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117 / 146

Release no:

78-44

Page 2

With

respect

to

overall

Shuttle

schedles,

the

review

showed

that all program elements could be ready for a September 28, 1979,

first manned orbital flight (FMOF) if all planned tests were successful

and

certain

work

adjustments

were

implemented.

These

adjustments

involve the orbiter maneuvering system (OMS) pod and the solid rocket

motors

(SRM),

and

could

save

about

a

month.

September

1979

therefore

has

been

set

for

the

FMOF

in

an

internal

target

working

schedule.

If

unforeseen problems arise or the tests are not entirely successful,

this

schedule

could

be

pushed

back.

However,

NASA

believes

that

there

is a strong probability of flying the FMOF during CY 1979.

The program review showed the only significant Shuttle problems

to be with the main engine and the vehicle's weight.

While the engine development has been slower than desired,

tests

show

that

the

engine

is

soundly

designed.

Substantial

progress

is being made with the Shuttle engine, and if testing continues to go

well the engine could be certified in time for a September 1979 FMOF.

The weight problem does not present any constraint to early

flight tests, but does present some problems for both the Galileo

mission

to

Jupiter

and

certain

Air

Force

missions.

However,

a

weight saving program in the Orbiter and the external tank can satisfy

all

mission

requirements

until

mid-1984.

Performance

augmentations

being studied would enable the Shuttle to meet the identified require-

ments of all missions beyond that time.

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