T-One Month: Atlantis on track for rollout next week

by Chris Bergin

NASA managers have noted their confidence that Atlantis and her repaired External Tank will be ready to rollout back to launch pad 39A next week.

All three of her main engines have been reinstalled, and the hail damaged tank is undergoing final assessments prior to the removal of platforms and scaffolding, with only a few minor engineering problems remaining prior to rollout.

**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 VAB Flow**

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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** click for more screenshots of the damage.

While a full rollout review will take place on the 11th – followed by a press conference – a Delta Rollout Review on Friday cleared Atlantis, despite a few niggling issues remaining.

‘Had Orbiter Delta Rollout Review Friday, with no constraints to rollout,’ noted the latest Shuttle Standup/Integration report. ‘Main risk for going forward is COPV (Composite Overwrap Pressure Vessel) rippled liner. Also looking at RMS camera clearance analysis and potential updates for radiator clearance; also accepted risk for OV-104 cracked inserts.’

The COPVs are spheres hold helium inside the orbiter, and recent mitigation techniques to avoid these vessels rupturing were undertaken by shuttle management. However, the rippled liner is a new condition to the tanks, although it won’t be a problem for the upcoming STS-117.

**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**

‘Getting two spare COPV tanks ready to replace tanks 6 and 7 on OV-104 (Atlantis) after STS-117,’ added the Standup report. ‘Boroscope of tank S/N 2 interior shows area of liner is rippled. Looking into this new condition.’

Work is being finalized on ET-124, following what is pretty much the completion of repairs on the tank. Tuesday work included BX-265 (foam) Rough trim, Trim Tool Installation and Trim operations.

It also appears that the cone of the tank will be given a coat of foam spray, meaning Atlantis will rollout with a new looking tank, as opposed to what has been dubbed a ‘Dalmatian’ looking tank with the repaired areas in evidence.

‘ET intertank defect repairs completed. LH2 shakedown inspection completed,’ added ET-124 repair processing information. ‘Preparations (occurred at the) weekend for LO2 nose cone spray. Pencil Point BX-265 Spray was completed yesterday.’

The re-installation of all three SSMEs (Space Shuttle Main Engines) on Atlantis has now been completed, with the search for RepliSet contamination proving to be a success – by the very nature of hardly anything of concern being found. All three engines have been given a clean bill of health.

‘SSME removals, inspections, and reinstallations continue through next Monday. All 3 engines have been reinstalled. Post-Ops are continuing today (Tuesday), noted processing information on Tuesday.

‘Installed Engine 1 in OV-104 Friday. Installed Engine 2 Saturday. Engine mounted heat shields installed. Was a well coordinated job with high crew and heavy equipment at KSC. Hopefully doing leak checks Wednesday.’

‘SSME #1: single particle found during flowliner inspections has been confirmed to be foam. SSME #2 flowliner inspection found 1/8 in. X 1/32 in. piece of repliset last week.’

All in all, work on Atlantis and the tank is proving to be a huge success and a testament to the workforce following the disappointment of rollback. A review of the rollout date is likely to approve rollout in about a week’s time, with the NET (No Earlier Than) launch date of June 8 appearing to be a solid target.

Processing on Discovery – and more importantly for LON (Launch On Need) requirements – Endeavour are proceeding well, without any major issues in work.

In other shuttle related activities, more positive news is being reported in NASA processing reports on the status of the train that crashed whilst transporting Reusable Solid Rocket Motor (RSRM) segments to Florida.

‘On the RSRM train accident, the two locomotives and pullman car were righted and removed. The three cars with RSRM segments involved in the collapse were put on firm track Thursday night. Forth car (with segment) that rolled on side was righted and moved onto firm track,’ added integration information.

‘Railroad will work on logistics recommendations for taking these four segments to Utah; probably will take 1 and a half weeks.

‘The other four segments and exit cone that were not on collapsed track are in Iola, Kansas; loads in data recorder for these taken during collapse did not violate engineering limits. Plan to send these four segments with exit cone to KSC; independent team will assess loads on these.’

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