This week Discovery is at Launch Pad 39B and technicians are completing the final steps in preparation for a launch to the International Space Station in the July 13-31 window. Loading of hypergolic propellants began on Wednesday and is scheduled to be completed next week. This process includes loading the propellants, monomethyl hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide, into the Orbiter Maneuvering System and the Forward Reaction Control System.
Next week, the Flight Readiness Review (FRR) will be held on June 29 and 30, and a launch date could be selected at the end of the review.
The FRR is designed to produce a number of key decisions about Discovery's mission, STS-114, including an official launch date.
This week the cargo, including NASA's Italian-built Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Raffaello, was installed in the payload bay on June 17, followed by payload connections and payload/orbiter interface testing. Next week, the payload bay sharp-edge inspection will be performed and the payload bay doors will be closed for flight.
The Space Shuttle Program completed the Design Certification Review (DCR). The review was held to ensure that major program baseline changes since the DCR have been properly integrated and certified for flight.
On Friday, program leaders met for the Debris Verification Review (DVR) to summarize the extensive debris assessment effort that has been completed and to present the flight rationale for the debris. The DVR reached the conclusion that the potential for debris had been reduced to a more reasonable level, and this was the recommendation the Shuttle Program Manager accepted.
Explore further: Crippling Linux botnet strikes gaming, education sites