According to sources within NASA's International Space Station Progamme office, managers are still considering whether they want to leave the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module on orbit despite the agency's earlier denials that that could happen. But the current baseline has it returning
Another major change is the possible altering of the rules for Space Shuttle, Soyuz docking at ISS. The idea is that now that the orbiter and Soyuz "docking ports are farther away [from each other]" and ISS will be doing "indirect handovers," with the station crew expansion to six from May 2009, for Shuttle mission flexibility the docking rules can change
Previously Soyuz dockings have not been allowed to occur while the orbiter is on-station and so agency officials want to see if it makes sense to plan for a Soyuz docking or undocking during a Shuttle mission
NASA is also altering its rescue mission planning, also known as launch-on-need flights. The new launch-on-need approach is to use the next flight with the planned cargo complement to rescue the previous flight if necessary, so the concept of STS-3xx is ending
The following is from NASA internal circulars
Flame trench evaluation and mitigation work continues at both pads. Flame trench related topics such as flame trench environments, debris transport analysis, repair options, and Non Destructive Evaluation methods are being discussed this week. Although there is a fair amount of work to be done, there are no concerns being expressed with the ability to support STS-125 or STS-400 launch dates.
The Shuttle Program has released updated launch dates for STS-119, STS-127, and STS-128 and have an updated FAWG manifest to reflect planning dates for the rest of the programme
Flight IS WAS
STS-119/15A 2/12/09 12/4/09
STS-127/ 2J-A 5/21/09 4/23/09
STS-128/17A 7/30/09 7/16/09
STS-129/ULF3 10/15/09 9/3/09
STS-130/20A 12/10/09 10/22/09
STS-131/19A 2/11/10 1/21/10
STS-132/ULF4 4/8/10 3/18/10
STS-133/ULF5 5/31/10 4/29/10
ET delivery dates are still the long pole but they are hopeful they will be able to meet the schedule
This flight is planned to be the first flight of the OI-34 software and the last flight to launch a rotating ISS crewmember.
STS-128 was baselined at the programme control board on 19 June with a 30 July 2009 launch date, consistent with the manifest.
STS-128 is on OV-104 Atlantis, which does not have Space Shuttle Power Transfer System so the baselined mission duration is 11+1+2 with 2 planned EVAs.
The cargo bay complement includes an MPLM and an Ammonia Tank Assembly (ATA) installed on a Lightweight MPESS Carrier (LMC). The TriDAR Automated Rendezvous and Docking Sensor DTO-701A is also planned for STS-128.
The depleted ATA and the external ESA payload, European Technology Exposure Facility (EuTEF), installed during STS-122, will return on the LMC and two Materials on International Space Station carriers 6a and 6b will return on a sidewall carrier.