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Melissa Mathews
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1272

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

May 20, 2005
NASA's Space Shuttle Processing Status Report: S05-019
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

At Launch Pad 39B, an External Tank (ET) tanking test is in progress today for the Return to Flight (STS-114) mission to the International Space Station. The ground operations team at KSC fills the ET with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants. The team evaluates how the tank, Orbiter, Solid Rocket Boosters and ground systems perform under "cryo-load," when the tank is filled with the two ultra-low-temperature propellants. The tank filling and draining portion of the test takes about 11 hours. It includes a simulated countdown through the T minus 31 second hold.

Prior to the test, engineers and technicians added new ET instrumentation to troubleshoot two issues from the April 14 tanking test. 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 April's test.

On Monday, Discovery will undergo hot-fire tests of Auxiliary Power Units. Technicians are preparing to roll Discovery to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) on May 24. Discovery will be detached from its ET and lowered into the transfer aisle. On or about June 7, Discovery will be lifted and attached to its new ET and Solid Rocket Boosters. It will roll out to the launch pad in mid-June.

On Thursday in the VAB, ET-121 was moved from the checkout cell and attached to its Solid Rocket Boosters in high bay 3. The move was postponed one day to troubleshoot an issue with the crane. While the sling was being attached on Wednesday, the crane moved and caused a minor foam scrape (3/4-inch) on the intertank area. The small area will be repaired in the integration cell. A new heater will be added to the feedline bellows to minimize the potential for ice and frost buildup.

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

Technicians continue power-up testing on Atlantis in Orbiter Processing Facility bay 1 for its mission (STS-121) to the Space Station. The vehicle is powered down in support of orbiter electrical wiring and connector work. Forward, mid-body and aft area closeouts continue.

Earlier this week, a small crack was found in a retract link assembly on the right-hand main landing gear. The assembly will be removed and replaced. The left-hand main landing gear Thermal Protection System (TPS) step and gap measurements are complete. The new TPS seal is installed for flight and the compression checks were successfully completed.

In the Space Station Processing Facility, the Minus-Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer for the Station science rack is being installed into the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Leonardo. Leonardo will fly on STS-121. The rack, known as MELFI, will provide cooling and storage for scientific experiment samples and perishable materials in four insulated containers known as "dewars" with independently selectable temperatures of minus 80 and 26 degrees Celsius and plus four degrees Celsius. MELFI will also be used to transport samples to and from the Station. MELFI is provided as laboratory support equipment by the European Space Agency.

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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