New Manifest includes STS-301

by Chris Bergin

A new Shuttle manifest, dated February 24, and titled PRCB 42013FN, lists a contingency of an STS-301 rescue mission for STS-115.

Endeavour is now “plugged into” the CSCS (contingency shuttle crew support) flow, which – it is understood – has only been entered into the manifest as a guideline, should NASA feel they need the requirement – although it was absent from other recent manifests.

SPACEFLIGHT L2 – click image for details. L2 members can view the manifest in full, plus the full ISS element launch order.

Officially, NASA is going with an STS-300 back-up contingency for STS-121, which would see Atlantis launch on an assessed date of August 4, while the crew of STS-121 take up the safe haven of the International Space Station (ISS).

STS-301 – which may revert to STS-300 when Atlantis’ support of her sister Discovery on STS-121 is stood down – is listed on the manifest for Endeavour with a NET (No Earlier Than) launch date of October 28.

The STS-301 date works within a similar LON (Launch On Need) schedule in support of STS-115, as is listed for supporting STS-121. An ability of keeping a total crew of nine people on the ISS for three months is now clearly within the capacity of the outpost.

(Above is a sample of the document)

The new manifest is a result of today’s PRCB ( (Program Requirements Control Board) meeting, which is tasked – amongst other things – with placing together launch dates for the remaining 17 flights of the Shuttle fleet, prior to their retirement.

May is by no means certain as the date for Discovery’s STS-121 mission, with the results of wind tunnel tests still holding the key for the use of ET-119 – which is to be shipped from the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) on Saturday. Tests will need to confirm that the removal of the PAL ramp and sections of the Ice/Frost ramp are not detrimental to the ET’s aerodynamics.

Another, expanded, manifest article will appear on site tomorrow, as new information flows in from today’s events at the PRCB.

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