NASA managers have decided to continue repairs on ET-124, as opposed to swapping with ET-117, after engineering analysis showed positive results for being able to complete complex foam repairs on the hail damaged tank.
A new launch schedule will be drawn up in six days time, although the earliest launch opportunity for Atlantis will be the second week of June – as revealed by NASASpaceFlight.com last week – placing STS-117 with a NET (No Earlier Than) June 8 launch date target.
**The most comprehensive collection of STS-117 onwards related presentions and mission documentation are available to download on L2 **
Related documentation on L2: Major STS Flight Schedule Changes (New FAWGs) – March 27 – NASA White Paper on Manifest Changes – March 27 – Shuttle Flight Preparation Status Charts to STS-124. ET Repair Documentation – from start of March to April – plus more.
**Previous articles related to the ET damage events: Article 1 – Article 2 – Article 3 – Article 4 – Article 5 – Article 6 – Article 7 – Article 8 – Article 9 – Article 10 – Article 11 – Article 12 – Article 13 – Article 14** Click for more screenshots of the damage.
‘We hope the second flight (STS-118) will be sometime in August,’ added Hale, pointing towards two launches in the space of two months. The potential of four flights in 2007 is a possibility, but will depend on STS-117’s eventual launch date and orbiter processing throughout the year.
**Ride home through the fire and plasma of re-entry with Atlantis on STS-115 – And now also with Discovery on STS-116 – TWO Stunning high quality 2hr, 355mb videos – from deorbit burn to post landing**
Work on ET-124 is proceeding well, with the latest update showing that hundreds of holes created by the hail storm have now been filled with replacement foam. However, no ‘sand and blend’ repairs have taken place at this time.
Further articles will follow. Please refer to the live update pages on L2 (for NASA presentations, memos, emails and images) and on Atlantis’ section (open to all).
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