March 31, 2006

Joe Pally
Headquarters, Washington
(202) 358-7239

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 International Space Station Flight (ULF1.1) -
Multi-Purpose Logistics Module
Vehicle: Discovery (OV-103)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3
Launch Date: Launch Planning Window July 1-19, 2006
Launch Pad:39B
Crew: Lindsey, Kelly, Sellers, Fossum, Nowak, Wilson and Reiter
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Final powered-up systems testing and area closeouts continue in
preparation for Discovery’s move to the Vehicle Assembly Building no
earlier than May 12. Final closeouts on the shuttle’s main engines
continue with thermal protection system foaming operations around
them. Engine configuration for rollover was performed Thursday, which
was followed by platform removal and final inspections.

Work continues on the thermal protection system and thermal barriers
for the nose landing gear. The landing gear functional test is set
for next week. The lower section of the remote manipulator system, or
shuttle arm, returned to Kennedy today following repairs by the
vendor in Canada. Shuttle technicians inadvertently damaged the arm
slightly March 4. The arm will be retested prior to reinstallation.

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: No earlier than Aug. 28, 2006

Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Jett, Ferguson, Tanner, Burbank, MacLean and Stefanyshyn-Piper
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Technicians continue performing powered-up system testing on Atlantis
for its mission to the International Space Station. Water coolant
loop servicing continues following the removal and replacement of the
water coolant loop No. 2 pump package.

Preparations began today for the orbiter boom sensor system’s
installation into Atlantis’ payload bay on Monday. The 50-foot-long
boom attaches to the shuttle arm and is one of the new safety
measures added prior to Return to Flight last year. It equips the
orbiter with cameras and laser systems to inspect the shuttle’s heat
shield while in space.

Endeavour (OV-105)

Powered-up system testing continues on Endeavour in Orbiter Processing
Facility bay 2 following an extensive modification period. Work
continues in preparation for the external airlock’s installation into
the payload bay, which is set for next week.

On April 3, technicians will begin operations to install the
reinforced carbon-carbon nose cap. Rigging operations continue on the
manipulator positioning mechanisms, which support the remote
manipulator system and orbiter boom sensor system. The mechanisms
serve as pedestals that hold the shuttle arm and boom in the payload

External Tank

Work is under way in the Vehicle Assembly Building checkout cell on
the external tank that will fly on mission STS-121. Technicians are
removing and replacing the tank’s four liquid hydrogen engine cutoff
sensors, which indicate whether the tank still has fuel during its
climb to orbit.

On Monday, technicians began removing thermal protection system foam
around the bottom of the tank in an area known as the “manhole.” The
manhole was removed Tuesday to allow technicians to gain access into
the tank, and on Thursday the sensors and mounting bracket were
removed. The sensors were shipped back to the Michoud Assembly
Facility in New Orleans for inspection.

Work is also under way to install a new gaseous oxygen vent valve
under the nose cap of the tank. While technicians were beginning to
work around the nose cap area this week, a light stand that was being
repositioned fell, contacting the tank. The lamp struck the composite
nosecone and adjacent foam insulation, causing minor damage. Any
repairs will be performed in the Vehicle Assembly Building checkout

For previous space shuttle processing status reports on the Web,


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