September 30, 1994
KSC Contact: Lisa Malone
KSC Release No. 113-94
COLUMBIA TO UNDERGO MODIFICATIONS; FERRY FLIGHT BEGINS OCT. 3
Shuttle Columbia is scheduled to depart Kennedy Space Center en route to the Rockwell International manufacturing plant in Palmdale, Calif., no earher than Monday, Oct. 3. The flagship of the fleet will be taken off flight status for about six months for routine maintenance.
Columbia's departure from KSC had been scheduled to begin on Oct. 1 but departure was delayed due to anticipated adverse weather at KSC this weekend. Pending favorable weather conditions, the cross-country ferry flight will begin with a departure Monday morning. Mission managers are hopeful weather en route will permit a stop-over at Huntsville International Airport/Jetplex, Ala., and an overnight stay in Houston, Texas, at Ellington Field. However, weather will be a deciding factor in determining the final flight route and could result in it being diverted at the last minute to other refueling locations. Real time calls may be made en route.
About 90 modifications will be made to Columbia during its stay in California. Upgrades will be made to the main landing gear thermal barrier, tire pressure monitoring system and radiator drive circuitry. Repairs will be made to the radiators in areas where micrometeorites have made impacts. Other work planned includes intensive structural inspections and the application of an upgraded corrosion control coating on the wings and rudder.
Columbia's orbital maneuvering system pods and reaction control systems will remain at KSC for structural inspections and testing.
Columbia was the first operational orbiter of the fleet and flew the first five Shuttle flights. It has completed 17 of the 64 Shuttle missions and has scored several highlights for the program, including flying the first Spacelab flight, the ASTRO-1 mission, retrieval of the Long Duration Exposure Facility, the first Spacelab Life Sciences flight, the International Microgravity Laboratory and the German D-2 mission.
NOTE TO EDITORS: News media representatives will have an opportunity to photograph the departure of the Shuttle Columbia from the Shuttle Landing Facility. Those interested should call the KSC News Center's codeaphone Sunday night at 407-867-2525 for the time of departure on Monday.
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