Jan. 20, 2006

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

The shuttle arm (remote manipulator system) was installed Monday. Arm
verification testing starts next week. All three main engines were
installed last week and leak checks continue.

Preparations are underway for installation of the dome-mounted heat
shields that surround the three engines. That heat shield is made of
two semicircular sections of thermal protection system tiles.

Solid rocket booster stacking for Discovery’s launch starts Monday in
the Vehicle Assembly Building. Monday, the right aft booster,
comprised of the aft shirt and the aft motor segment, will be
transported from the Rotation Processing and Surge Facility to the
assembly building for lifting onto the mobile launcher platform.
Technicians will perform the same procedure for the left aft booster
on Tuesday.

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 was powered down, so a cold plate could be removed and
replaced. The cold plate change-out is complete and leak checks are
underway. Cold plates keep electronics boxes cool.

Work is scheduled to begin on the shuttle’s gap fillers in early
February. Technicians will remove and replace approximately 3,000 gap
fillers in the main priority area at a rate of about 100 per day.
This work is being performed due to two gap fillers that were
protruding from the underside of Discovery during the last mission,
STS-114. New installation procedures were developed to ensure the gap
fillers stay in place and do not pose any hazard during the shuttle’s
re-entry to the atmosphere.

Endeavour (OV-105)

In Orbiter Processing Facility bay 2, processing continues on
Endeavour following an extensive modification period. The Ku-band
antenna was installed on Wednesday. All mid-body structural
inspections are complete.

Work continues on the manipulator positioning mechanism for the
shuttle’s robotic arm before installation in the vehicle. The
mechanisms are pedestals that keep the arm secured in the payload bay
when it’s not in use.

For previous space shuttle processing status reports on the Web,

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


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