STS-400 rolls out of VAB – STS-125 payload delay to Saturday

by Chris Bergin

A problem during the preparation of Atlantis’ Hubble Servicing payload has delayed its arrival at Pad 39A until Saturday. As a result, STS-125’s launch date is in real danger of slipping – with a re-evaluation of the flow timelines on Monday.

Meanwhile, Endeavour has begun to rollout to Pad 39B shortly, following a 24 hour delay due to weather. She will take up an opening role as STS-400, before reverting to her primary STS-126 mission on a launch date that will also slip, should Atlantis suffer a delay.

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**STS-125/LON-400 L2 Sub Section Special already over 2000mb in size – special section Now Live, with over 50 superb mission presentations. STS-125 Flight Plan and Flight Data Files now uploaded. Mission Overview in CGI videos building up. STS-400 mission overview Presentations (14). STS-125/400 daily and extensive processing latest. Flight Rules, EVA, Pad and Launch Radar Presentations – huge section already, heading into FRR season.

**L2 STS-126 in build-up – includes several mission baseline presentations. One Stop SARJ Shop (memo, presentations). Extensive daily processing reports etc.**

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**STS-119 Processing Latest****STS-119 News Articles**

**LIVE updates: Endeavour Dual LON and STS-126 Processing**

**LIVE updates on Atlantis STS-125 Processing Flow****STS-125 News Articles**

Atlantis STS-125 Processing Latest:

Atlantis has been flying through her pad flow, bar the usual GSE (Ground Support Equipment) issues that occur regularly during propellant loading of the Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) pods, Reaction Control Systems (RCS) and Auxiliary/Hydraulic Power Units (A/HPUs).

‘During Right OMS fuel load, totalizer calculator did not update. Troubleshooting revealed that one of the main load valves instrumentation was stuck in the ON position, causing a mismatch and the sequencer to shut down,’ noted processing information on one such example this week.

‘A console override command was sent to reset the instrumentation. Also as a result, lost visibility into percentage of tank loaded. Engineering offloaded fuel back to 20 percent for visibility and baseline and then picked load back up. OMS/RCS Oxidizer and Fuel and APU/HPU Fuel loading operations are all complete.’

The only other issue reported earlier this week related to the chamber pressure in the Right Hand Solid Rocket Booster (RH SRB) – which has resulted in the removal and replacement of the pressure transducer – with a re-test to be carried out on Saturday.

The two main issues being looked into relate to the payload which has seen its arrival at the pad delayed, and the potential contamination of Atlantis’ flight deck when engineers noticed the White Room – which provides access to the orbiter at the pad – had a door unsecured and blowing in the wind.

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‘The right white room door was not secured and locked as it should have been. The escorts for several tour groups in the area at the time also noted that the right door was not secured because they saw the wind blowing it open,’ added processing information.

‘An inspection of the door showed that it was not locked properly and that the integrity seal was also installed incorrectly which allowed the wind to blow the door open. From the inspection it was clear that the integrity seal was not ‘broken into’ but was not properly installed in the first place.

‘Witness statements will be collected from personnel in the area to verify crew module integrity was never violated. Also a crew module inspection and the orbiter pre-power switch list will be run before the next vehicle power up.’

The payload issue has the potential of slipping the launch date, due to it being the critical path in STS-125’s flow. The Space Shuttle Program (SSP) are still aiming for October 10 based on an expected 24 hour delay to the payload’s arrival at the pad.

The problem related to contamination being observed inside the ‘bagging’ that the Super Lightweight Interchangeable Carrier (SLIC) was to be placed inside of. This stopped the process of installing the hardware into the payload canister.

‘As a result, the SLIC is being unbagged and the contamination cleaned up before it can be installed into the canister and transported to Launch Pad 39A for installation into Atlantis’ cargo bay,’ added processing information. ‘The clean up will take 24 hours.’

Evaluations into the flow schedule will take place, should the payload transfer to the pad fail to take place later today/tonight – which may result in the launch date slipping.

UPDATE: Payload to the Pad operations has been moved to 6pm Saturday. Both Rotating Service Structures (RSS) will be retracted between 7am and 9am on Saturday morning.

Endeavour STS-400/126 Processing Latest:

Endeavour – as the STS-400 LON (Launch On Need) stack - was due to roll out of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) just after midnight. However, this was delayed by 24 hours due to unacceptable weather in the local area.

First motion was recorded at 23:15 local, after the Mobile Launch Platform (MLP) now jacked up on the crawler/trasporter inside the VAB. A weather briefing at 23:00 local gave the ‘go’ for rollout

The 24 hour delay will also move the APU hot fire test – required following the changeout of APU 3 inside the Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF) – from Friday to Saturday.

One engineering note of interest will be worked once Endeavour arrives at Pad 39B, relating to a GSE purge tube that is observed as bent.

‘(Thruster R4R GSE purge tube is bent) due to contact with VAB Platform D2,’ noted engineering information. ‘Engineering will inspect the thruster after roll to the Pad due to limited access in the VAB.’

Endeavour’s week inside the VAB has proceeded smoothly, with only a few issues of note, all of which have been resolved by her engineers.

‘During Shuttle Range Safety System Interface Test, the Left SRB B Command Receiver Decoder (CRD) dropped 2 of 4 pulses,’ added processing information this week. ‘Determined that a faulty GSE signal generator was the cause of dropouts. The signal generator was replaced and the Interface Test successfully completed.

‘During securing of LO2 manifold blanket pressure from PD12 helium leak check, the GN2 blanket supply valve was found to be open (S/B closed for the test).

‘This configuration allowed a small amount of GN2 to flow in to the LO2 manifold during helium leak checks, which violates the configuration specified in the OMRS. The valve was closed and the leak check successfully performed in the proper configuration.’

A new article will be published during/shorlt after rollout.

L2 Members: Refer to TAG keywords ‘STS-125’ and ‘STS-400’ for an extensive selection of related presentations and live processing information from the orbiter’s engineers, as L2’s 125/400 Special Section builds up into the FRR element of the flow.

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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