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ORBITER APPROACH AND LANDING TEST PROGRAM...

SPACE SHUTTLE CHRONOLOGY

SPACE SHUTTLE CHRONOLOGY

1972

    Aug. 9 Rockwell receives authority to proceed, space shuttle orbiter

1974

1975

1976

    Jan. 16 Crew module on dock, Palmdale, Enterprise (OV-101)

    Jan. 23 MPTA-098 truss on dock, Downey

    Feb. 16 Start fabrication forward fuselage (STA-099)

    March 3 Payload bay doors on dock, Palmdale, Enterprise (OV-101)

    March 12 Complete final assembly and closeout system installation, Palmdale, Enterprise (OV-101)

    March 15 Start functional checkout, Enterprise (OV-101)

    March 17 Complete premate MPTA test structure, Downey, and deliver to Palmdale

    April 2 Crew escape system test sled on dock, Downey

    April 3 Complete assembly and deliver MPTA structure on dock, Lockheed test site, Palmdale

    April 22 Body flap on dock, Palmdale, Enterprise (OV-101)

    May 3 Complete MPTA-098 proof load test setup, Lockheed test site, Palmdale

    June 14 Start aft fuselage assembly (STA-099)

    June 24 Complete MPTA-098 proof load test, Lockheed test site and on dock, Palmdale

    June 25 Complete functional checkout, Enterprise (OV-101)

    June 28 Start assembly of crew module, Columbia (OV-102)

    June 28 Start horizontal ground vibration tests and proof load tests, Enterprise (OV-101)

    June 29 MPTA-098 truss assembly, Palmdale, Building 294 to Building 295

    June 30 SSME dummy set on dock, Palmdale, Enterprise (OV-101)

    July 8 MPTA-098 on dock, Downey, without truss assembly

    July 12 Start installation secondary structure (MPTA-098)

    Aug. 2 Start final assembly forward fuselage (STA-099)

    Aug. 2 Start carrier aircraft modification

    Aug. 20 Complete horizontal ground vibration tests and proof load tests, Enterprise (OV-101)

    Aug. 23 Start Delta F modification, Enterprise (OV-101)

    Aug. 27 Reaction control system/orbital maneuvering system pods (simulated), approach and landing tests, on dock, Palmdale, Enterprise (OV-101)

    Aug. Start overland roadway construction from Palmdale to Edwards Air Force Base

    Sept. 10 Complete Delta F modifications, Enterprise (OV-101)

    Sept. 13 Start preparations for first rollout, Enterprise (OV-101)

    Sept. 13 Start assembly aft fuselage, Columbia (OV-102)

    Sept. 17 Rollout Enterprise (OV-101)

    Sept. 17 Complete on-stand construction, NSTL

    Sept. 20 Start Delta F retest, Enterprise (OV-101)

    Oct. 1 Start final assembly, vertical stabilizer (STA-099)

    Oct. 1 Start final assembly, wing (STA-099)

    Oct. 15 Midfuselage on dock, Palmdale (STA-099)

    Oct. 26 Escape system test assembly sled ship from Downey to Holloman, N.M.

    Oct. 29 Deliver ejection seats, Enterprise (OV-101)

    Oct. 29 Complete Delta F retest, Enterprise (OV-101)

    Oct. 31 Solid rocket booster 1/4-scale model (burnout configuration) on dock, Downey

    Nov. 4 Complete 747 shuttle carrier aircraft modification, rollout, Boeing

    Nov. 18 Start escape system sled test, Holloman, N.M.

