STS-117 FRR completed – Atlantis confirmed for June 8 launch

by Chris Bergin

Shuttle managers have concluded their Flight Readiness Review (FRR) by approving Shuttle Atlantis to proceed with the first launch attempt of STS-117 on June 8.

The as-expected announcement follows a meeting that lasted one and a half days, which shuttle managers used to discuss all elements regarding the vehicle and the upcoming mission.

**The most comprehensive collection of STS-117 onwards related presentions and mission documentation, plus expansive daily processing documentation and updates are available to download on L2 ** Including all FRR documentation and presentations.

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The FRR was approved by all members, which discussed launch safety criteria such, including the repaired External Tank (ET-124) which initially caused the delay to the launch until June.

‘We had a very good review over the past day and a half,’ said associate administrator Bill Gerstenmaier. ‘We’ve set the launch date for June 8.

‘We often talk about a high performance team and how folks work together, across the contractors and work as a true team to get things done. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an effort done as well as this External Tank team.’

Other items that were discussed involved the Composite Overwrap Pressure Vessels (COPV) in Atlantis, the aluminum housing/inserts for flange bolts that hold the Low Pressure Oxidizer Turbo Pump (LPOTP) in place inside the main engines, the Pan Tilt Unit (PTU) Qual Unit Failure issue, and a crack in one tile – all of which gained flight rationale.

In all, over 100 issues were up for discussion. However, it was the External Tank that continued to gain the majority of the comments during the post-FRR media briefing, with Shuttle manager Wayne Hale paying a special tribute to the workforce involved.

**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**

‘I can come to you today and say we are extremely confident that we have done a perfectly good repair and that we have a tank that is safe to fly – which is all due to the very hard work of this team which as you know is still recovering from Katrina,’ said Hale.

‘In the face of all the work they had to do to get this particular tank repaired and ready for flight, they have also had to do a major redesign change to the Ice Frost Ramps (IFR) for ET-120 and for a final design change for ET-128 onwards, and keep production up on the schedule that we asked them to do.

‘Adversity can breed character and resilience, and I’m extremely proud of this team that has come through all of these difficulties and be stronger for it.’

Another article will appear shorly, reviewing the FRR documentation acquired by this site on L2.

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