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

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

Dec. 17, 2004
RELEASE : S04-042
Space Shuttle Processing Status Report: S04-042
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)

Technicians continue to perform orbiter powered-system testing on Discovery for its Return to Flight mission, designated STS-114, to the International Space Station. Final closeouts and seal installations continue on the Rudder Speed Brake.

The new Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS) is scheduled to arrive at Kennedy Space Center as early as next week. Once at KSC, it will be taken to the Remote Manipulator System lab in the Vehicle Assembly Building 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 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.

Atlantis (OV-104)

In OPF Bay 1, processing is continuing to go well for Atlantis' mission to the International Space Station. The orbiter remains in a 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. The vehicle is scheduled to be powered up next week.

The body flap is scheduled to be installed on Atlantis in early January. The body flap actuators were removed and inspected prior to being reinstalled on the vehicle. The fuel cells and external airlock are scheduled to be installed following the holidays.

Endeavour (OV-105)

Space Shuttle Endeavour is in its Orbiter Major Modification period, which began in December 2003. Endeavour was rolled over to the Vehicle Assembly Building yesterday 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.

Both the right- and left-hand wing leading edges were painted following the removal of miniscule corrosion on the wing. This prepares the surface of the wing for the reinstallation of the Reinforced Carbon-Carbon panels.

Due to the holidays, this will be the final Space Shuttle Processing Status Report for 2004.

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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