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Shuttle Discovery Launch Status

Launch August 7, 1997 10:41:00.069 am EDT. Launch window is 1 hour, 39 minutes (1 Launch COLA due to Mir overhead between 10:53am - 10:55am).

On Thursday, 8/7/97 at 6:00am, the countdown was at a two hour planned hold at the T-minus 3 hour mark. Weather forcasters predicted a 60% chance of favorable weather. Discovery was fully fueled and a go was given to wake the flight crew. Crew breakfast began at 6:18am, followed by a weather briefing, suitup at 6:46am and then departure for Pad 39A at 7:26am EDT. The coundown came out of the hold at 7:21am EDT. By 8:30am EDT, the crew were all strapped into their launch seats and communication checks were performed. The hatch was closed by 9:18am EDT and leak checks complete by 9:30am EDT. At 9:28 am EDT, RSO reported a no go due to ground fog leading to a visability of less than 5 miles but predicted that the fog would burn off as the sun rises. (Reference KSC Weather History 08/07/1997 0900). The countdown clock picked up at 9:38am at the T-minus 44 minute mark. The white room crew reported to OTC that the white room was secure. At 10:03am EDT, the count entered the automatic hold at the T-minus 20 minute mark. At 10:09am EDT, SRO reported to NTD that Range Safety cleared the Launch Commit Criteria (LCC) Violation and gave a go to launch. The countdown picked up at 10:11am EDT and held at the planned hold at the T-minus 9 minute mark. At 10:28am EDT, the NASA Test Director (NTD) conducted a final poll of the launch team in the firing room and the Launch Director Jim Harrington conducted a final poll of the mission management team. There were no constraints to launch and the count came out of the T-minus 9 minute mark at 10:32am EDT. Liftoff occured at 10:41am EDT.

On Tuesday, 8/5/97, The orbiter's mid-body umbilical unit was demated and retracted into the Fixed Service Structure. Preparations were underway to retract the Rotating Service Structure to the launch position at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Loading of the external tank with cryogenic propellants began at about 1:50 a.m. on Thursday 8/7/97. The STS-85 crew arrived at KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at about 5 p.m. 8/5/97 and took opportunities to complete a few familiarization activities. Commander Curtis Brown and Pilot Kent Rominger practiced SLF approaches in the Shuttle Training Aircraft this morning as well. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 8/06/1997)

Discovery's aft compartment close-outs concluded on Saturday 8/2/97 with installation of the aft access doors. External tank purge activities were also completed on Saturday. The launch countdown for STS-85 began 8/4/97 at 3 p.m. Loading of cryogenic fuels into the power reactant storage distribution system began at 7:30 a.m. 8/5/97. Testing of Discovery's pyrotechnic initiator controllers began at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. Servicing of the CRISTA-SPAS payload continued and final payload bay door closure was 5 a.m. 8/5/97. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 8/05/1997)

On Wednesday, 7/30/97, Space suit installation and check-out were complete. Discovery's aft compartment close-outs continue through the weekend. Ordnance installation was delayed due to work on the orbiter's connections to a ground coolant unit. The connections are being replaced to ensure that no further freon leakage occurs. Replacement of Mass Memory Unit No. 1 is in work and reload is also slated. Because of the damaged oxidizer drain line found on Columbia, inspections of Discovery's oxidizer drain line are being performed as well. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 7/30/1997)

On Tuesday, 7/22/97, the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT) began in the Launch Control Center and at Pad 39A. The payload Interface Verification Test (IVT) was successfully concluded and preparations were underway for servicing the CRISTA-SPAS with cryogenic helium next week. Preparations continue for loading hypergolic propellants aboard the Space Shuttle on Thursday. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 7/22/1997)

The Shuttle helium signature test was successfully concluded over the weekend and the payload interface verification testing was performed on monday, 7/21/97. Preparations continue for loading hypergolic propellants on Thursday. The astronauts arrived at KSC Sunday evening for the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT) starting 8 a.m. EST Tuesday 7/22/97 and concluding 11 a.m. Wednesday. The crew will be on the flight deck for the last three hours of the test as is customary. The TCDT is an electrical test of the Space Shuttle vehicle and a procedural exercise for the launch team and astronauts. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 7/21/1997)

On Friday, 7/18/97, the payload Interface Verification Test (IVT) and the Shuttle helium signature test were conducted and preparations continued for loading of hypergolic propellants. The crew is scheduled to arrive at KSC Sunday evening for the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT) July 22-23. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 7/18/1997)

In the VAB, orbiter/external tank interface leak checks concluded on Friday, 7/11/97. Functional testing of the liquid oxygen 17-inch disconnect were completed and the Shuttle Interface Test wrapped up. Discovery is slated to roll out to Pad 39A on Monday, 7/14/97 beginning at about 2 a.m. At pad 39A, the CRISTA-SPAS payload was moved to the payload ground handling mechanism. It will be installed into the orbiter. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 7/11/1997)
On 6/25/97, potable water servicing was complete and a 24-hour decay check was in work. Tile replacement work continued on Discovery's forward reaction control system. Close-outs of Discovery's aft compartment continues through Thursday and preparations were underway for payload bay door closure. In the Vehicle Assembly Building, ordnance installation on the solid rocket booster holddown posts was in work. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 6/25/1997)

On 6/10/97, heat shield installation continues through Tuesday and mid-body close-outs continue on schedule. Repair work on the lower portion of Discovery's rudder speed brake are continuing through Tuesday. Tile inspections resulted in the removal of 7 suspect tiles on the FRCS. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 6/10/1997)

On 3/25/97, Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSME) No. 1 and 3 have been removed and Engine No. 2 will be removed. The forward Reaction Control System (RCS) functional checks continue today. Work to remove and replace fuel cell No. 2 will begin 3/27/97. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 3/25/1997)

On 3/5/97, deservicing of Discovery's hypergolic system began. This hazardous operation to remove residuals from the Reaction Control System (RCS) keeps the bay closed to non-essential personnel and other work through most of the day. An orbiter navigational aid activation test is scheduled for 3/6/97 and hydraulic system inspections will begin. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 3/05/1997)

The launch was originally scheduled for July 17, 1997 at 10:06am but was slipped to early August so that Columbia could refly the STS-83 MSL-1 mission that was cut short due to a fuel cell problem.

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