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SPACE SHUTTLES STATUS S04-33



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC- Amsat A/C #31468

Melissa Mathews
Headquarters, Washington                     Oct. 8, 2004
(Phone: 202/358-1272)

SPACE SHUTTLE PROCESSING REPORT: S04-033

     The Space Shuttle fleet is housed and processed at 
NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla. The order the Space 
Shuttles are listed in this report does not necessarily 
reflect the chronological order of future missions.

Discovery (OV-103)

Processing continues in the Orbiter Processing Facility for 
Discovery's Return to Flight mission. Throughout the week, 
significant progress was made on orbiter system testing. 
Technicians continue to bond the new wing leading edge 
sensors on the interior of the Reinforced Carbon-Carbon (RCC) 
panels. Optics tests continue, with the alignment of the 
Manipulator Positioning Mechanisms, in preparation for the 
Remote Manipulator System (Space Shuttle arm) installation.

Top NASA and Shuttle management met on Oct. 1. They 
determined the March/April target launch window for Return to 
Flight is not achievable, due to the impact of recent 
hurricanes on agency centers. The council directed the Space 
Shuttle Program to assess how it would meet Return to Flight 
milestones for the next available launch window, which opens 
May 14, 2005. The Shuttle program will present its analysis 
at a late October leadership council meeting.

Atlantis (OV-104)

Atlantis is in a four-month power-down period. The critical 
path wiring inspections and Return to Flight electrical 
modifications continue on schedule. Structural and wire 
inspections are ongoing throughout the vehicle.

All right-hand radiators have been installed. Work starts on 
the left-hand radiators next week. Right-hand spar fittings 
have all been installed, with the full complement of 22 RCC 
panels hung on the vehicle. The left-hand wing leading edge 
is complete, including the T-seals, which are installed 
between each panel. 

-more-


-2-

Endeavour (OV-105)

Space Shuttle Endeavour is in its Orbiter Major Modification 
period, which began in December. Electrical modifications 
continue in the crew module. Three-String Global Positioning 
System wire routing in the avionics bay and flight deck 
continues. 

Right and left-hand wing leading edge corrosion cleanup 
continues. Once the RCC panels and associated fittings were 
removed, technicians began to bead blast the wing leading 
edge of Endeavour to ensure there was no corrosion. The edge 
will be painted prior to the reinstallation of RCC panels for 
flight. While the panels are removed, they are undergoing 
extensive non-destructive testing including flash 
thermography and X-rays.

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

http://www.nasa.gov
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