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

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

May 27, 2005
NASA's Space Shuttle Processing Status Report
NASA's Space Shuttle fleet is housed and processed at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla.

Mission: STS-114 - 17th ISS Flight (LF1) - Multi-Purpose Logistics Module
Vehicle: Discovery (OV-103)
Location: Vehicle Assembly Building
Launch Date: Launch Planning Window July 13 - 31, 2005
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Collins, Kelly, Noguchi, Robinson, Thomas, Lawrence and Camarda
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Space Shuttle Discovery is back in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). It was rolled back from Launch Pad 39B yesterday. First motion occurred at 6:44 a.m. Discovery, carried by a Crawler Transporter, entered the VAB at 4:30 p.m. following a 10-hour trip. The rollback was briefly interrupted due to a bearing issue on the Crawler Transporter when it was a third of a mile from the VAB. The 4.2-mile journey was the 15th rollback in Space Shuttle Program history.

Rollback had been postponed two days to allow technicians to perform borescope inspections of the retract link assembly in Discovery's landing gear door. The inspection took place on the left-hand assembly and did not identify any cracks. The closeout photos of the right-hand assembly were reviewed and showed no cracks. Following the inspections, Discovery underwent tests of its Auxiliary Power Units on Wednesday.

Preparations are under way to demate, or remove, Discovery from its External Tank (ET-120) and Solid Rocket Boosters on May 31. Once Discovery has been lowered onto the Orbiter Transporter System in the VAB transfer aisle, it will be moved in front of high bay 3 in preparation for being lifted and attached to ET-121 on June 7.

ET-121 was originally scheduled to fly with Atlantis on the second Return to Flight mission, STS-121. In the VAB, a new heater was added to ET-121 on the feedline bellows, part of the pipeline that carries the liquid oxygen to the orbiter's main engines. The heater is designed to minimize the potential for ice and frost buildup. Final work is ongoing, including pull tests to ensure the heater is bonded properly and Thermal Protection System foam spray closeouts. The heater work is set to be completed in time for the orbiter to be attached on June 7. Discovery will roll back out to Launch Pad 39B in mid-June.

The Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Raffaello was transferred back to the Space Station Processing Facility to allow the mission processing team access to address concerns with fasteners inside the module that do not have an adequate running torque to act as a secondary locking feature. The assessment and additional work is being conducted to ensure that the fasteners do not disengage during ascent. Raffaello's hatch is scheduled to be opened on May 31. The additional tasks will not impact the STS-114 launch planning window.

Mission: STS-121 - 18th ISS Flight (ULF1) - Multi-Purpose Logistics Module
Vehicle: Atlantis (OV-104)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 1
Launch Date: Lighted Launch Planning Window September 9 - 24, 2005
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Lindsey, Kelly, Sellers, Fossum, Nowak and Wilson
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Technicians continue power-up testing on Atlantis in Orbiter Processing Facility bay 1 for its mission, designated STS-121, to the International Space Station. Forward-, midbody- and aft-area closeouts continue.

Following the discovery of a small crack in a retract link assembly on the right-hand main landing gear, the assembly was removed from the vehicle and sent for analysis. A spare assembly was installed in the vehicle Thursday. To lower the main landing gear, a mechanical linkage released by each gear actuates the doors to the open position. The landing gear reach the full-down and extended position within 10 seconds and are locked in the down position by spring-loaded down-lock bungees.

Space Shuttle Main Engine leak checks and hydraulics leak checks are complete. Final flight controls cycling is finished. Orbiter KU-Band antenna testing and flight controls aerosurface checkout also are complete.

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


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