Shuttle News: May 2005 Archives

Editor's note: On 7 June Mike Griffin will sign an agreement with the French Ambassador for a new Transoceanic Abort Landing (TAL) site at Istres Air Base 125 in the South of France.


Landing Gear Cracks

NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Report 23 May 2005

"Engineers also are investigating part of Discovery's main landing-gear door, after a small crack was found last week in a retract link assembly on the right-hand main landing gear on Orbiter Atlantis in Orbiter Processing Facility bay 1. The Atlantis assembly has been removed and will be replaced with a spare."

Shuttle test still shows problems with fuel tank, Houston Chronicle

"A launch pad test of shuttle Discovery's fuel tank Friday failed to clear up two problems that led to NASA's recent delay in returning the shuttle to space."

Shuttle Launch Set for Mid-July, Washington Post

"Parsons said Discovery's new tank will have an older, flight-tested diffuser, and the team has no plans to conduct a third tanking test. He said he was aware of dissenters among the engineers but urged them to "look at the data from the second test, understand it, and then make the case."

Prepared Testimony Given at a Senate Science and Space Subcommittee Hearing:
Human Spaceflight: The Space Shuttle and Beyond

- Alan Li
- Scott Horowitz
- Joan Johnson-Freese
- Michael McCulley
- Michael Griffin
- Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison

Secret Imaging of NASA Shuttle Discovery During STS-114 Mission, Aviation Week & Space Technology/

"Safety-and engineering-related pictures of the shuttle Discovery in orbit will include imagery by secret U. S. Defense Dept. ground-based high-resolution systems and, where possible, one or more U. S. Air Force/National Reconnaissance Office imaging reconnaissance satellites already in orbit."

Editor's note: The following Change request is working its way through the system: S042013FB - Update Launch Dates: Changes NSTS 07700, Volume III, Table 4.1 as described below:

STS-114 / LF1Launch7/13/055/22/05
STS-300 / NoneLaunch8/11/056/14/05
STS-121 / ULF1.1LaunchNET 9/09/05NET 7/12/05
STS-301 / NoneLaunchNET 11/3/05NET 9/6/05
STS-115 / 12ALaunchNET 2/16/06NET 12/8/05
STS-116 / 12A.1LaunchNET 4/23/06NET 2/9/06
STS-117 / 13ALaunchNET 7/13/06NET 5/18/06

Former Astronaut Blasts NASA's 'Culture Changes',

"The senior leaders don't like to listen. They've surrounded themselves with compliant people up and down throughout the organization. Subordinates, in an effort to please bosses, are just doing the best they can to deliver sunshine reports, and so most of the people at the top think nothing's wrong," Wetherbee said.

Safety Concerns Again Postpone Shuttle Mission, NY Times

"James D. Wetherbee, a former shuttle commander who retired this year and who has become a vocal outside critic of the agency, said the decision "indicates a healthy change for the better in the culture."

Editor's note: Once again, no one - either Wetherbee - or the reporters who quote him - makes note that after his departure from NASA Wetherbee (often known as 'Wxb') was paid as a NASA consultant - and that he was hired to help JSC and NASA improve the agency's "culture". What is also omitted by Wetherbee is the fact that he was Flight Crew Operations Director and JSC Deputy Center Director under George Abbey at at time when some of NASA's 'culture' problems were at their worst. I wonder why he never addressed these issues - with full attribution as he now does - while he held those positions? Pot-kettle-black?

Editor's note: The Space Shuttle Program is currently working to generate a change request to establish the following new target launch dates:

STS-114-- 13 Jul 05
STS-121-- 09 Sep 05
STS-115-- 16 Feb 06
STS-116--30 Mar06
STS-117-- 13 Jul 06

NASA Space Shuttle Internal Briefing (excerpts): LP01 Hydraulic Fluid Contamination (of Thermal Protection Surfaces) 28 April 2005, NASA

Editor's note: This presentation was not discussed during yesterday's STS-114 deliberations. Meanwhile, in a telecon this morning with KSC, USA/Houston, Boeing/Houston, KSC representatives noted that they had 3,000 open items for STS-121 and, ifthis slip hadn't happened, that theywouldn't have made the STS-121 July launch date

Editor's update: Another NASA source says that the KSC report forwarded to NASA HQ last week showed that Atlantis processing was actually below 1,000 open items and that this number was declining rapidly. At most, KSC estimated that they were 5 to 7 days behind and that this was not an issue were they to have tried to make the July launch window.



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This page is an archive of entries in the Shuttle News category from May 2005.

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