Dec. 15, 2005

Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington
(202) 358-3749

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



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
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

Work continues for Discovery’s second mission in the Return to Flight
sequence, STS-121. The orbiter boom sensor system, the 50-foot device
used to inspect the shuttle’s heat shield, was installed in
Discovery’s payload bay on Wednesday. Adjustments of the mechanical
release latches will follow in the next few weeks. Inspections of
windows 9 and 10 are complete, with no anomalies reported. Wire
inspections and chafe protection installation continue on the
vehicle’s steering jets used in space. The pull tests on the external
fuel tank door latch were completed Tuesday.

Technicians continue to replace daily approximately 100 gap fillers in
a main-priority area. New installation procedures are being used to
ensure the gap fillers stay in place and do not pose a hazard during
the shuttle’s re-entry to the atmosphere.

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

Atlantis processing continues on schedule for its mission to the
International Space Station. Freon coolant loop no. 1 was drained
from the orbiter to allow a cold plate removal and replacement. The
forward reaction control system, used for on orbit maneuvers, was
installed last week and connections are complete. The mechanical
release latches for the shuttle arm are being installed.

Thermal protection system gap-filler inspections and measurements
continue in the forward and mid-body areas. Four reaction control
system thrusters on the orbiter maneuvering system were replaced.

Endeavour (OV-105)

Technicians continue to process Endeavour in Orbiter Processing
Facility Bay 2. Work on the modification of the elevon lightning
protection is complete. The modification stabilized the flexible
metal casing on the elevon wire harness. Endeavour was powered up on
Monday after being down for about two months for wiring

Installation of the reinforced carbon carbon panels on wing leading
edges continues. Technicians installed 15 panels on the left wing and
13 panels on the right wing. Preparation is under way for body flap
installation next week. Testing of the vehicle’s Global Positioning
System took place this week, and hydraulic leak checks began.

External Tank

Engineers continue evaluating the causes of foam loss during
Discovery’s launch in July. Data has been gathered about the cracks
in the protuberance air load (PAL) ramp of external tank 120.
Engineers are focusing on flying the next shuttle mission without the
PAL ramp. The removal could affect the ice frost ramp. It is another
solid piece of foam like the PAL ramp. It supports the
pre-pressurization lines running down the side of the tank adjacent
to the PAL ramp. To ensure flight integrity, more testing, including
wind-tunnel tests, will be done to identify an engineering solution.
While work continues to target a May launch window, engineers will
have more information on scheduling once the engineering fix is

For previous space shuttle processing status reports on the Web,

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


To subscribe to the list, send a message to:
To remove your address from the list, send a message to: