Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
May 14, 1999
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER SPACE SHUTTLE STATUS REPORT
4:04 PM EDT
MISSION: STS-96 -- 2nd U.S. INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION FLIGHT - SPACEHAB DOUBLE MODULE
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: Shuttle managers decided yesterday to roll Space Shuttle Discovery back to the Vehicle Assembly Building to complete repair work on the hail-damaged external tank foam insulation. Today, KSC managers developed a recovery plan to make Discovery ready for launch no earlier than May 27 if weather conditions cooperate with the current schedule. The plan calls for the STS-93 booster and external tank stack to be removed from VAB high bay 1 on Saturday at 8 a.m. to make room for Discovery's return. The STS-93 stack will temporarily reside at the Mobile Launcher Platform Refurbishment Site until Monday. Shuttle Discovery is slated to begin its 6-hour trip from Pad 39B to the VAB at 4 a.m. Sunday. On Monday morning, the STS-93 stack will transfer to Pad 39B to take advantage of its weather protection system.
When Discovery arrives inside the VAB, workers will establish access to the tank's damaged areas and a full inspection of the tank will reveal exactly how much repair work is needed. Preliminary reports indicate that at least 35 foam divots must be repaired over 3 days. Once the necessary repairs are complete, the Space Shuttle could begin moving back to the launch pad as early as Thursday, May 20 at 4 a.m.
After Discovery returns to the launch pad, workers must repeat ordnance installation and checks, pressurization of the Shuttle's propellant system, aft compartment close-outs and solid rocket booster close-outs before proceeding with the launch countdown.
The following schedule assumes cooperative weather conditions.
STS-96 SCHEDULED OPERATIONAL MILESTONES (dates are target only):
STS-93 stack leaves VAB (May 15 at about 8 a.m.)
Shuttle Discovery begins roll back from launch pad to VAB (May 16 at about 4 a.m.)
External tank repair efforts (May 17-19)
Discovery begins roll out and return to Pad 39B (May 20 at about 4 a.m.)
STS-93 stack returns to VAB (May 21)
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