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

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

August 27, 2004
RELEASE : S04-029
Space Shuttle Processing Status Report: S04-029
The Space Shuttle fleet is housed and processed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla. The order the Space Shuttles are listed in this report does not necessarily reflect the chronological order of future missions.

Discovery (OV-103)

Steady progress continues on Discovery for its Return to Flight mission to the International Space Station, currently planned for the March timeframe of next year. Following the installation of the right-hand Orbital Maneuvering System pod, interface verifications and electrical connector work will begin this weekend.

The vehicle will be powered down with the payload bay doors closed for technicians to perform the optical alignment of the heads up display. The display provides visual alignment cues to Space Shuttle commanders and pilots during approach and landing. The right-hand main landing gear wheels are installed.

Atlantis (OV-104)

Atlantis is in a four-month power-down period, and the critical path wiring inspections and Return to Flight electrical modifications continue on schedule. Critical wire separation modifications continue and flight deck switch panel installations are under way for the scheduled power up in early October.

The Reinforced Carbon-Carbon nose cap was installed on the vehicle on Tuesday. Removed from the vehicle in October, the nose cap was sent back to the vendor for thorough non-destructive evaluation and recoating. Thermography was also performed at KSC to check for internal flaws. This procedure uses high-intensity light to heat areas that are immediately scanned with an infrared camera for temperature variations, which would indicate flaws.

Endeavour (OV-105)

Space Shuttle Endeavour is in its Orbiter Major Modification period that began in December. Electrical modifications continue in the crew module. Three-string Global Positioning System wire routing in the avionics bay and flight deck continues.

The right outboard elevon actuator installation and right inboard elevon actuator removal is scheduled for next week. Dome Mounted Heat Shield (DMHS) tile bonds continue. The DMHS is made of two semi-circle sections of Thermal Protection System tiles that surround each of the three Space Shuttle main engines.

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

For information about 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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