    Nov. 26 Complete integrated checkout, Enterprise (OV-101)

    Nov. 28 Complete orbiter transporter strongback

    Dec. 7 Tail cone fairing on dock, Palmdale

    Dec. 10 Complete overland roadway construction, Palmdale to Edwards Air Force Base

    Dec. 13 Start assembly upper forward fuselage, Columbia (OV-102)

    Dec. 17 External tank 1/4-scale model on dock, Downey

1977

    Jan. 3 Start assembly vertical stabilizer, Columbia (OV-102)

    Jan. 14 Complete postcheckout, Enterprise (OV-101)

    Jan. 14 Boeing 747 shuttle carrier aircraft delivered to DFRF

    Jan. 25 Complete aft fuselage assembly on dock, Palmdale (STA-099)

    Jan. 28 Simulated crew module on dock, Palmdale (STA-099)

    Jan. 31 SRB 1/4-scale model (lift-off configuration) on dock, Downey

    Jan. 31 Enterprise (OV-101) transported overland from Palmdale to DFRF (36 miles)

    Jan. 31 Mass simulated SSMEs on dock, Palmdale, Enterprise (OV-101)

    Feb. 7 Enterprise (OV-101)/shuttle carrier aircraft mate start

    Feb. 10 Midfuselage on dock, Palmdale, Columbia (OV-102)

    Feb. 15 Complete Enterprise (OV-101)/shuttle carrier aircraft mated ground vibration test and taxi tests

    Feb. 18 Conduct first inert captive flight, DFRF (2 hours, 5 minutes), Enterprise (OV-101)

    Feb. 22 Conduct second inert captive flight, DFRF (3 hours, 13 minutes), Enterprise (OV-101)

    Feb. 25 Conduct third inert captive flight, DFRF (2 hours, 28 minutes), Enterprise (OV-101)

    Feb. 28 Conduct fourth inert captive flight, DFRF (2 hours, 11 minutes), Enterprise (OV-101)

    March 2 Conduct fifth inert captive flight, DFRF (1 hour, 39 minutes), Enterprise (OV-101)

    March 16 Wings on dock, Palmdale (STA-099)

    March 21 Orbiter 1/4-scale model on dock, Downey

    April 1 Lower forward fuselage on dock, Palmdale (STA-099)

    April 6 Upper forward fuselage on dock, Palmdale (STA-099)

    April 6 Vertical stabilizer on dock, Palmdale (STA-099)

    May 20 Nose landing gear doors on dock, Palmdale (STA-099)

    May 26 Aft payload bay doors on dock, Palmdale (STA-099)

    May 27 Complete systems installation/final acceptance, MPTA-098, transport from Downey to Seal Beach

    May 31 SRB 1/4-scale model, burnout and maximum q configuration, on dock, Downey

    May 31 SRB 1/4-scale model, lift-off configuration, on dock, Downey

    May 31 Body flap on dock, Palmdale (STA-099)

    June 3 Ship MPTA-098 from Seal Beach, Calif., to NSTL

    June 7 Complete integrated checkout and hot-fire ground test, DFRF, Enterprise (OV-101)

    June 18 Conduct first manned captive active flight, Enterprise (OV-101)/shuttle carrier aircraft, DFRF (55 minutes, 46 seconds)

    June 23 Deliver first SSME to NSTL (MPTA-098)

    June 24 Deliver MPTA-098 to NSTL

    June 28 Conduct second manned captive active flight, Enterprise (OV-101)/shuttle carrier aircraft, DFRF (1 hour, 2 minutes)

    July 5 Start long-lead fabrication aft fuselage, Discovery (OV-103)

    July 8 Deliver second main engine to NSTL (MPTA-098)

    July 14 Deliver third main engine to NSTL (MPTA-098)

    July 18 Conduct 2-minute firing of SRB at Brigham City, Utah, Thiokol (2.4 million pounds of thrust)

    July 22 Deliver forward payload bay doors, on dock, Palmdale (STA-099)

    July 26 Conduct third manned captive active flight, Enterprise (OV-101)/shuttle carrier aircraft, DFRF (59 minutes, 50 seconds)

    Aug. 12 Conduct first free flight, ALT, tail cone on, DFRF (5 minutes, 21 seconds), Enterprise (OV-101), lake bed Runway 17

    Aug. 26 Deliver wings on dock, Palmdale, Columbia (OV-102)

    Sept. 7 Lower forward fuselage on dock, Palmdale, Columbia (OV-102)

