Atlantis arrives at Pad 39A – Endeavour readied for rollover

by Chris Bergin

Leaving the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Facility) Tuesday morning, Shuttle Atlantis and her repaired – and somewhat speckled – External Tank have arrived at Pad 39A ahead of the June 8 launch of STS-117.

The crawler transporter started first motion just after 5am local time, ahead of a six hour trip to the pad – following over two months of repairs on ET-124 after it suffered hail storm damage. Meanwhile, Endeavour is set to rollover on July 5.

**The most comprehensive collection of STS-117 onwards related presentions and mission documentation are available to download on L2 **

**LIVE news updates on Atlantis STS-117 ROLLOUT – LIVE**

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

**LIVE news updates on Discovery STS-120 (LON-320) Processing**

Related documentation on L2: Five major presentations on COPV evaluations. Standup Reports. Daily Processing Ops Reports. Lockheed Martin Schedule Presentations. Daily ATK Processing information. Daily ET Repair Assessment Presentations – plus more (vast). All the NASA and ATK reports on the train crash, plus vast amount of exclusive photos of the aftermath – plus more…the ultimate place to follow Shuttle processing.

**Previous articles related to the ET damage events: Article 1Article 2 – Article 3 – Article 4 – Article 5 – Article 6 – Article 7 – Article 8 – Article 9 – Article 10Article 11 – Article 12 – Article 13 – Article 14 – Article 15 – Article 16** – Article 17** – Article 18** – Article 19** – Article 20** click for more screenshots of the damage.

‘All ET work completed,’ declared shuttle manager Wayne Hale on the latest Stand-up/Integration report. ‘Inspections performed on weekend and the paper reviewed (12,000 pages). Scaffolds were removed. Having constraints review; constraints appear low.’

Atlantis is rolling to the pad with a few issues, including a requirement for an engine seal check, after leaking seals were changed out at the weekend inside the VAB. This follows the removal of Atlantis’ engines to check for RepliSet contamination.

**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**

‘Had couple of engine seals leaking; changed these out on weekend, and leak checks will be performed at pad,’ added the Stand-up. ‘Ultrasound performed on LO2 turbopump.’

That is not expected to be a problem, with the only issue being evaluated on Atlantis being rippling observed on one of her COPV (Composite Overwrap Pressure Vessel) tanks.

‘Only issue still working for launch is waviness in titanium liner in COPV S/N 2 tank (spare tank that were getting ready to put in OV-104 after STS-117). Know now this phenomenon appears in many tanks. Not documented in old inspection reports, but weren’t looking for this.

‘Have actions on this topic, teams formed, and have another tagup with OPO (Orbiter Project Office) Wednesday.’

STS-117 is still expected to be the first of four flights in 2007, which is reflected in the positive outlook of the next two rollover dates for Atlantis’ sisters. Endeavour is set to rollout on July 5 for STS-118.

‘Planned orbiter rollover date is July 5,’ noted the processing status of Endeavour this week. ‘Did CEIT (Crew Equipment Interface Test) on weekend; couple of switches were loose and are under engineering review.

‘Have 30 TPS (Thermal Protection System) cavities remaining; most awaiting configuration. Dome heat shields (for the engines) installed. Closing payload bay doors in one week (earlier than normal) for rollout; need to do this for tile work and modal test.’

Meanwhile, Discovery is being prepared to move to the VAB on August 31, ahead of her STS-120 mission. Major work on Discovery relates to post STS-116 work on her TPS.

‘Good progress toward OPF (Orbiter Processing Facility) rollover scheduled August 31; no issues,’ added her processing update. ‘Total tile cavity count is 250, of which 122 remain to bond.’

Tuesday’s rollout of Atlantis – without the need for a tank swap with ET-117 – earned more praise from the shuttle management, who thanked the team effort in turning around Atlantis in time for the NET (No Earlier Than) June 8 launch.

‘Thanks to KSC team and ET project for working ET repairs over last 10 weeks. They have emphasized this is a team effort; many individuals worked long hours getting job done. Mr. Hale concurred.’

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