Keith Gottschalk kgottschalk at uwc.ac.za
Sat Oct 9 05:50:28 EDT 2004

These extracts from NASA's latest press release do suggest an encouraging thoroughness that the 3 last shuttles will run without fatalities through the remainder of their lives.

>[snip] Discovery (OV-103)
> Technicians continue to bond the new wing leading edge 
sensors on the interior of the Reinforced Carbon-Carbon (RCC) 
panels. Optics tests continue, with the alignment of the 
Manipulator Positioning Mechanisms, in preparation for the 
Remote Manipulator System (Space Shuttle arm) installation.[snip]

> Atlantis (OV-104)
> The critical 
path wiring inspections and Return to Flight electrical 
modifications continue on schedule. Structural and wire 
inspections are ongoing throughout the vehicle....Right-hand spar fittings 
have all been installed, with the full complement of 22 RCC 
panels hung on the vehicle. The left-hand wing leading edge 
is complete, including the T-seals, which are installed 
between each panel. 

> Endeavour (OV-105)
> Right and left-hand wing leading edge corrosion cleanup 
continues. Once the RCC panels and associated fittings were 
removed, technicians began to bead blast the wing leading 
edge of Endeavour to ensure there was no corrosion. The edge 
will be painted prior to the reinstallation of RCC panels for 
flight. While the panels are removed, they are undergoing 
extensive non-destructive testing including flash 
thermography and X-rays.

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