Tuesday’s L-2 Mission Management Team (MMT) has found two issues that require further evaluations, ahead of Shuttle Discovery’s Thursday’s launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
S0007 Launch Countdown Operations are proceeding, although two issues, one with orbiter power and another with test results on the Solid Rocket Motor J Seal, will require further evaluations at Wednesday’s L-1 MMT.
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Flight Director Leroy Cain noted that at present Discovery is on the timeline in the countdown for the Thursday night launch at 9:35pm local time, with cryogenic loading set to take place tonight.
While the L-2 MMT proceeded relatively smoothly, two issues remain outstanding.
‘We met today at our L-2 MMT and reviewed several items in the meeting – as we always do in the way of status,’ noted Cain. ‘We also reviewed several items that are open, and we have a couple of new issues.
‘Two of the issues that we’re working through will be discussed at the L-1 MMT meeting (Wednesday), because we don’t yet have enough data coming into the meeting today to discuss in any level of detail.
‘One of the issues happened overnight, where we had a condition out at the pad with the vehicle and the power systems. We were adjusting the power from the MLP (Mobile Launch Platform) to the orbiter and there was a transient – or erratic condition, which put a voltage condition on the main A Bus on the orbiter that resulted in that Bus coming off line and being shared by the other two Buses – Main B and Main C.
‘We don’t yet know what some of the systems on the orbiter saw, as the guys have not had a chance to go look at the data, so they are going to do that. We do know – in the case of the other elements – such as the External Tank, Solid Rocket Boosters and main engines, that we don’t have any issues with those due to the configuration they were in at the time of this transient condition.
‘Because the transient was very short lived – less than half of a second – that we’re probably not going to have any issues with that.’
Engineers and technicians are checking Discovery at present to gain more data on the incident. The resulting information will be presented to Wednesday’s T-1 MMT.
‘The second issue is with the Solid Rocket Motor, relating to the plies that are on the joint (J Seal).
‘There is a pressure sensitive application – adhesive if you will – and there may be an issue with one of the poll tests for this specific adhesive material. We don’t know the details of it yet. We don’t know if it will be any kind of restraint or issue that we have to talk about beyond what we’ll hear tomorrow when we get more information.
‘So we have those two items that we’re coming back with tomorrow, and we’ll talk about anything else that comes up between now and then.’
Past those two issues, Discovery’s preparations are moving along smoothly.
‘The launch countdown is proceeding on the timeline, as the team next prepare to carry out cryogenic loading on the vehicle tonight,’ added Cain. ‘So we’re on track for Thursday.
‘This will be our third mission this year, the second for Discovery which will be significant for us, the 33rd for Discovery overall, and the 117th mission in the history of the Space Shuttle program.
‘The preparation of Discovery by this team has been outstanding, (given) it involved a 110 day processing flow in the Orbiter Processing Facility.’
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