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

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

March 15, 2004
RELEASE : s04-002
Space Shuttle Processing Status Report: S04-02
The Space Shuttle fleet is housed and processed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA will issue the latest information about Space Shuttle processing and payloads in a weekly status report.

This Space Shuttle Processing Status Report is numbered S04-02. It corresponds with the Space Shuttle Processing Status Report Vol. 1 No. 3 issued from KSC. Shuttles are listed numerically, not necessarily in the chronological order of future missions.

Discovery (OV-103)

Discovery is being processed for the Return to Flight mission. Four Rudder Speed Brake actuators were X-rayed last Monday and Tuesday to determine whether the gears were installed correctly. One of the four actuators, actuator No. 2, showed a gear was reversed. It will be sent back to the vendor for refurbishment and returned to KSC for re-installation on the vehicle.

Vehicle power-up testing continues with the Main Propulsion System leak tests and fuel cell system checkout. The Body Flap actuator fit check was successfully completed. Build-up of Reinforced Carbon-Carbon (RCC) panels and associated fittings is ongoing. Six RCC spar fittings have been installed on the left-hand leading edge.

Atlantis (OV-104)

Preparations continue in the processing facility for a future mission to the International Space Station. Seven T-seals, the C-shaped seals that fit between each RCC panel, have been installed on the left-hand wing leading edge.

Build-up of the right-hand RCC panels and associated fittings continues. The nose cap was delivered to the Thermal Protection System Facility (TPSF) last Tuesday. Technicians in the TPSF are beginning to build the thermal blankets that will be installed in the nose cap.

Endeavour (OV-105)

Endeavour is in its Orbiter Major Modification period, which began in December 2003. Thermal Protection System blankets have been removed from the Rudder Speed Brake panels in preparation for the removal and inspection of the actuators. RCC panels continue to be removed from the vehicle and returned to the vendor for inspection.

Space Shuttle status reports are archived on the Internet at:

For more information about the NASA's Return to Flight efforts on the Internet, visit:


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