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Endeavour is Home; Discovery's Next to Fly


*Endeavour is Home; Discovery's Next to Fly*

Image above: The orbiter Endeavour is maneuvered into the Orbiter 
Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida after its 
return to Earth on Aug. 21. It will undergo post-flight inspections and 
processing for its next mission. Image credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller
+ View larger image 

*Discovery Remains on Target for October*
Space Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale said on Friday that even with 
the work planned on the next shuttle's external tank, the STS-120 launch 
remains targeted for Oct. 23.

Foam loss from the liquid oxygen feedline brackets on the STS-118 
external tank during launch caused thermal tile damage to Endeavour. 
While a change to the brackets was already in progress on tanks now in 
production, the problem on the tank being used for STS-120 will be 
remedied by using different foam on the brackets. Workers will travel to 
the Kennedy Space Center from the Michoud Assembly Facility in New 
Orleans to replace the existing foam and underlying thermal protective 
agent on the brackets with lightweight foam. The process is expected to 
take approximately nine days.

Because the work schedule leading to Discovery's liftoff on mission 
STS-120 contains about five extra days, mission managers believe it 
provides enough time to make the changes and still launch on time.

*Endeavour and Crew Home*
Capping off mission STS-118, Space Shuttle Endeavour glided to a perfect 
landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on August 21. During 
almost 13 days in space, the crew members added a new segment to the 
superstructure of the International Space Station and delivered 5,800 
pounds of equipment and supplies to the orbiting laboratory.

Endeavour lifted off from Launch Pad 39A on Aug. 8, 2007, following a 
smooth countdown. The STS-118 mission was the 22nd flight to the 
International Space Station and Endeavour's first flight since 2002.

*Photos of Endeavour's Tile Damage*
+ View Hi-Res Image of Tile Damage 
+ View Hi-Res Image of Tile Taken in Space 
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