Shuttle News: December 2005 Archives

Editor's note: The PRCB (Program Requirements Control Board) met yesterday, 15 December 2005. According to a source in attendance, from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm the PRCB discussed the External Tank. The attendees took a break at 11:15 am. Wayne Hale said that after the break everyone would come back and "hit the schedule issue hard". The bottom line: the PAL ramps will be removed. Once the discussion was over Hale polled the attendees and there were no 'Nays'.

Shuttle Telecon Today

Editor's note: A last minute NASA shuttle news telecon was just announced with Associate Administrator for Space Operations Bill Gerstenmaier from JSC. Audio of the teleconference will be carried live today at The event starts at 3pm EST.

Editor's note: A PRCB Directive was signed yesterday (SEE FULL TEXT BELOW). According to those who have read it, the directive implies (but does not call for) a possible move of the launch of STS-121 (beyond May 2006 timeframe). The indication comes from the fact that the directive authorized moving forward on removing the PAL ramps.

As has been discussed previously, the removal of the ramps would require testing to insure that the lines previously protected by the PAL ramp would survive lift off loads. That testing would probably not be completed in time to support the May 2006 launch.

It is important to note, in all due fairness to NASA, that NASA has not actually set a specific date for the launch of STS-121. Rather, they have a window that they are aiming for. As such, it is not exactly correct to say that the launch may be slipped - rather that the target period may slip. Either way, there is a possibility that STS-121 may sit on Earth longer than had been hoped.

Foam Summit

Editor's note: Meetings have been underway at Michoud all week to discuss issues associated with foam application to Shuttle External Tanks. Also under discussion is the ability of the tanks to fly without application of foam in some areas. Stay tuned.

Editor's note: Yesterday's 1 December 2005 PRCB (Program Requirements Control Board) was rather routine.

At one point, Wayne Hale returned late from a break in the proceedings and apologized, explaining, "I was stopped in the hall by PAO. Someone kindly forwarded one of my emails to the Washington Post [article] and I have to talk to them today. I don't mind but this is kind of a busy day."

Foam Cracks May Delay Shuttle Launch, Washington Post

"We don't give direction by e-mail," Hale said. "We will have a formal board meeting to review this." The e-mail, he added, "is not a decision, but a notice to my folks that tells them 'this is the way I'm thinking; this is the way I'm leaning. Talk me into it, or talk me out of it.' "



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About this Archive

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

Shuttle News: November 2005 is the previous archive.

Shuttle News: January 2006 is the next archive.

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