Shuttle orbiter Endeavour has rolled over to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) in preparation for her STS-123 mission, due to launch in just over a month’s time.
Meanwhile, her older sister, Atlantis, is waiting on official approval – following the post-Focused Inspection recommendation – to have an EVA repair to an unstitched piece of OMS Pod blanket (see newsflash), the only TPS issue with the orbiter, while EVA-1 has seen the successful move of the Columbus module on to the ISS.
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**STS-122 Special: 29 Flight Readiness Review (FRR) Presentations, Baselines and Mission Overviews. **Click here for FRR overview articles: Article 1 – Article 2** Payload Presentations and vast amounts of live, uploaded images and presentations, movies (several) – already 3400 megabytes strong**
**STS-122 MMT Level LIVE now active. STS-123 L2 Special Build-up in full swing (MOD FRR Presentations and Processing).
**LIVE updates on Atlantis STS-122 FLIGHT DAY SPECIFIC**
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STS-122 ECO related news content (all exclusives): *Scrub 1* – *MMT Debate* – *Scrub 2* – *Hale Memo* – *Forward Plan* – *Culprit Found* – *Tanking Test* – *Repair Options* – *MAF Plan* – *PRCB Debate* – *Plan Approved* – *Repair Schedule* – *Launch Date* – *New Issue* – *Hale Rallying Call* – *PRCB Launch Dates* – *New Connector Installed* – *Positive Test Results* – *Manifest Impacts* – *Optimism with forward plan* – *Flight Rationale* – *Repairs Finalizing* – *Root Cause Confirmed*
STS-122: Hose related news content (all exclusives): *Issue found/fleet to be checked (December)* – *Atlantis found to have problem* – *Managers discuss forward plan* – *Use of pole to aid retract* – *Successful Retraction*
OPO meeting at midday Tuesday to clear the OMS Pod to re-enter as-is. New article shortly.
STS-122 TPS Latest:
Flight Day 4’s Focused Inspection on the blanket shows that it has unstitched from the Pod’s structure in a similar fashion to STS-117’s incident – again with Atlantis – on the opposite side of the vehicle. Had it been just the outer layer, it would have reduced the need for an EVA repair.
Should a spacewalk be called, it would likely be incorporated into one of the upcoming EVAs, with the ‘pushing back and pinning down with staples’ of the blanket a task that would take around couple of hours. The official decision on whether to repair or leave as-is will likely be taken today or tomorrow.
‘RH OMS Blanket focused inspection was performed Sunday to confirm the blanket is raised,’ noted information on Monday morning. ‘The current recommendation is to only do a staple repair as was done on a previous flight, but only if the analysis team deems it necessary.’
Regardless, this is still one of the cleanest missions to date, with every other element of the vehicle examined during Flight Day 2 Inspections and Flight Day 3 RPM imagery evaluations cleared – or in the process of being cleared – for re-entry.
‘TPS damage noted on the RH Inboard Elevon was cleared by analysis,’ added documentation.
‘TPS damage noted at five locations around windows #3 and #4. Two of the five locations are being looked at closer.’
ET Umbilical Well imagery – downloaded last night following an issue with a hard drive – showed ET-125 performed well. The images, acquired by L2, do show a couple of area of interest, as per usual for the ETs, but overall, ET-125 suffered very little foam liberation.
Atlantis herself is performing extremely well, with only a few minor issues reported, ranging from a thermostat failure that will be replaced once the orbiter is back inside her OPF (Orbiter Processing Facility), to the rebooting of a problemative GPC (General Purpose Computer) number 3.
‘Drain Line Heater Anomaly – this problem is a non issue for this mission and is a confirmed thermostat failure which will require R&R upon return to KSC,’ noted documentation on Monday morning.
‘Space-to-Space Orbiter Radio (SSOR) lost lock on string 1. String 2 continues to perform nominally. Troubleshooting on SSOR string 2 is expected later in the mission but no earlier than FD-08.
‘GPC#3 dropped when brought up for rendezvous; suspect bad mode switch on Panel O6. GPC#4 was used instead for the rendezvous.’ (GPC#3 is being rebooted, following a data dump, noted shuttle deputy manager John Shannon).
EVA-1 (Follow every second on our interactive live event pages):
Back on orbit, the first spacewalk of the mission has begun, with the delayed EVA-1, moved back 24 hours due to an illness to spacewalker Hans Schlegel. He has been replaced for the EVA by Stanley Love. EVA-1 is scheduled to begin at 09:35 EST. The unberth and installation of the Columbus module is planned for 14:10 EST.
