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

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

Dec. 3, 2004
RELEASE : S04-040
Space Shuttle Processing Status Report: S04-040
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)

Critical path work continues progressing well in the Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF) for Discovery's Return to Flight mission, designated STS-114, to the International Space Station. The three Space Shuttle Main Engines will be moved from the Main Engine Shop into the OPF for installation on Discovery early next week.

Installation of the new wing leading edge sensors and cable continues on both the right and left wings. The sensors and relay boxes are being added for Return to Flight on the back side of the Reinforced Carbon-Carbon panels, and should detect any temperature increase or impact data during the launch.

Atlantis (OV-104)

Final power-down work on the wiring for the Return to Flight modifications is almost complete in the Orbiter Processing Facility, in preparation for the scheduled power up of Atlantis early next week. The payload bay doors of Atlantis were closed last week in support of scheduled maintenance work to be performed in the bay. Following the successful completion of the maintenance, the doors were reopened and processing work began.

Fuel cells No. 1 and 3 were installed for flight, with No. 2 scheduled to be installed today. Fuel cells use oxygen and hydrogen to provide electrical power during a mission. All four Rudder Speed Brake (RSB) actuators were inspected and installed on Atlantis. Technicians are currently beginning to install the RSB panels and seals.

Endeavour (OV-105)

Space Shuttle Endeavour is in its Orbiter Major Modification period, which began in December 2003. Electrical modifications continue in the crew module. Three-String Global Positioning System wire routing in the avionics bay and flight deck continues.

While the Reinforced Carbon-Carbon panels are removed from the vehicle for inspections, technicians are preparing the wing leading edge for their reinstallation. Following the removal of miniscule corrosion, the right-hand wing leading edge is being prepared for painting. The External Tank doors are being installed in preparation for Endeavour's roll-over for a temporary stay in the Vehicle Assembly Building. Endeavour will be moved so maintenance can be performed in the bay.

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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