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.
Stay up-to-date via our space flight specific forum