Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Oct. 14, 1995
STATUS REPORT : S-199510142
NASA's Space Shuttle Processing Status Report

October 14, 1995 - 6:00 p.m.

NASA managers have closed the two open issues with flight hardware which caused a one day postponement of the launch of Columbia on Mission STS-73. The issue with a duct on the main engines was resolved by technicians taking ultrasonic measurements of the duct to verify adequate wall thickness. That work along with additional data analysis have allowed engine managers to conclude that there are 3 good SSMEs on Columbia. The issue with a General Purpose Computer (GPC) was resolved by removing and replacing the suspect unit. The new GPC installed in Columbia has been tested and approved for flight support.

Launch of Columbia tomorrow morning is currently targeted for 9:46 a.m. EDT at the start of a 2 1/2 hour window which is based on crew on back time. The current weather forecast for Sunday calls for an 80% chance of violating launch criteria. Since the available launch period extends to 1:35 p.m. EDT based on the Transoceanic Abort Landing (TAL) lighting conditions at Ben Guerir, Morocco, Shuttle managers are considering an option of delaying crew wake up and departure for launch pad in an effort to get the best 2 1/2 hour period for launch in terms of weather. The launch team will continue to evaluate the weather forecast this evening and into tomorrow morning. A decision on adjusting the crew timeline must be made before the scheduled 4:00 a.m. wake up.

Should Columbia not launch tomorrow, Shuttle managers plan to meet on Sunday afternoon to discuss where to proceed with the STS-73 mission. The two main options available to the launch team are to try additional STS-73 launch attempts later in the week around the October 19th/20th time frame or to move the STS-73 mission to mid-November and proceed with Atlantis and the STS-74/Shuttle-Mir-2 flight as the next mission to be flown.

NASA Television coverage of the launch of Columbia on Mission STS-73 will begin Sunday morning at 5:00 a.m. EDT.


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