Discovery arrives at pad – STS-122 booster stacking begins
The Discovery/STS-120 stack has arrived at Launch Pad 39A, following a a six hour journey Sunday morning. Scheduled rollout was delayed overnight due to poor weather.
Meanwhile, in High Bay 3, STS-122’s stack is starting to take shape, with the opening segments of Atlantis’ left hand Solid Rocket Booster being built up on top of the Mobile Launch Platform.
**The most comprehensive collection of Shuttle, Ares, Orion and ISS related presentations and mission documentation, plus expansive daily processing documentation and updates are available to download on L2 **
Extensive STS-120 Special Section on L2 now live, including Flight Plans, Handbooks, Manuals, documentation and presentations. STS-122 to STS-127 documentation already available.
STS-120 L2 Special includes 19 MOD Flight Readiness Review Presentations (see sample left) – the most expansive overview of the mission. **Click list for sample**
L2 is the world’s only ‘as it happens’ area on the net that gives you a seat next to the shuttle engineers and managers, in real time.
**LIVE news updates on Discovery STS-120 ROLLOUT and PAD Processing**
**LIVE news updates on Endeavour STS-123 Processing**
**LIVE news updates on Atlantis STS-122 Processing**
Mating operations inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) proceeded smoothly over the past week, protecting the one day of contingency in the flow towards launch.
Rollout weather was being monitored ahead of Discovery’s three mile crawl to the pad. Call to stations for engineers inside the VAB has been set for 4pm local time on Saturday, with the transporter crawler set to make first movement out of the giant building four hours later.
Weather proved to be the defining factor, delaying operations until the morning. The journey took around six hours to complete.
Processing of Discovery and her mated External Tank and twin Solid Rocket Boosters proceeded well over the past week, with only a couple of hours lost – since caught up – and only one engineering constraint to rollout – subsequently alleviated. Some minor elements of processing will be switched to the pad flow.
‘Working mate operations; everything going well though they are a couple of hours down,’ noted the latest Stand-up Integration report at the end of the working week. ‘LO2 side is complete, and LH2 side will be finished soon. Being a couple of hours down is not a concern; do have opportunities to make this up.
‘Do have one constraint to rollout. Discovered that grease was not getting to ET IT access bearing. Showing this as a constraint until Engineering determines what needs to be done in this area (since removed as a constraint).’
Discovery’s payload has already made the journey to the pad, and the transporter which carried the canister with the STS-120 cargo is now clear of the launch complex.
‘Payload canister lift to the PCR/payload installation in the PGHM were completed yesterday; team working to lower the canister to the transporter at this time,’ added Friday processing information.
‘Weekend Outlook: CTS (Call To Stations) for SSV Rollout to the Pad is scheduled for 1600 Saturday with first motion at 2000 hrs. Vehicle power up is scheduled for Sunday morning, and weather permitting, APU hotfire for Sunday afternoon.’
**(NOW INCLUDES STS-118 Re-Entry Video) Ride home through the fire, sparks and plasma of re-entry with Atlantis, Discovery and Endeavour. FIVE Stunning high quality 2hr, 355-400mb Camcorder and HUD videos – from payload bay closure – through re-entry with a astronaut held camcorder video – to post landing – several more videos showing landing from 90,000 ft also available – Plus the newly added HALO II Re-entry video**
So long as rollout occurs over the weekend, Discovery’s pad flow is protected for the opening of the launch window for STS-120 on October 23. At the same time, STS-122’s processing remains on track for a December 6 launch date, with the start of booster stacking in High Bay 3 of the VAB, albeit a day late.
‘Planned to start SRB stacking Wednesday, but weather did not cooperate. Weather looks better Thursday, so will begin stacking,’ added processing information, followed by confirmation from ATK on Friday, ‘LH aft booster mate to the MLP is complete. The LAC segment has been transferred to the VAB.’
Meanwhile, shuttle manager Wayne Hale has noted the challenge of proceeding with due diligence with both processing flows, asking the workforce to be prepared for a busy period.
‘Have a busy fall schedule. Challenge for STS-120 is not only the usual challenge of having a safe and successful flight, but also the additional challenge of office work in order to prepare for STS-122,’ noted Hale. ‘Ask that everyone be prepared with their teams to support PRCBs (Program Requirements Control Board) and other reviews during STS-120.
‘Goal is to have a nice Christmas vacation where we can celebrate three successful flights this year.’
L2 members: All documentation – from which the above article has quoted snippets – is available in full in the related L2 sections, updated live.
**STARLIGHT: NEW STS-117 MISSION REVIEW MUSIC VIDEO** – STS-118 Mission review video also available.
**ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE: STS-117 MISSION REVIEW MUSIC VIDEO – AS SEEN BY THE STS-117 CREW!!** -.
(Video section is FREE, but you need to sign up as a member of the forum to enter the video section of the site. We only use your e-mail to send you your password. It will not be used for spam etc.)