Follow this link to skip to                                      the main content


Text Size

J.D. Harrington
Headquarters, Washington
(202) 358-5241

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

Feb. 24, 2006
NASA's Space Shuttle Processing Status Report: S06-006
NASA's space shuttle fleet is housed and processed at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Mission: STS-121 - 18th International Space Station 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 was installed Monday. The control system provides the thrust for attitude (rotational) maneuvers (pitch, yaw and roll) and for small velocity changes along the orbiter axis.

Space shuttle main engines No. 2 and 3 were reinstalled in the vehicle last weekend and leak checks were successfully completed. Because the engines failed the previous leak checks, engineers evaluated the interface seals and decided to replace them with better fitting seals. Program management will continue its analysis to determine if these seals will fly, or if additional work will be needed prior to flight. Analysis is underway to determine what effect, if any, a small metallic shard found in Discovery’s 12-inch liquid oxygen feed line filter screen will have. Options include cleaning or replacing the screen or flying as is if analysis determines the shard is inconsequential.

In the Vehicle Assembly Building, stacking of both solid rocket boosters is complete, and booster closeouts are underway. The external fuel tank, designated ET-119, that will fly on the STS-121 mission is scheduled to leave the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans this weekend and be transported via barge to the Kennedy Space Center. It usually takes about five days to transport the tank.

Mission: STS-115 - 19th International Space Station Flight (12A) - P3/P4 Solar Arrays
Vehicle: Atlantis (OV-104)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 1
Launch Date: To be determined
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Jett, Ferguson, Tanner, Burbank, MacLean and Stefanyshyn-Piper
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Preparations continue for Friday’s servicing of Freon coolant loops.

Only 57 thermal protection system tile cavities remain to be filled. More than 680 gap fillers have been removed and replaced in the top-priority area of the vehicle. This work is being performed due to two gap fillers that were protruding from the underside of Discovery on the first return-to-flight mission, STS-114. 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, work continues on Endeavour following an extensive modification period. Powered-up system testing continues, as well as implementation of the new return-to-flight modifications to the vehicle.

Ku-band antenna testing continues this week. Optics work is being performed on the shoulder and elbow pedestals that will hold the remote manipulator system, or shuttle arm. This work ensures proper alignment of the arm once installed.

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

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


- end -

text-only version of this release

NASA press releases and other information are available automatically by sending a blank e-mail message to To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send a blank e-mail message to

Back to NASA Newsroom | Back to NASA Homepage