    Sept. 10 Deliver external tank MPTA-098 (Martin Marietta) to NSTL

    Sept. 13 Conduct second free flight, ALT, tail cone on, DFRF (5 minutes, 28 seconds), Enterprise (OV-101), lake bed Runway 17

    Sept. 23 Conduct third free flight, ALT, tail cone on, DFRF (5 minutes, 34 seconds), Enterprise (OV-101), lake bed Runway 15

    Sept. 30 Complete mate vertical stabilizer, Palmdale (STA-099)

    Oct. 12 Conduct fourth free flight, ALT, first tail cone off, DFRF (2 minutes, 34 seconds), Enterprise (OV-101), lake bed Runway 17

    Oct. 26 Conduct fifth free flight, ALT, final tail cone off, DFRF (2 minutes, 1 second), Enterprise (OV-101), concrete Runway 04

    Oct. 28 Lower forward fuselage on dock, Palmdale, Columbia (OV-102)

    Nov. 4 Start forward reaction control system development tests, White Sands Test Facility, N.M.

    Nov. 4 Deliver aft fuselage on dock, Palmdale, Columbia (OV-102)

    Nov. 7 Forward RCS on dock, Palmdale (STA-099)

    Nov. 7 Start final assembly and closeout system installation, Palmdale, Columbia (OV-102)

    Nov. 15 First ferry flight test, DFRF (3 hours, 21 minutes), Enterprise (OV-101)

    Nov. 16 Second ferry flight test, DFRF (4 hours, 17 minutes), Enterprise (OV-101)

    Nov. 17 Third ferry flight test, DFRF (4 hours, 13 minutes), Enterprise (OV-101)

    Nov. 18 Fourth ferry flight test, DFRF (3 hours, 37 minutes), Enterprise (OV-101)

    Dec. 9 Complete approach and landing flight tests, including ferry flights, Enterprise (OV-101)

    Dec. 12 Start removal for mated vertical ground vibration test modification at DFRF, Enterprise (OV-101)

    Dec. 13 Complete propellant load testing, NSTL (MPTA-098)

    Dec. 31 Deliver SSME envelope/electrical simulators on dock, Palmdale, Columbia (OV-102)

1978

    Jan. 10 Vertical stabilizer on dock, Palmdale, Columbia (OV-102)

    Jan. 18 Second SRB firing, Thiokol

    Feb. 10 Complete final assembly, STA-099, Palmdale

    Feb. 14 STA-099 on dock, Lockheed facility, Palmdale

    Feb. 17 Crew module on dock, Palmdale, Columbia (OV-102)

    Feb. 24 Body flap on dock, Palmdale, Columbia (OV-102)

    March 3 Complete modification for mated vertical ground vibration test, DFRF, Enterprise (OV-101)

    March 6 Upper forward fuselage on dock, Palmdale, Columbia (OV-102)

    March 10 Ferry Enterprise (OV-101) atop shuttle carrier aircraft from DFRF to Ellington Air Force Base, Texas (approximately 3 hours, 38 minutes)

    March 13 Ferry Enterprise (OV-101) atop shuttle carrier aircraft from Ellington AFB to Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala. (approximately 2 hours)

    March 19 Aft payload bay doors on dock, Palmdale, Columbia (OV-102)

    March 31 External tank for mated vertical ground vibration tests arrives at MSFC from Martin Marietta, Michoud, La.

    March 31 Operational readiness date, solid rocket booster refurbishment and subassembly, Kennedy Space Center. Fla.

