NOTE: In the Vehicle Assembly Building, sanding operations on a thin layer of the STS-89 external tank foam insulation will conclude today and a walk-down inspection will follow later in the day. With a successful completion of the external tank work, Endeavour will roll out to launch pad 39A tomorrow beginning at 7 a.m. The additional work required in the VAB has NASA managers reassessing the target launch date. An official launch date is expected to be announced at the Flight Readiness Review, currently scheduled for Jan. 7.
Once the Shuttle arrives at the pad, Endeavour’s cargo bay doors will be opened and payload installation will follow this weekend.
STS-89 SCHEDULED OPERATIONAL MILESTONES (dates are target only):
NOTE: Removal of the remote manipulator system cameras is complete and the STS-87 secondary payloads have been removed from Columbia’s midbody. Preparations are in work for radiator and payload bay door inspections. Functional tests on the forward reaction control system continue. Post-flight inspections of Columbia’s thermal protection system are complete and have revealed about 100 tiles that will be replaced because of damage sustained on the STS-87 flight. Tile samples are still being analyzed as part of an ongoing investigation into the cause of the abnormal amount of damage.
NOTE: Functional tests on the orbiter maneuvering system continue on schedule. Fuel cell monitoring modifications continue. Water spray boiler servicing and body flap corrosion repairs also continue. Preparations are in work for aft flight deck reconfiguration and Modular Auxiliary Data System verifications. Technicians are preparing to configure Discovery for the holiday, downtime period.
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