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STS-121 SET FOR 1 JULY 2006 LAUNCH



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/main/index.html
 
The Space Shuttle Discovery and its crew are set for a July 1 flight to 
the International Space Station. The STS-121 mission will visit the 
International Space Station and continue evaluating new shuttle safety 
improvements. At least two spacewalks are planned during the 12-day 
mission, which also includes repair work to the station.

NASA managers gave the green light after a lengthy Flight Readiness 
Review held June 16-17, a traditional meeting in which top NASA managers 
and engineers set launch dates, determine whether the shuttle's complex 
array of equipment, support systems and procedures are ready for flight 
and assess any risks associated with the mission.
+ Read Press Release 
<http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2006/jun/HQ_06241_STS121_FRR.html>

"The ice/frost ramps were one of the most vigorously discussed items," 
said Associate Administrator for Space Operations Bill Gerstenmaier. 
This [foam loss], is what we expect to see in flight. So when we get 
this data down, you should not be surprised."

The ice/frost ramps are structures made of insulation foam that cover 34 
brackets on the outside of the shuttle's external fuel tank. The ramps 
have been cited as a potential source of foam loss, which could cause 
damage to the shuttle. The Flight Readiness Review board decided the 
current design does not pose sufficient risk to delay the upcoming 
mission while design improvements for later flights are under way.

*June 17, 2006 Flight Readiness Review:*
+ Statement from NASA Chief Safety and Mission Assurance Officer Bryan 
O'Connor and Chief Engineer Chris Scolese 
<http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/news/121frr_oconnor_scolese.html>
+ Certificate of Flight Readiness Endorsement (3.9 Mb PDF) 
<http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/150505main_121_CoFR.pdf>
+ Post FRR Briefing Transcript (92 Kb PDF) 
<http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/150494main_frr_brief_20060617.pdf>
+ Post-FRR Briefing Charts (199 Kb PDF) 
<http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/150416main_FRR%20Briefing%20Charts.pdf>

+ STS-121 Press Kit (6 Mb PDF) 
<http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/149873main_sts121_press_kit.pdf>
+ STS-121 Mission 
<http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts121_overview.html> 
| + STS-121 Crew 
<http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts121/121_crew.html>
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