    April 14 Complete ground vibration test modification at MSFC; deliver Enterprise (OV-101) for mated vertical ground vibration test

    April 21 First static firing, MPTA-098, NSTL (2.5 seconds; stub nozzles)

    April 23 Complete final assembly and closeout system installation, ready for power-on, Columbia (OV-102)

    April 24 Start precombined systems test, Columbia (OV-102)

    April 28 Forward payload bay doors on dock, Palmdale, Columbia (OV-102)

    May 19 Second static firing MPTA-098, NSTL (15 seconds, 70% thrust; stub nozzles)

    May 19 Start forward RCS thermal tests, WSTF

    May 26 Start development test aft RCS, WSTF

    May 26 Complete forward RCS structure, Columbia (OV-102)

    May 26 Upper forward fuselage mate, Columbia (OV-102)

    May 30 Start Enterprise (OV-101)/ ET mated vertical ground vibration test, MSFC

    May 31 Loaded SRBs (2) arrive at MSFC for mated vertical ground vibration test

    June 15 Third static firing, MPTA-098, NSTL (50 seconds, 90% thrust, last 5 seconds 70% thrust; stub nozzles)

    July 3 Deliver left-hand OMS/RCS pod to WSTF

    July 7 Fourth static firing, MPTA-098, NSTL (No. 2 engine 70% thrust for 90 seconds, simulated one engine out at 90 seconds, then No. 1 and No. 3 to 90% thrust-then to 70% thrust, then to 90% for 100 seconds; stub nozzles)

    July 7 Complete mate forward and aft payload bay doors, Columbia (OV-102)

    July 13 Complete forward RCS development tests, WSTF

    July 13 Reconfigure from boost to launch, mated vertical ground vibration test, MSFC, Enterprise (OV-101)

    July 15 Deliver SRBs (2) empty to MSFC for mated vertical ground vibration test

    July 21 First firing development test, OMS, WSTF

    July 31 Operational readiness date, Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 1, shuttle landing facility, and Hypergolic Maintenance Facility, KSC

    Aug. 11 Complete forward RCS, Columbia (OV-102)

    Aug. 11 Complete test preparation, STA-099, Lockheed facility, Palmdale

    Aug. 11 Complete forward RCS thermal test, WSTF

    Aug. 14 Start coefficient tests, STA-099, Lockheed facility, Palmdale

    Aug. 31 Operational readiness date, Vertical Assembly Building High Bays 3 and 4, KSC

    Sept. 8 Start OMS left-hand development test, WSTF

    Sept. 20 Start launch configuration test lift-off configuration, Enterprise (OV-101)/ ET/SRBs mated vertical ground vibration test at MSFC

    Sept. 20 Start acoustic test, forward RCS, WSTF

    Sept. 25 Start precombined system test, Columbia (OV-102)

    Sept. 29 Complete coefficient tests, STA-099, Lockheed facility, Palmdale

    Sept. 30 Operational readiness date, mobile launcher platform, KSC

    Oct. 19 Third SRB firing, Thiokol

    Nov. 11 Complete forward RCS acoustic test, WSTF

    Nov. 15 Complete OMS development test

    Nov. 15 Complete aft RCS development test, WSTF

    Nov. 30 Operational readiness date, Pad A, KSC

    Dec. 9 Start OMS Phase I qualification tests, WSTF

    Dec. 15 Start aft RCS Phase I qualification tests, WSTF

    Dec. 15 Complete precombined system test, Palmdale, Columbia (OV-102)

1979

    Jan. 2 Start long-lead fabrication crew module, Challenger (OV-099)

    Jan. 30 Start orbiter/ET/SRB burnout mated vertical ground vibration test, MSFC

    Jan. 31 Deliver shuttle carrier aircraft to DFRF for ferry operations

    Jan. 31 Start left-hand OMS Phase I qualification test, WSTF

    Jan. 31 Mission Control Center-Houston/Goldstone ready for operational flight test early operations

    Feb. 3 Complete combined systems test, Palmdale, Columbia (OV-102)

    Feb. 16 Airlock on dock, Palmdale, Columbia (OV-102)

    Feb. 17 Fourth SRB firing, Thiokol

    Feb. 26 Complete mated vertical ground vibration test program at MSFC, Enterprise (OV-101)

    Feb. 28 Operational readiness date, shuttle landing site, DFRF (Edwards AFB) Runway 23, for first manned orbital flight

    March 5 Complete postcheckout, Palmdale, Columbia (OV-102)

    March 8 Complete closeout inspection, final acceptance, Palmdale, Columbia (OV-102)

