Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
May 17, 1999
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER SPACE SHUTTLE STATUS REPORT
4:36 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: Over the weekend, KSC workers made the necessary flight hardware moves to accommodate this week's repair work on Shuttle Discovery's external tank. On Saturday, the STS-93 solid rocket boosters and external tank were rolled out of VAB high bay 1 and now temporarily reside at the Mobile Launcher Platform refurbishment site east of the VAB and will remain there as long as weather permits.
Sunday, before 4 a.m., Shuttle Discovery departed Pad 39B and arrived in VAB high bay 1 at about 10 a.m. Workers then set up access to the areas on the tank that need repair.
Today, technicians conducted close-up inspections of the damaged areas, evaluating the exact number of hail-divots and precisely measuring their dimensions. If repair efforts can be completed by Wednesday, Discovery may roll out to Launch Pad 39B as early as Thursday. Thus far, excellent weather conditions have supported a flawless execution of the STS-96 recovery plan. However, current forecasts indicate an increased chance of thunderstorms by Thursday afternoon. Shuttle managers are developing weather protection plans to ensure the safekeeping of all flight hardware involved in these major move operations.
Based on the amount of repair work accomplished on Discovery's tank and an updated weather forecast, Shuttle managers will implement a plan tomorrow afternoon that returns Discovery to the launch pad and brings the STS-93 stack back to the VAB. If all goes well, Discovery could be ready to launch no earlier than May 27.
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