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Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington
(202) 358-7239

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

NASA's Space Shuttle Processing Status Report
NASA's space shuttle fleet is housed and processed at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Mission: STS-121 - 18th International Space Station Flight (ULF1.1) - Multi-Purpose Logistics Module
Vehicle: Discovery (OV-103)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3
Launch Date: Launch Processing Window July 1-19, 2006
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Lindsey, Kelly, Sellers, Fossum, Nowak, Wilson and Reiter
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Technicians continue closing out areas of Discovery before it is moved to the Vehicle Assembly Building on May 12. The payload bay doors were closed on Wednesday for the final time prior to flight.

Last week, technicians removed the space shuttle main engine in position No. 2 and replaced it with a new one. Engine leak checks were successfully completed on Tuesday. Interface verification tests were completed for sensors No. 1 and 2 on the new orbiter boom sensor system.

Mission: STS-115 - 19th International Space Station Flight (12A) - P3/P4 Solar Arrays
Vehicle: Atlantis (OV-104)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 1
Launch Date: No earlier than Aug. 28, 2006
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Jett, Ferguson, Tanner, Burbank, MacLean and Stefanyshyn-Piper
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Technicians are performing powered-up system testing on Atlantis for its mission to the International Space Station. Technicians continue installing tires on the shuttle's main landing gear.

Work continues on the alignment of the manipulator positioning mechanisms. The positioning mechanisms are the pedestals that hold the orbiter boom sensor system in place in the payload bay while the boom is not in use. Thermal protection system tile, blanket and gap filler work is ongoing.

Endeavour (OV-105)

Powered-up system testing continues on Endeavour in Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 2 following an extensive modification period. Technicians completed ammonia system leak and functional testing on Wednesday and Thursday.

Technicians worked on external airlock fluid line connections late last week and will begin leak checks today.

External Tank

In the Vehicle Assembly Building, final thermal protection system foam application was completed last week on the aft end of the tank following the change-out of the four liquid hydrogen engine cut-off sensors. On Monday, crane operators lifted the tank from a horizontal position on the transporter and placed it between the twin solid rocket boosters already stacked in High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building.

The Space Shuttle Program management decided Thursday to fly the ice/frost ramps in their current configuration. The rationale for doing so was based on several factors. The past ramp performance, although not desirable, was acceptable. Proposed ramp design changes could introduce more uncertainty instead of reducing the known risk. New cameras will allow us better insight into the current ramps performance which will help in the redesign effort. Flying the current ice/frost ramps limits the design changes on the tank, which has already undergone a significant redesign with the removal of the protuberance air load (PAL) ramp. Shuttle engineers will have a better environment to gather data by flying with only one aerodynamic change to the tank.

For previous space shuttle processing status reports on the Web, visit:

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