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Melissa Mathews
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1272)

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

April 30, 2004
RELEASE : S04-09
Space Shuttle Processing Status Report: S04-09
The Space Shuttle fleet is housed and processed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla. The order of the Space Shuttles in this report does not necessarily reflect the chronological order of future missions.

Discovery (OV-103)

Processing work continues in the Orbiter Processing Facility to prepare Discovery for the Return to Flight mission, STS-114, to the International Space Station. Vehicle power-up work continues with Ku-band communications and radar system testing. Following installation of the four new Rudder Speed Brake (RSB) actuators, RSB panel installation is scheduled to begin late next week.

Reinforced Carbon-Carbon (RCC) build-up of panels and associated fittings is ongoing. Twenty left-hand and 14 right-hand spar fittings are installed. Spar fittings are a series of mechanical joints that attach the RCC panel to the wing. Discovery's nose cap was installed April 23, and the Ground Support Equipment was removed Wednesday.

Atlantis (OV-104)

Atlantis continues its power-up period in support of mission processing to prepare the vehicle for its future flight to the International Space Station. Technicians began work in preparation for airlock removal. RSB panel removal is scheduled to begin as early as this weekend, followed by actuator removal early next week.

Thermography has been performed on Atlantis' nose cap, and Thermal Protection System blanket installation is continuing. Build-up of the panels and associated fittings is ongoing, with 22 left-hand T-seals completed and 20 installed on the vehicle.

Endeavour (OV-105)

Space Shuttle Endeavour is in its Orbiter Major Modification period, which began in December. Electrical modifications continue in the crew module in support of the Multi-functional Electrical Display System (MEDS), or "glass cockpit" upgrade. Endeavour is the final vehicle to receive the MEDS upgrade.

Now that all of the 44 RCC panels and associated fittings have been removed from the vehicle, preparations are under way for bead blasting the wing leading edge of Endeavour.

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

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

For information about NASA and agency programs on the Internet, visit:


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