Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
May 18, 1999
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER SPACE SHUTTLE STATUS REPORT
4:58 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: Yesterday, technicians completed evaluations on Discovery's hail-damaged external tank foam insulation and began repair efforts. Having much closer access than what is available at the launch pad, inspections in the VAB revealed a total of 648 divots in the tank's outer foam. Managers consider 189 of the divots acceptable to fly without repair. Blending or sanding work is required for 211 hits and 248 divots will be patched with new foam. The current schedule indicates that foam repair efforts will be complete tomorrow.
Though repair efforts are going very well, forecasters expect weather conditions at KSC to degrade by Wednesday. The increased chance of rain, wind and lightning have managers implementing a plan that focuses on protecting Space Shuttle flight hardware.
Wednesday, the STS-93 solid rocket boosters and external tank will be moved from the Mobile Launcher Platform refurbishment site to Launch Pad 39B to take advantage of available lightning protection. In addition, workers will prepare the STS-99 partial booster stack in VAB high bay 3 for transfer to a recently installed lightning protection system on the east side of the VAB, making room for the STS-93 stack to return later this week. Once the STS-93 stack is removed from Pad 39B, Discovery will roll back out to the launch pad as early as this weekend. The timing of these operations is dependent upon weather.
Shuttle managers will meet again tomorrow afternoon to assess the impact that these developments will have on the planned launch date.
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