarev
ADDITIONAL PAYLOADS: ICC, STARSHINE, SVF AND IVHM
ORBITAL ALTITUDE and INCLINATION: 173 nautical miles/51.6 degrees
NOTE: NASA Shuttle managers decided today to roll Space Shuttle Discovery back to the Vehicle Assembly Building to complete repair work on the hail-damaged external tank foam insulation. After much evaluation, managers determined that necessary repair work could not be performed at Launch Pad 39B due to limited access to damaged areas. Managers expect Discovery's move toward the VAB to begin early Sunday morning, May 16. Current work plans indicate that the foam repairs will take 2 to 3 days, allowing Discovery to roll back to Pad 39B by midweek. Managers expect the Shuttle to be ready for launch no earlier than May 27.

Workers will move the STS-93 external tank and booster stack out of VAB high bay 1 Saturday, May 15, to accommodate Shuttle Discovery's return. Once in the VAB, external tank access will be established immediately and workers will inspect the areas that were inaccessible at the pad. At least 35 foam divots have been identified for repair to date.

Last weekend, a hailstorm at KSC left about 150 divots in the outer foam of Discovery's external fuel tank. The average diameter of the divots is about 0.5 inches with the largest measuring about 2 inches in diameter. The depth of the dings range from 0.1 to 0.34 inches deep. Shuttle managers' primary concern is that ice could form inside the divots once the tank is loaded with super-cold propellants and then fall off during launch, impacting the orbiter and posing a threat to flight crew safety.

 

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