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George Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Nov. 16, 2007
NASA's Space Shuttle Processing Status Report
Note: NASA's Kennedy Space Center issues Space Shuttle Processing Status Reports periodically and is the source for information regarding processing activities associated with the vehicles and payloads. If you are a member of the media and would like further information, visit:

Mission: STS-122 - 24th International Space Station Flight - Columbus Module
Vehicle: Atlantis (OV-104)
Location: Launch Pad 39A
Launch Date: Targeted for Dec. 6, 2007
Crew: Frick, Poindexter, Schlegel, Eyharts, Love, Melvin, Walheim
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

On Nov. 10, the STS-122 shuttle stack rolled from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39A, where workers are performing closeout connections and system verification checks. Atlantis' payload, including the Columbus module, was installed in the orbiter cargo bay on Sunday. Hypergolic propellant, which powers the maneuvering systems on both the orbiter and the solid rocket boosters, has been loaded. The astronauts will arrive on Saturday for the three-day terminal countdown demonstration test. This is a countdown dress rehearsal and a training exercise for the flight crew. It will conclude on Nov. 20 with the astronauts on the flight deck of Atlantis. They will be participating in the last three hours of the simulated countdown while working with the launch team located in Firing Room 4 of the Launch Control Center.

An issue with one of the helium isolation valves in Atlantis' forward reaction control system was discovered during hypergolic loading on Wednesday. The valve remains open even when it is commanded to shut. Open is the normal flight position during a mission. Technicians will continue to evaluate the issue during the weekend. Space Shuttle Program manager Wayne Hale told media during a news conference Friday that engineers will either be able to fix the problem or rely on the system's redundancy and high reliability components and fly as is.

Mission: STS-123 - 25th International Space Station Flight - Kibo, Dextre
Vehicle: Endeavour (OV-105)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 2
Launch Date: Targeted for Feb. 14, 2008
Launch Pad: 39A
Crew: Gorie, Johnson, Linnehan, Doi, Behnken, Foreman, Reisman
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

In Orbiter Processing Facility bay No. 2, the three main engines have been installed on Endeavour and integrated testing with the main propulsion system begins today. Functional testing of the waste containment system is complete. Payload pre-mate testing has finished. The orbiter boom sensor system, which was recently removed from Discovery, arrived this week in the facility's bay No. 2. The system has undergone post-flight inspections and thermal blanket installation, and is being temporarily installed today to allow for fit checks. This week, technicians began working to bond BRI tiles around the main landing gear door. The rudder speed brake has been configured for flight and the orbiter drag chute is installed.

Mission: STS-124 - 26th International Space Station Flight - Kibo Pressurized Module, Japanese Remote Manipulator System
Vehicle: Discovery (OV-103)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3
Launch Date: Targeted for April 24, 2008
Launch Pad: 39A
Crew: Kelly, Ham, Nyberg, Garan, Fossum, Hoshide
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

In Orbiter Processing Facility bay No. 3, the end-of-mission/integrated roll-in operations are complete. The payload bay doors were opened last weekend and the Ku-band antenna was deployed. Orbiter power system validations and radiator inspections have finished. The orbiter boom sensor system was removed and transferred to bay No. 2 for installation in Endeavour. Inspections of the reinforced carbon-carbon panels on the wing leading edges are under way. The external airlock hatch functional test is complete. Preparations are in progress for offloading hypergolic fuel. Post-flight inspection of the thermal protection system is halfway complete.