At the start of the EVA, the spacewalkers will set-up the installation of the PDGF (Power Data Grapple Fixture) by translating to the payload bay, disconnecting the LTA heater cables from the Columbus module (starts the thermal clock), before removing the Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) seal covers, and releasing the PDGF from the sidewall carrier.
The spacewalkers will then install the PDGF on the Columbus module in preparation for the grapple by the SSRMS (Space Station Arm). Once the crew has completed the PDGF install, they translate up to P1 and begin the prep work to remove the NTA (Nitrogen Tank Assembly).
As a result of clearance issues with the removal of the Columbus Module out of the payload bay, the KU dish is stowed prior to the start of EVA-1. The KU dish is then deployed on FD06 after the SSRMS releases the Columbus Module.
The module has now been moved from Atlantis payload bay and installed into its position on the International Space Station.
Endeavour, only recently cleared to rollover due to a HEPA filter contamination issue, has now arrived inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), following an on time departure from her OPF.
‘Final power down for rollover was completed Friday. Vent doors 8 & 9 were opened Friday for orbiter positive pressure tests. The -Y star tracker door was cycled open then closed Friday for inspections and sampling,’ noted Monday morning processing information.
Boroscope of the FWD purge circuit ducting (FRCS cavity) is complete, no debris was found, duct reconfigure is also complete. Orbiter Structural Leak test was completed successfully on Sunday morning. Orbiter/OTS transporter ops occurred Saturday, with roll over first motion planned for approximately 0700 this morning.’
STS-123 will be a four EVA mission, with the allowance for a fifth contingency spacewalk. Interestingly, NASA managers will discuss the possibility of adding the T-RAD (Tile Repair) demonstration to this mission.
Thanks to the successful debut of the SSPTS (Station-Shuttle Power Transfer System) modification on Endeavour during STS-118, NASA managers were able to extend the mission duration for STS-123, allowing for four baselined EVAs, utilized to carry out ‘get aheads’ from STS-124.
Further changes to the mission allowed for the addition of over 4,000lbs of payload to the payload bay sidewalls.
‘Assuming full SSPTS capability and ISS power availability, the ISS Program requested to extend the mission duration in order to accommodate additional tasks that were originally scheduled to occur after STS-123 undocked from ISS, including: ISS rack transfers. ELM-PS activation and reconfiguration. SPDM activation and checkout. Prepare JEM-PM system racks for removal from ELM-PS.
‘Extends the STS-123 mission by two days, from 13+1+2 to 15+1+2, in order to pull activities from the 1J/A stage back into the 1 J/A mission to take advantage of the SSPTS capability. It also adds five new sidewall payloads (SSRMS Yaw Joint, DCSU, BCDU, Misse 6, RIGEX) to the manifest,’ added presentations on the mission.
‘RIGEX – Rigidizable Inflatable Get-Away-Special Experiment: The RIGEX system is a self-contained, automated experiment intended to collect data on space inflated and rigidized structures.
‘The experiment consists of three inflatable tubes that transition from structurally stiff to flexible at a transition temperature of 125 degrees C. RIGEX will fly inside the DoDâ€™s Canister for All Payload Ejections (CAPE) attached to the cargo bay sidewall, but does not deploy.
‘MISSE 6 – Materials International Space Station Experiment: The objective of MISSE is to expose materials to the space environment for long durations (12-18 months).
‘The MISSE flight hardware consists of a pair of trays with test specimens mounted inside a reusable Passive Experiment Carrier (PEC) and attached to an ISS WIF. The PEC is a suitcase-like container that transports experiments (test specimens) via the Space Shuttle to and from the ISS.
‘Direct Current Switching Unit (DCSU): ISS spare prepositioned to protect against future failure of an existing DCSU – provides primary and secondary power distribution on ISS.
‘Battery Charge Discharge Unit (BCDU): ISS spare prepositioned to protect against a future failure of an existing BCDU controls the charging and discharging of the power channel batteries on ISS.’
In addition, the mission will carry out an Expedition 16 crew rotation on the ISS, with NASA’s Garrett Reisman replacing ESA astronaut Leopold Eyharts.
L2 members: All documentation – from which the above article has quoted snippets – is available in full in the related L2 sections, updated live.
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