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

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

March 18, 2004
RELEASE : S04-03
Space Shuttle Processing Status Report: S04-03
The Space Shuttle fleet is housed and processed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla. The order Shuttles are listed in the weekly status report does not necessarily reflect the chronological order of future missions.

Discovery (OV-103)

Discovery processing milestones continue to be achieved in preparation for the first Return to Flight mission, designated STS-114. The No. 2 Rudder Speed Brake actuator was sent back to the vendor for refurbishment and to have the gears placed into the proper orientation. It will be returned to KSC in about six weeks for reinstallation on the vehicle.

Following a successful fit check; the Body Flap was installed on March 12. The first Reinforced Carbon-Carbon (RCC) panel was installed on the left-hand leading edge of the wing on Monday. On Sunday, Discovery began a two-week power-down period to perform orbiter electrical wiring inspections and hi-potential voltage testing.

Atlantis (OV-104)

In the processing facility, technicians continue to prepare Atlantis for a mission to the International Space Station. Preparations continue to remove the Rudder Speed Brake actuators.

Thirteen 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 is ongoing.

Endeavour (OV-105)

Endeavour is in its Orbiter Major Modification (OMM) period, which began in December 2003. Structural and wire inspections associated with OMM continue in the midbody and aft.

Nineteen left-hand and all 22 right-hand RCC panels have been removed from the vehicle and returned to the vendor for inspection. Of the 44 RCC panels on Endeavour, technicians have completed the thermography and engineering analysis of 20 panels.

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

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


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