SHUTTLE PROCESSING REPORT: S04-034

The Space Shuttle fleet is housed and processed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla. The order the Space Shuttles are listed in this report does not necessarily reflect the chronological order of future missions.

Discovery (OV-103)

Processing continues in the Orbiter Processing Facility for Discovery’s Return to Flight mission to the International Space Station. Installation of the Remote Manipulator System, or Space Shuttle arm, is scheduled for today. Testing continues on the Manipulator Positioning Mechanisms in preparation for that installation.
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GENESIS REPORTS

As scientists begin to unpack more than 3,000 containers of samples of the sun brought to Earth by NASA’s Genesis mission, the Mishap Investigation Board (MIB) has identified a likely direct cause of the failure of Genesis’ parachute system to open.

The parachute system failed to deploy when Genesis returned to Earth September 8, 2004. The MIB, analyzing the Genesis capsule at a facility near Denver, said the likely cause was a design error that involves the orientation of gravity-switch devices. The switches sense the braking caused by the high-speed entry into the atmosphere, and then initiate the timing sequence leading to deployment of the craft’s drogue parachute and parafoil.
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The Science in Space Challenge

Students from two classrooms will get a chance to see astronauts conduct their science projects through a national challenge program. NASA and Pearson Scott Foresman, publisher of pre-K through grade six educational books, are sponsoring the challenge.

“The Science in Space Challenge” calls for teachers to submit proposals, on behalf of their students, for a science and technology investigation. An astronaut will conduct the project on a Space Shuttle mission or on the International Space Station, while teachers and students follow along via TV or the Web.

Deadline for entries is June 3, 2005. A panel of key NASA science education experts will evaluate and select one entry each from grades K-6 and 7-12. NASA and Pearson Scott Foresman will announce the winners on or before September 6, 2005. Teachers can submit entries by email, regular mail, or fax.
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CUPOLA ARRIVES AT KSC

The world’s ultimate observation deck, a control tower for robotics in space, and a sunroom like no other, has arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC). It is bound for the International Space Station.

Built in Italy for the United States segment of the Station, the Cupola traveled part way around the world to reach KSC. One day it will circle the Earth every 90 minutes, and crewmembers will peer through its 360-degree windows. It will serve as a literal skylight to control some of the most sophisticated robotics ever built.
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MARS ROVERS PROBING WATER HISTORY

NASA’s Spirit and Opportunity have been exploring Mars about three times as long as originally scheduled. The more they look, the more evidence of past liquid water on Mars these robots discover. Team members reported the new findings at a news briefing today.

New findings raise the possibility Opportunity’s work area was soaked long ago, before it dried and eroded into a wide plain. There are also signs some rocks may have gotten wet again, after an impact excavated a stadium-size crater in the plain.

Evidence of this exciting possibility has been identified in a flat rock dubbed “Escher” and some neighboring rocks near the bottom of the crater. These plate-like rocks bear networks of cracks dividing the surface into patterns of polygons, somewhat similar in appearance to cracked mud after the water has dried up here on Earth.
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Breakthrough Satellite Services for Canadians

Vancouver, B.C. Oct. 7, 2004 – The world’s largest commercial communications satellite, Telesat’s Anik F2, became fully operational this week following final in-orbit testing. Dr. Marc Garneau, President of the Canadian Space Agency, joined Paul Bush, Telesat Vice President, and other space industry leaders in making the announcement during the International Astronautical Congress, the world’s premier space event, now being held in Vancouver.

Telesat’s Anik F2 will deliver leading-edge multimedia services to clients across North America through its C- and Ku-band transponders. Piloting a demonstration module funded by a unique private-public partnership, Anik F2 is making history as the first satellite to fully commercialize the Ka frequency band. Technologies designed for this new frequency have the potential to connect the last kilometre, delivering cost-effective, two-way broadband, Internet, tele-health, tele-learning and e-government services to commercial clients and Canadians wherever they live.
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