National Aeronautics and Space Administration
John F. Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center, Florida 32899
FOR RELEASE: 12/05/2005
VIDEO NO: KSC-05-S-00309
CAPTIONED IN: ENGLISH
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Next on the NASA Space Shuttle Status Report:
Getting ready - Orbiter Discovery gets ready for NASA's 18th International Space Station flight.
Close behind - Atlantis is also preparing for flight at Kennedy Space Center.
And orbiter Endeavour sports a partially new paint job. The NASA Space Shuttle Status Report starts right now.
I'm Mark Ross, NASA test director, and this is the NASA Space Shuttle Status Report.
Topping NASA's orbiter news this week: In Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3,
work continues progressing for Discovery's second Space Shuttle return-to-flight test mission, STS-121.
The remote manipulator system, or space shuttle arm, that was removed from orbiter Atlantis is now installed on Discovery.
The arm has special instrumentation to gather data from the STS-121 mission.
Also, a high-tech, post-flight inspection of Discovery's wing leading edge reinforced carbon-carbon panels is now complete.
A technique known as "thermography" was used to search for microscopic flaws in the orbiter's panels.
The inspection revealed two areas that will need repair prior to the next flight.
And new gap filler installation procedures are now being considered,
after careful analysis of the two gap fillers found protruding from the underside of Discovery during last summer's return-to-flight mission.
These procedures will ensure the gap fillers stay in place and do not pose any hazard on re-entry to the atmosphere.
More than 2,000 gap fillers will be replaced in one zone on the underside of each orbiter.
The gap fillers are installed with a special red, glue-like substance known as Room Temperature Vulcanization or RTV.
Atlantis is also undergoing gap filler work as processing continues on schedule in Orbiter
Processing Facility Bay 1 for its mission to the International Space Station.
Atlantis' thermal protection system gap filler inspections and measurements continue in the forward and mid-body areas of the vehicle.
Also this week, technicians are preparing to install the Forward Reaction Control System.
This system fits behind the nose of the vehicle and houses all of the forward thrusters and instruments that
control the attitude and direction of the vehicle. And Endeavour is sporting a new paint job! A partial paint job, at least.
Technicians continue to process Endeavour in Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 2,
following a nearly two-year orbiter major modification period. Endeavour's mid-body received fresh paint late last month.
And technicians haven't stopped there: thermal protection system blanket work is under way in the area of the reinforced carbon-carbon nose cap.
That's all the time we have for this week's Space Shuttle Status Report.
Stay with NASA TV and nasa.gov for the latest in mission news. For the NASA Space Shuttle Status Report, I'm Mark Ross.|
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