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Allard Beutel
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-4769)

Jessica Rye
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
(Phone: 321/867-2468)

April 29, 2005
 
STATUS REPORT : S05-016
 
 
NASA's Space Shuttle Processing Status Report: S05-016
 
 
NASA's Space Shuttle fleet is housed and processed at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla.

Discovery (OV-103)

Mission: STS-114 - 17th ISS Flight (LF1) - Multi-Purpose Logistics Module
Vehicle: Discovery (OV-103)
Location: Launch Pad 39B
Launch Date: Launch Planning Window: July 13 - 31, 2005
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Collins, Kelly, Noguchi, Robinson, Thomas, Lawrence and Camarda
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

NASA announced today further testing of ice formation, debris liberation and analysis of the External Tank (ET) liquid oxygen feedline bellows area is needed prior to a safe Return to Flight. The Shuttle Program will continue testing the feedline bellows area through the end of May. Analysis should be completed about mid-June.

Plans include adding a new heater to the feedline bellows to minimize the potential for ice and frost buildup. The modification kit for this heater is scheduled to arrive at KSC May 5 for installation on Atlantis' tank, ET-121, in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). The decision was made to perform the modification on Atlantis first, since it is in the VAB, the best location to complete the work.

Discovery remains at Launch Pad 39B for troubleshooting two issues that arose during the ET tanking test April 14. Engineers are evaluating two hydrogen sensors in the ET that gave intermittent readings. These sensors serve as fuel gauges to tell the Space Shuttle Main Engines the level of remaining propellants. The other issue is a hydrogen pressurization relief valve that cycled 13 times during the tanking test, versus the standard 8 to 9 times. This valve cycles to ensure the hydrogen stays at the correct temperature.

The STS-114 crew will arrive for the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT) Sunday, with countdown activities on Weds. May 4. Following the troubleshooting and TCDT activities, Discovery will roll back from the pad to the VAB. In the VAB, the new liquid oxygen feedline bellows heater modification will be performed on its ET. The Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Raffaello will not be transferred to the pad as previously scheduled. It will be installed in Discovery's payload bay closer to launch.

Mission: STS-121 - 18th ISS Flight (ULF1) - Multi-Purpose Logistics Module
Vehicle: Atlantis (OV-104)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 1
Launch Date: Lighted Launch Planning Window: September 9 - 24, 2005
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Lindsey, Kelly, Sellers, Fossum, Nowak and Wilson
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Technicians continue processing Atlantis in Orbiter Processing Facility bay 1 for its mission (STS-121) to the International Space Station. Due to the change in the launch planning window for Discovery, Atlantis' window was moved to September.

The orbiter's nose and main landing gear are extended following the addition of the new Thermal Protection System seal. The landing gear functional test is scheduled for this weekend. Auxiliary Power Unit heater checks are complete. Installation of the Rudder Speed Brake thermal blankets continues. The tile work and the umbilical door functional test on the External Tank door are complete.

Solid Rocket Booster stacking for Atlantis is almost complete in VAB high bay 3. The left-forward segment was lifted and attached yesterday, and the right-forward segment is being lifted today. The ET is in the checkout cell for final testing.

Endeavour (OV-105)

Endeavour is in its Orbiter Major Modification period, which began in December 2003.

Previous Space Shuttle processing status reports are available on the Internet at:

http://www.nasa.gov/returntoflight

 

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