NASA prepare for safety and success

by Chris Bergin

Shuttle manager Wayne Hale has rallied his troops ahead of the four STS missions in 2007 – with the fifth projected as moving to 2008 on the latest manifest – preparing them for “an outstanding year.”

As NASA continue to make major refinements to their shuttle schedule, NASA administrator Mike Griffin also emphasised that continuing to learn the safest way to approach the final flights of the three orbiters is paramount in the agency’s plans.

**Over 2500mb of STS-116 onwards related presentions and mission documentation available on L2 ** 

Latest FAWG Manifest Presentation (Jan). New Launch Schedule Presentation – Jan 8. Several YERO Presentations. Same Day On Orbit Status Reports. Shuttle Stand-up/Integration Reports. Same Day Expansive Launch Operations Reports. Super hi-res image of the Progress antenna issue – and more available on L2.

**LIVE news updates on Atlantis STS-117 Processsing Flow**

**LIVE news updates on Endeavour STS-118 (LON-318) Processing**

**LIVE news updates on Discovery STS-122 (LON-322) Processing**

Orbiters Atlantis and Endeavour will be tasked with carrying out the 2007 schedule, with four major International Space Station (ISS) assembly missions.

Discovery was set to join in on the fifth launch of the year with STS-123 – and that officially remains the case – although that has slipped to January according to the latest schedule, which projects the natural changes to the NET (No Earlier Than) launch dates.

‘The Flight Assessment Working Group web page shows the new manifest. We have been working to align flight dates with ET delivery dates. Want to make sure manifest is accurate for budget planning,’ said Hale in the latest Shuttle Stand-up/Integration Report.

‘ISS has considerable constraints on manifest, including times when Soyuz must fly and when Soyuz must be relocated from one point to another. The manifest posted on the web page represents much work to accurately reflect the constraints. A CR was submitted for evaluation to move up the STS-117 launch date one day to March 15th.’

While the manifest reflects the slip of STS-123 to January – as part of the aforementioned ISS/Soyuz conflict – such slips aren’t made official until nearer the launch date. This prompted the comment from Hale that if there is a chance Discovery could launch at the end of December, then YERO (Year End Rollover) will come into play – which is continuing to undergo evaluations by NASA.

‘There were negotiations on flights occurring late in the year. There is a significant probability that the December flight could slip out a couple weeks, so year end rollover capability must be useable,’ Hale added.

‘(We’re) off to a great start this year. It is going to be an outstanding year.’

**Ride home through the fire and plasma of re-entry with Atlantis on STS_115 – Stunning 2hr, 355mb video – from deorbit burn to post landing**

While the manifest is constantly evolving – as it has over the life of the shuttle program – it currently reflects the continuation of the 4.5 flights per year which NASA has been able to achieve since Columbia made her debut on STS-1.

However, the return to regular flights of the shuttle – which had its foundations laid in the second half of 2006 – still faces challenges on every launch, as Griffin emphasized the ‘minor miracle’ of continuing to safely carry out the hardest thing humans have yet learned to master.

‘I have consistently said that if we could take the time necessary to get things going properly that we could get back to our historical operational tempo of 4.5 launches per year on the average that we would easily finish the Station by the time it was necessary to retire the Shuttle,’ Griffin noted.

‘I think we are now demonstrating that, with out deeds – rather than our words, and let people see what we could do.

‘I think we are in fact better than before, because I think we have a new understanding in this country and in the space community that each and every time we do this it is a minor miracle. It is the hardest thing that humans beings have yet learned to do. It is extraordinarily difficult to do it and to get it right.

‘We’ve learned again (STS-107), in a very sad fashion, that it is a dangerous and difficult activity, and that we have to stay hungry all the time for new data and new lessons.

‘This is an enterprise that is right on the cutting edge of what is possible for human beings to do at all.’

In ISS related news, the spacewalk to cut free the troublesome antenna on the Russian Progress re-supply ship (M-58/23P) has been moved back to being a Russian EVA on the Station. Initially – and inexplicably – the effort was listed as an American EVA.

However, the latest On Orbit Status Report (Jan 10) now lists the EVA as Russian, with a new date of February 26. Three other EVAs on the ISS, which will take place over the space of just over a week, have also been given new dates, with US EVA 6,7 and 8, moving to January 31, February 4 and February 8 respectfully.

Below is the current FAWG/Shuttle and NASA/ISS Launch Schedules and Manifest – in listed text form. PDF Presentations – constantly updated – are available on L2.


January 18 – Progress M-59 (24P)
March 16 – STS-117 (13A) – Atlantis – S3/S4 (possible launch date is March 15)
April 9 – Soyuz TMA-10 (14S)
May 12 – Progress M-60 (25P)
[June 9 – STS-318 (LON for STS-117) – Endeavour]
June 28 – STS-118 (13A.1) – Endeavour – S5, Spacehab-SM, ESP3
July 25 – Jules Verne (ATV-1)
[August 24 – STS-320 (LON for STS-118) – Atlantis]
September 3 – Progress M-61 (26P)
September 7 – STS-120 (10A) – Atlantis – Node 2, PDGF
[September 28 – STS-322 (LON for STS-120) – Discovery (possible launch date is October 19)]
October 6 – Soyuz TMA-11 (15S)
November – STS-122 (1E) – Discovery – Columbus, ICC-Lite (possible launch dates are November 5 or 27)
November 15 – Progress M-62 (27P)
[November 24 – STS-323 (LON for STS-122) – Endeavour]


January – STS-123 (1J/A) – Endeavour – JEM ELM-PS, SLP-D1 with SPDM Dextre (possible launch dates are January 14 or 17)
January 29 – Progress M-63 (28P)
[February 15 – STS-324 (LON for STS-123) – Atlantis]
February 29 – STS-124 (1J) – Atlantis – JEM PM with JEM RMS
April 8 – Soyuz TMA-12 (16S)
July 10 – STS-119 (15A) – Endeavour – S6
September 11 – STS-125 (HST-SM4) – Atlantis
[September 18 – STS-326 (LON for STS-125 and STS-119) – Discovery]
October 9 – STS-126 (ULF2) – Discovery – MPLM, LMC


January 15 – STS-127 (2J/A) – Endeavour – JEM EF, ELM-ES, SLP-D2
April 9 – STS-128 (17A) – Discovery – MPLM, LMC
July 9 – STS-129 (ULF3) – Endeavour – ELC1, ELC2
July – HTV (HTV-1)
September 30 – STS-130 (19A) – Discovery – MPLM, LMC
TBD – MLM (3R) – ERA


[January 14 – STS-131 (ULF4/CLF) – Endeavour – ELC3, ELC4]
April 1 – STS-132 (20A) – Discovery – Node 3 with Cupola
[July 9 – STS-133 (ULF5/CLF) – Endeavour – ELC5, ELC1]

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