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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

Mission: STS-114 - 17th ISS Flight (LF1) - Multi-Purpose Logistics Module
Vehicle: Discovery (OV-103)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3
Launch Date: Launch Planning Window May 15 - June 3, 2005
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Collins, Kelly, Noguchi, Robinson, Thomas, Lawrence and Camarda
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Final processing work continues in Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF) bay 3 on orbiter Discovery for its Return to Flight mission, designated STS-114, to the International Space Station. In preparation for the rollover to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) this month, technicians are completing final closeouts of the payload bay and cleaning it for the final closing of its doors next week.

Seal installations and cycle checks continue on the main and nose landing gear doors. All work associated with the Rudder Speed Brake is complete for flight, including the final strip and tab installations, and painting and Thermal Protection System blanket bonding on the vertical stabilizer.

In the VAB, final closeouts of both the External Tank and the Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) continue in preparation for orbiter rollover and Discovery being mated, or attached, to the tank. The upgraded SRB bolt catchers were installed this week. A bolt catcher is a vertical bolt mechanism at the forward end that attaches each booster to the tank. At approximately two minutes into launch, SRB separation begins when pyrotechnic devices fire to break the 25-inch, 62-pound steel bolts. One half of the bolt is caught in canister-like "bolt catchers" located on the tank; the other half remains with the boosters. Discovery is flying with a modified bolt catcher, which was upgraded from a two-piece welded design to a one-piece, machine-made design. Eliminating the weld makes a structurally stronger bolt catcher design.

Installation of resupply stowage racks into the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Raffaello in preparation for flight began on March 4 and is scheduled to be complete next week. The Human Research Facility-2 (HRF-2) science rack was installed on Tuesday and post-installation closeouts were completed the next day. Raffaello will hold a variety of supplies including food, clothing and spare parts for the Space Station. The HRF-2 will provide additional biomedical instrumentation and research capabilities for the Station and will be installed in the U.S. Laboratory, Destiny.

Mission: STS-121 - 18th ISS Flight (ULF1) - Multi-Purpose Logistics Module/Crew Rotation
Vehicle: Atlantis (OV-104)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 1
Launch Date: Launch Planning Window July 12 - July 31, 2005
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Lindsey, Kelly, Sellers, Fossum, Nowak and Wilson
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Technicians continue processing Atlantis in OPF bay 1 for its mission, designated STS-121, to the International Space Station. The right-hand Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) pod was removed Wednesday and returned to the Hypergol Maintenance Facility. The pod was removed due to time and cycle requirements for the pod's thruster. Another OMS pod will be delivered next month for installation.

Checkout and installation of the four Manipulator Positioning Mechanisms that will hold an Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS) on the starboard side of Atlantis' payload bay is under way. 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. It equips the orbiter with cameras and laser systems to inspect the Shuttle's Thermal Protection System while in space.

NASA's second redesigned Space Shuttle External Tank, designated for use on mission STS-121, arrived at Port Canaveral Wednesday, following a 900-mile journey at sea from the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans by NASA's Solid Rocket Booster retrieval ship Freedom Star. Late next week, tugs will bring the barge to KSC where the tank will be offloaded and transported to the Vehicle Assembly Building.

Endeavour (OV-105)

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

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


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