News Releases

Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington
(202) 358-3749

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

Jan. 27, 2006
NASA's Space Shuttle Processing Status Report: S06-003
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

Technicians worked on inspections and closeouts prior to next week's installation of the forward reaction control system. Installation of the dome-mounted heat shields that surround the shuttle's three engines will begin when main engine leak checks are complete.

Removal and replacement of gap fillers is complete in the forward and mid-body sections of the vehicle. Work starts next week on gap fillers in other areas on the orbiter's belly. Technicians are using new installation procedures to ensure the gap fillers stay in place during re-entry to the atmosphere.

Solid rocket booster stacking for STS-121 is under way. The left and right aft boosters were delivered to the Vehicle Assembly Building this week and placed on the Mobile Launch Platform in High Bay 3. The aft segments were bolted to the platform, and work begun to stack the left and right aft center segments.

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

Power down operations continue. Cold plate removal and replacement in the shuttle's aft area were completed. Cold plates keep electronics boxes cool. The mechanical release latches for the shuttle arm (remote manipulator system) are installed, and pre-load tests are under way.

Removal and replacement of gap fillers began this week in the priority one forward and mid-body areas. One of two reaction jet drivers located in the shuttle aft area was installed. These drivers power the reaction control thrusters of the orbiter maneuvering system pods while in orbit. Technicians removed mid power control assembly #2 and #3 for inspection. These units are part of the system that controls power distribution in the orbiter.

Endeavour (OV-105)

In Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 2, technicians leveled the shuttle in preparation for Heads Up Display alignment. The display is used to optically align the orbiter for landing. Preparations for power up continue. All wiring tests and connector mates are complete. Technicians are finishing the installation of body flap hardware.

Work continues on the manipulator positioning mechanism for the shuttle's robotic arm before installation. The pedestal mechanisms keep the arm secured in the payload bay when it's not in use.

External Tanks

NASA has adjusted its contract with Lockheed Martin Space Systems to produce 18 instead of 35 shuttle external fuel tanks. The reduction aligns the contract with planned missions through 2010.

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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