    March 8 Columbia (OV-102) transported overland from Palmdale to DFRF (38 miles)

    March 9 Shuttle carrier aircraft/Columbia (OV-102) test flight at NASA DFRF

    March 17 Space shuttle main engine 2005, first flight engine delivered to NSTL for acceptance test firings

    March 20 Ferry flight, shuttle carrier aircraft/Columbia (OV-102) from DFRF to Biggs Army Air Base, El Paso, Texas (3 hours, 20 minutes)

    March 22 Ferry flight, shuttle carrier aircraft/Columbia (OV-102) from Biggs Army Air Base to Kelly AFB, San Antonio, Texas (1 hour, 39 minutes)

    March 23 Ferry flight, shuttle carrier aircraft/Columbia (OV-102) from Kelly AFB to Eglin AFB, Fla. (2 hours, 12 minutes)

    March 24 Ferry flight, shuttle carrier aircraft/Columbia (OV-102) from Eglin AFB to KSC (1 hour, 33 minutes)

    March 30 Space shuttle main engine 2007, flight engine delivered to NSTL for acceptance test firing

    April 6 Complete Phase I qualification tests, aft RCS, WSTF

    April 10 Ferry flight, shuttle carrier aircraft/Enterprise (OV-101) from MSFC to KSC (1 hour, 52 minutes)

    April 16 Space shuttle main engine 2006, flight engine delivered to NSTL, for acceptance test firing

    April 18 Complete left-hand OMS/RCS Phase I qualification, WSTF

    May 1 Enterprise (OV-101)/ ET/SRBs mated on mobile launcher platform, transported to Launch Complex 39-A from Vehicle Assembly Building at KSC

    May 4 Start forward RCS Phase I qualification tests, WSTF

    May 4 Fifth static firing, MPTA-098, NSTL, flight nozzles 1.5 seconds

    May 10 Deliver right-hand OMS/RCS from McDonnell Douglas, St. Louis, to KSC, Columbia (OV-102)

    May 15 Deliver left-hand OMS/RCS from McDonnell Douglas to KSC, Columbia (OV-102)

    May 30 Deliver ET used in mated vertical ground vibration test from MSFC to Martin Marietta for refurbishment

    June 12 Fifth static firing, MPTA-098, NSTL, flight nozzles (54 seconds, early cutoff, accelerometer filters)

    June 15 First SRB qualification firing, Thiokol, Utah, 122 seconds; nozzle extension severed at end of run as in actual mission; full cycle gimbal

    June 21 Start assembly crew module, Challenger (OV-099)

    July 2 Sixth static firing, MPTA-098, NSTL, flight nozzles (19 seconds, early cutoff-main fuel valve rupture)

    July 23 Enterprise (OV-101), ET, SRBs transported on mobile launcher platform from Launch Complex 39-A to Vehicle Assembly Building at KSC

    Aug. 1 Start long-lead fabrication crew module, Discovery (OV-103)

    Aug. 6 Complete limit test (STA-099), Lockheed facility, Palmdale

    Aug. 10 Ferry flight, shuttle carrier aircraft/Enterprise (OV-101), KSC to Atlanta (1 hour, 55 minutes)

    Aug. 11 Ferry flight, shuttle carrier aircraft/Enterprise (OV-101), Atlanta to St. Louis (1 hour, 50 minutes)

    Aug. 12 Ferry flight, shuttle carrier aircraft/Enterprise (OV-101), St. Louis to Tulsa (1 hour, 35 minutes)

    Aug. 13 Ferry flight, shuttle carrier aircraft/Enterprise (OV-101), Tulsa to Denver (2 hours)

    Aug. 14 Ferry flight, shuttle carrier aircraft/Enterprise (OV-101), Denver to Hill AFB, Ogden, Utah (1 hour, 30 minutes)

    Aug. 15 Ferry flight, shuttle carrier aircraft/Enterprise (OV-101), Ogden to Vandenberg AFB (2 hours, 20 minutes)

