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Joe Pally
Headquarters, Washington
(202) 358-7239

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

April 14, 2006
NASA'S Space Shuttle Processing Status Report: S06-013
NASA's space shuttle fleet is housed and processed at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Mission: STS-121 - 18th ISS Flight (ULF1.1) - Multi-Purpose Logistics Module
Vehicle: Discovery (OV-103)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3
Launch Date: Launch Planning Window July 1-19, 2006
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Lindsey, Kelly, Sellers, Fossum, Nowak, Wilson and Reiter
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Technicians continue closing out areas of Discovery prior to its move to the Vehicle Assembly Building, scheduled for May 12. The right and left payload bay doors were opened earlier in the week in preparation for reinstallation of the remote manipulator system, or "shuttle arm." The arm was transported from the lab in the Vehicle Assembly Building to the processing facility on Wednesday and installed in the vehicle today.

Friday program managers determined the space shuttle main engine in position No. 2 will need to be replaced due to the possibility of a crack in a solder joint in the controller. During the certification of similar controllers, engineers observed cracking after thermal testing of the units. The engine replacement has no impact on the overall processing schedule.

Mission: STS-115 - 19th ISS Flight (12A) - P3/P4 Solar Arrays
Vehicle: Atlantis (OV-104)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 1
Launch Date: No earlier than Aug. 28, 2006
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Jett, Ferguson, Tanner, Burbank, MacLean and Stefanyshyn-Piper
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Technicians continue performing powered-up system testing on Atlantis for its mission to the International Space Station. The external tank door functional test is scheduled for early next week.

Crane operations removed and reinstalled the orbiter boom sensor system in the payload bay of Atlantis on Wednesday for additional work on the manipulator positioning mechanisms. The positioning mechanisms are the pedestals that hold the boom in place in the payload bay while the boom is not in use. The 50-foot-long boom attaches to the shuttle arm and is one of the new safety measures added prior to the Return to Flight mission that launched in July 2005.

Endeavour (OV-105)

Powered-up system testing continues on Endeavour in Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 2 following an extensive modification period. On Thursday, leak checks and functional tests were completed on the liquid oxygen portion of the main propulsion system.

Technicians continue working on the positioning mechanisms for Endeavour's remote manipulator system in preparation for the arm's installation in the payload bay.

External Tank

Final closeouts continue in the Vehicle Assembly Building on the external tank that will fly with Discovery on mission STS-121. On Tuesday, crane operators lifted the tank from the checkout cell and placed it in a horizontal position on the transporter in the transfer aisle. Lockheed Martin employees are completing final work required to close out the aft area of the tank in preparation for thermal protection system foam application, scheduled for late next week.

Once the foam application is complete, the tank will be lifted from the transporter and attached to the two solid rocket boosters already stacked in high bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building. That move is scheduled for April 24.

For previous space shuttle processing status reports, visit:


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