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Allard Beutel
Headquarters, Washington
(202) 358-4769

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

Feb. 3, 2006
NASA's Space Shuttle Processing Status Report: S06-004
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: No earlier than May 2006
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Lindsey, Kelly, Sellers, Fossum, Nowak, Wilson and Reiter
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

The forward reaction control system is scheduled to be delivered to the bay next week for installation into the vehicle. The control system provides the thrust for attitude (rotational) maneuvers (pitch, yaw and roll) and for small velocity changes along the orbiter axis.

Following shuttle main engine installation, leak checks were performed on the interfaces per standard procedure. Engines No. 2 and 3 did not pass the leak check. Those two engines were removed from the vehicle and were returned to the main engine processing facility for evaluations. Technicians in the engine facility will lap, or polish, the engine interfaces to remove any possible microscopic imperfections. Once completed, the engines will be reinstalled into the vehicle and leak checks repeated. The additional work will not impact the overall processing schedule.

In the Vehicle Assembly Building, solid rocket booster stacking was placed on hold until Monday due to an issue with the 325-ton crane controller. Booster stacking is scheduled to be complete on the right booster in mid-February and the left booster by the end of the month. At this time, the additional work will not impact 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: TBD
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Jett, Ferguson, Tanner, Burbank, MacLean and Stefanyshyn-Piper
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Preparations continue for the installation of the orbiter boom sensor system inside the payload bay. About 200 gap fillers have been removed and replaced on the underside of Atlantis. Once gap filler work is completed on Discovery, the entire gap filler team will move to Atlantis to continue the work at a rate of about 350 gap fillers per week. New installation procedures were developed to ensure the gap fillers stay in place and do not pose any hazard on re-entry to the atmosphere.

Endeavour (OV-105)

In Orbiter Processing Facility bay 2, processing continues on Endeavour following an extensive modification period. On Jan. 27, the vehicle was powered up to support system testing. Body flap hardware reinstallation continues.

Thermal protection system blanket installation continues in the nose cap. Nose cap installation for flight is planned for late February. Work continues on the new modification called the "station to shuttle power transfer system," which will allow the shuttle to remain docked to the station longer.

For previous space shuttle processing status reports on the Web, visit:

For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit:


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