    Aug. 16 Ferry flight, shuttle carrier aircraft/Enterprise (OV-101), Vandenberg AFB to DFRF (1 hour, 10 minutes)

    Aug. 23 Enterprise (OV-101)/ shuttle carrier demate, DFRF

    Aug. 27 Start long-lead fabrication crew module, Discovery (OV-103)

    Aug. 31 Complete OMS Phase II qualification tests, WSTF

    Aug. Second SRB qualification firing, Thiokol

    Sept. 5 Complete forward RCS Phase I qualification tests, WSTF

    Sept. 12 Start forward RCS Phase II qualification tests, WSTF

    Sept. 21 Start aft RCS Phase II qualification tests, WSTF

    Oct. 5 Complete setup and thermal tests (STA-099), Lockheed facility, Palmdale

    Oct. 24 Sixth static firing, MPTA-098, NSTL, flight nozzle (scrubbed, hydrogen detector oversensitive)

    Oct. 30 Move Enterprise (OV-101) from DFRF overland to Rockwell Palmdale facility (38 miles)

    Nov. 2 Start OMS left-hand pod Phase II qualification, WSTF

    Nov. 3 Complete Columbia (OV-102) auxiliary power unit hot fire tests, Orbiter Processing Facility, KSC

    Nov. 4 MPTA-098 static firing, NSTL (10 seconds, flight nozzles, SSME liquid oxygen turbine, seal cavity pressure, high-cutoff steerhorn failure)

    Nov. 7 Deliver STA-099 from Lockheed facility, Palmdale to Rockwell Palmdale for rework as second operational orbiter (redesignated Challenger {OV-099})

    Nov. 12 Complete qualification test OMS engine at WSTF

    Dec. 7 Demate payload bay door, Palmdale, Challenger (OV-099)

    Dec. 14 Complete demate body flap, Palmdale, Challenger (OV-099)

    Dec. 16 Orbiter integrated test start, Columbia (OV-102), KSC

    Dec. 17 Sixth static firing, MPTA-098, NSTL, 554 seconds (340 seconds at 100% rated power level, then 90% at 385 seconds, 80% at 450 seconds, 70% at 505 seconds; 1 engine shut down-other 2 continued at 70% until 554 seconds; pogo and gimbaling tests accomplished; stub nozzles)

    Dec. 21 Complete demate elevons, Palmdale, Challenger (OV-099)

1980

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

1986

1987

    March 13 Transfer of Columbia (OV-102) from Bay 2 of the Orbiter Processing Facility to High Bay 2 of the Vehicle Assembly Building for storage, KSC

    March 20 Transfer of Atlantis (OV-104) from Vehicle Assembly Building to Bay 2 of the Orbiter Processing Facility, KSC

    July 31 NASA awards contract to Rockwell to build replacement orbiter (OV-105) using structural spares; authority to proceed.

    Aug. 3 Discovery (OV-103) power-up in Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 1 for modification retest

    Aug. 3 Start Palmdale facility activation/training

    Sept. 9 Transfer of Columbia (OV-102) from High Bay 2 of Vehicle Assembly Building to Orbiter Maintenance and Refurbishment Facility for modifications, KSC

    Sept. 14 Start system fabrication, assembly and initial system installation, body flap, OV-105, Palmdale

    Sept. 28 Start system fabrication, assembly and initial system installation, OV-105

    Sept. 28 Start system fabrication, assembly and initial system installation, crew module, OV-105

    Oct. 19 Start system fabrication, assembly and initial system installation, midfuselage, OV-105, Palmdale

    Nov. 30 Start system fabrication, assembly and initial system installation, vertical stabilizer, OV-105, Palmdale

    Dec. 9 Atlantis (OV-104) power-up in Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 2 for modification retest

    Dec. 22 Wings on dock Palmdale, OV-105

1988

Table of Contents


Information content from the NSTS Shuttle Reference Manual (1988)
Last Hypertexed Wednesday October 11 17:49:44 EDT 1995
Jim Dumoulin (dumoulin@titan.ksc.nasa.gov)



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