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

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

March 26, 2004
RELEASE : S04-04
Space Shuttle Processing Status Report: S04-04
Space Shuttle Processing Status Report

The Space Shuttle fleet is housed and processed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. Every week, NASA will issue the latest information about Space Shuttle processing and payloads in a status report. The order of the Space Shuttles in this report do not necessarily reflect the chronological order of future Space Shuttle missions.

Discovery (OV-103)

Discovery continues its two week power down period for orbiter electrical wiring inspections. It's scheduled to be powered up Tuesday, March 30. While the Rudder Speed Brake panels are removed from the vehicle, workers perform fastener replacement in preparation for reinstallation on the vehicle.

Reinforced Carbon-Carbon (RCC) panel installation is continuing with three left-hand panels hung. Build-up of the left-hand panels and associated fittings is ongoing. Following a successful fit check, technicians continue to assemble the Thermal Protection System blankets that will be installed inside of Discovery's nose cap.

Atlantis (OV-104)

Technicians continue to process Atlantis for its future mission to the International Space Station. Flex hose X-rays and inspections are complete and engineers are evaluating the results.

Fifteen T-seals, the C-shaped seals that fit between each RCC panel, have been installed on the left-hand wing leading edge. Right-hand RCC panel measurements are complete with panel assembly in progress.

On Thursday, March 25 the nose cap was returned to the Orbiter Processing Facility. The nose cap had been located in the Thermal Protection System Facility so technicians could build up the thermal protection blankets that are installed inside the nose cap.

Endeavour (OV-105)

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

All of Endeavour's RCC panels have been removed from the right-hand and left-hand leading edge of the wings. Preparations are being made to ship the panels back to the vendor. Once the panels are removed they undergo thermography and other non-destructive evaluation techniques to verify they have no internal flaws.

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

For more information about the NASA's Return to Flight efforts, visit:


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