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

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

May 13, 2005
NASA's Space Shuttle Processing Status Report: S05-018
NASA's Space Shuttle fleet is housed and processed at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla.

Discovery (OV-103)

Mission: STS-114 - 17th ISS Flight (LF1) - Multi-Purpose Logistics Module
Vehicle: Discovery (OV-103)
Location: Launch Pad 39B
Launch Date: Launch Planning Window July 13 - 31, 2005
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Collins, Kelly, Noguchi, Robinson, Thomas, Lawrence and Camarda
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Work continues at Launch Pad 39B in preparation for an External Tank (ET) tanking test scheduled for no earlier than May 19. Engineers and technicians are adding instrumentation to the tank to help troubleshoot two issues that arose during a tanking test on April 14.

The instrumentation will provide data to analyze the liquid hydrogen sensors that gave intermittent readings and the liquid hydrogen pressurization relief valve that cycled more times than standard during last month's test.

The tanking test involves the ground operations team at KSC filling the ET with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen fuel. The team evaluates how the tank, orbiter, Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) and ground systems perform under when the tank is filled with the two ultra-low temperature fuels. The tank filling and draining portion of the test will take about 11 hours and includes a simulated countdown through the T minus 31 second hold. The test operations at KSC will take approximately 48 hours.

Following the tanking test, technicians will begin preparations for rolling back Discovery to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) by the end of the month. In the VAB Discovery will be removed from its ET and lowered into the transfer aisle.

In the VAB preparations of ET-121 continued in the checkout cell. Final checkout of the vent valve assembly is complete. The change-out of the liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen diffusers is complete. Following the ET/SRB mate review next week, the tank will be moved from the checkout cell and attached to the SRBs in the integration cell.

Once in the integration cell, a new heater will be added to the feedline bellows to minimize the potential for ice and frost buildup. It will take about 24 days to perform the modification.

Mission: STS-121 - 18th ISS Flight (ULF1) - Multi-Purpose Logistics Module
Vehicle: Atlantis (OV-104)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 1
Launch Date: Lighted Launch Planning Window September 9 - 24, 2005
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Lindsey, Kelly, Sellers, Fossum, Nowak and Wilson
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Processing continues on Atlantis in Orbiter Processing Facility bay 1 for its mission (STS-121), to the ISS. The vehicle is powered down in support of orbiter electrical wiring and connector work. Forward, midbody and aft area closeouts continue.

Camera verification is complete on the Remote Manipulator System, or Shuttle arm, in the payload bay. Payload bay door clearance checks were successfully completed on the Orbiter Boom Sensor System on the starboard side of the payload bay.

Nose and main landing gear cycles continue in preparation for the landing gear functional test, scheduled for today. Thermal Protection System tile installation is complete on the payload bay door hinge area and technicians are performing tile bond verification.

Endeavour (OV-105)

Endeavour is in its Orbiter Major Modification period, which began in December 2003.

Previous Space Shuttle processing status reports are available on the Internet, visit:


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