Kennedy News

Text Size

Jessica Rye
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
(321) 867-6185
Space Shuttle Processing Status Report
Note: NASA's Kennedy Space Center issues Space Shuttle Processing Status Reports each week, and is the source for information regarding processing activities associated with the vehicles and payloads. This report does not necessarily reflect the chronological order of future Space Shuttle missions. If you are a member of the media and would like further information, visit

Discovery (OV-103)

During the holiday period, technicians completed a tremendous amount of work in preparation for Discovery's Return to Flight mission, designated STS-114, to the International Space Station. Closeouts continue of the Reinforced Carbon-Carbon (RCC) panels and carrier panels, a Thermal Protection System between the RCC and the orbiter structure allowing technicians access to the area.

The new Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS) arrived at Kennedy Space Center on Dec. 22, 2004 and was taken to the Remote Manipulator System lab in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) for final checkout and testing prior to moving over to the Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF) for installation into Discovery. The 50-foot long OBSS will attach to the Remote Manipulator System, or Shuttle robotic arm, and is one of the new safety measures for Return to Flight, equipping the orbiter with cameras and laser systems to inspect the Shuttle’s Thermal Protection System while in space.

The redesigned External Tank for the STS-114 mission arrived at KSC on Jan. 5 and was moved to the VAB for final processing prior to being attached to the Solid Rocket Boosters for flight.

Atlantis (OV-104)

Technicians also completed a tremendous amount of work in preparation for Atlantis' Return to Flight mission. In OPF Bay 1, Atlantis was powered-up on Dec. 29, 2004, following an extensive power down period to complete the final wiring for the Return to Flight modifications, including the new OBSS, wing leading edge sensors and the External Tank separation camera.

Radiator ground support equipment is installed and connections are in work in preparation for radiator functionals. Thermal Protection System blanket installation continues in the Forward Reaction Control System cavity. Checkout of the new wing leading edge instrumentation was completed. Rudder Speed Brake actuators and panels have been installed, and measurements have been taken. The drive lock is scheduled to be installed next.

Endeavour (OV-105)

Space Shuttle Endeavour is in its Orbiter Major Modification period, which began in December 2003. Endeavour is in the Vehicle Assembly Building for a temporary stay, clearing OPF Bay 2 for a scheduled maintenance period. The orbiter is scheduled to be rolled back into the bay on Jan. 12.

- end -

text-only version of this release

To receive status reports and news releases issued from the Kennedy Space Center Newsroom electronically, send a blank e-mail message to To unsubscribe, send a blank e-mail message to The system will confirm your request via e-mail.