Friday, August 31, 2007

No Permanent Damage to Shuttle Endeavour

From NASA's weekly orbiter processing report:

Mission: STS-123 - 25th International Space Station Flight - Kibo
Logistics Module, Dextre Robotics System
Vehicle: Endeavour (OV-105)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 2
Launch Date: Targeted for Feb. 14, 2008
Launch Pad: 39A
Crew: Gorie, Johnson, Linnehan, Doi, Behnken, Foreman and Reisman
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

In Orbiter Processing Facility bay No. 2, two tiles damaged during the flight of STS-118 have been removed for inspection and testing. The orbiter structure beneath the tile impact area has been inspected, and engineers have found no evidence of heat-related damage. Additionally, three-dimensional measurements of the damage site found no appreciable change in volume resulting from heat affects.

Also during inspections, two micro-meteorite impacts were observed on the payload bay door radiators. They did not damage any of the radiator Freon coolant loops and did not reach the outer skin of the payload bay doors. These impact areas can be repaired.

Spacehab, part of the STS-118 payload, was removed from Endeavour's payload bay and returned to the Space Station Processing Facility. Validation of the orbiter's main engine pneumatics and power systems is complete. Workers have completed post-flight thermography inspection of the reinforced carbon-carbon, or RCC, on the nosecap.

Thermography inspection of the left- and right-hand wing leading edge RCC panels is under way. Preparations are being made for the forward reaction control system functional test. Workers are deservicing the hypergolic fuel system today. The orbiter's three main engines will be removed next week.