Orbital platforms/Space Transportation Systems

The Space Transportation System (STS), also known internally to NASA as the Integrated Program Plan (IPP),[1] was a proposed system of reusable crewed spacecraft (space vehicles) envisioned in 1969 to support extended operations beyond the Apollo program.

This artist's concept illustrates the use of the Space Shuttle, Nuclear Shuttle, and Space Tug in NASA's Integrated Program. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}

The purpose of the system was two-fold: to reduce the cost of spaceflight by replacing the current method of launching capsules on expendable rockets with reusable spacecraft; and to support ambitious follow-on programs including permanent orbiting space stations around Earth and the Moon, and a human landing mission to Mars.

The Space Shuttles were often used as short term orbital platforms.

STS-1 edit

 
The April 12, 1981, launch at Pad 39A of STS-1, just seconds past 7 a.m., carries astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen into an Earth orbital mission scheduled to last for 54 hours, ending with unpowered landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
STS-1 crew is shown in Space Shuttle Columbia's cabin. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}

STS-1 (Space Transportation System-1) was the first orbital spaceflight of NASA's Space Shuttle program. The first orbiter, Columbia, launched on April 12, 1981, and returned on April 14, 1981, 54.5 hours later, having orbited the Earth 36 times. The majority of the Columbia crew's approximately 53 hours in low Earth orbit was spent conducting systems tests including Crew Optical Alignment Sight (COAS) calibration, star tracker performance, Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) performance, manual and automatic Reaction Control System (RCS) testing, radiation measurement, propellant crossfeeding, hydraulics functioning, fuel cell purging and Earth photography.

STS-2 edit

 
Aerial view shows Columbia launch from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: NASA / John Young aboard NASA's Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA).{{free media}}
 
On Space Shuttle mission STS-2, Nov. 1981, the Canadarm is flown in space for the first time. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}

STS-2 was the second Space Shuttle mission conducted by NASA, and the second flight of the orbiter Columbia. It launched on November 12, 1981, and landed two days later on November 14, 1981.[2] On a Spacelab pallet were a number of remote-sensing instruments for environmental quality, and ocean and weather conditions.[3] The second launch of Columbia also included an onboard camera for Earth photography.

Other experiments or tests included Shuttle Multispectral Infrared Radiometer, Feature Identification and Location Experiment, Measurement of Air Pollution from Satellites, Ocean Color Experiment, Night/Day optical Survey of Lightning, Heflex Bioengineering Test, and Aerodynamic Coefficient Identification Package (ACIP).[4]

STS-3 edit

 
STS-3 lifts off from Launch Complex-39A at Kennedy Space Center. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
The Kuiper Airborne Observatory took an infrared image of the orbiter's heat shield to study its operational temperatures. In this image, Columbia is travelling at Mach 15.6 at an altitude of 56 km (35 mi). Credit: .{{free media}}

STS-3 was NASA's third Space Shuttle mission, and was the third mission for the Space Shuttle Columbia. It launched on March 22, 1982, and landed eight days later on March 30, 1982. In its payload bay, Columbia again carried the Development Flight Instrumentation (DFI) package, and a test canister for the Small Self-Contained Payload program – also known as the Getaway Special (GAS) – was mounted on one side of the payload bay.

STS-4 edit

 
Launch view of the Space Shuttle Columbia for the STS-4 mission. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
View shows the Space Shuttle's RMS grappling the Induced Environment Contaminant Monitor (IECM) experiment. Credit: NASA STS-4 crew.{{free media}}

STS-4 was the fourth NASA Space Shuttle mission, and also the fourth for Space Shuttle Columbia. The mission launched on June 27, 1982,[5] and landed a week later on July 4, 1982.[6]

The North Atlantic Ocean southeast of the Bahamas is in the background as Columbia's remote manipulator system (RMS) arm and end effector grasp a multi-instrument monitor for detecting contaminants. The experiment is called the induced environment contaminant monitor (IECM). Below the IECM the tail of the orbiter can be seen.

In the shuttle's mid-deck, a Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System and the Mono-disperse Latex Reactor flew for the second time. The crew conducted a lightning survey with hand-held cameras, and performed medical experiments on themselves for two student projects. They also operated the Remote Manipulator System (Canadarm) with an instrument called the Induced Environment Contamination Monitor mounted on its end, designed to obtain information on gases or particles being released by the orbiter in flight.[7]

STS-5 edit

 
Columbia is launched from Launch Pad 39A on its fifth flight and first operational mission. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}

STS-5 was the fifth NASA Space Shuttle mission and the fifth flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia. It launched on November 11, 1982, and landed five days later on November 16, 1982.

STS-5 carried a West German-sponsored microgravity Getaway Special (GAS) experiment canister in the payload bay. The crew also conducted three student-designed experiments during the flight.

STS-6 edit

 
STS-6 was launched. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}

STS-6 was the sixth NASA Space Shuttle mission and the maiden flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Launched from Kennedy Space Center on April 4, 1983, Challenger returned to Earth on April 9, 1983, at 10:53:42 a.m. PST.

Names: Space Transportation System-6, NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 1982-110A.

STS-6 payloads included three Getaway Special (GAS) canisters and the continuation of the Mono-disperse Latex Reactor and Continuous Flow Electrophoresis experiments.

STS-7 edit

 
Space Shuttle Challenger launches on STS-7. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
An impact crater is in one of the windows of the Space Shuttle Challenger following a collision with a paint chip during STS-7. Credit: NASA STS-7 crew.{{free media}}

STS-7 was NASA's seventh Space Shuttle mission, and the second mission for the Space Shuttle Challenger. The shuttle launched from Kennedy Space Center on June 18, 1983, and landed at Edwards Air Force Base on June 24, 1983.

Norman Thagard, a mission specialist, conducted medical tests concerning Space adaptation syndrome, a bout of nausea frequently experienced by astronauts during the early phase of a space flight.

The mission carried the first Shuttle pallet satellite (SPAS-1), built by Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB). SPAS-1 was unique in that it was designed to operate in the payload bay or be deployed by the Remote Manipulator System (Canadarm) as a free-flying satellite. It carried 10 experiments to study formation of metal alloys in microgravity, the operation of heat pipes, instruments for remote sensing observations, and a mass spectrometer to identify various gases in the payload bay. It was deployed by the Canadarm and flew alongside and over Challenger for several hours, performing various maneuvers, while a U.S.-supplied camera mounted on SPAS-1 took pictures of the orbiter. The Canadarm later grappled the pallet and returned it to the payload bay.

STS-7 also carried seven Getaway Special (GAS) canisters, which contained a wide variety of experiments, as well as the OSTA-2 payload, a joint U.S.-West Germany scientific pallet payload. The orbiter's Ku-band antenna was able to relay data through the U.S. tracking and data relay satellite (TDRS) to a ground terminal for the first time.

STS-8 edit

 
Space Shuttle Challenger begins its third mission on 30 August 1983, conducting the first night launch of the shuttle program. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}

STS-8 was the eighth NASA Space Shuttle mission and the third flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger. It launched on August 30, 1983, and landed on September 5, 1983.

The secondary payload, replacing a delayed NASA communications satellite, was a four-metric-ton dummy payload, intended to test the use of the shuttle's Canadarm (remote manipulator system). Scientific experiments carried on board Challenger included the environmental testing of new hardware and materials designed for future spacecraft, the study of biological materials in electric fields under microgravity, and research into space adaptation syndrome (also known as "space sickness").

The Payload Flight Test Article (PFTA) had been scheduled for launch in June 1984 on STS-16 in the April 1982 manifest,[8] but by May 1983 it had been brought forward to STS-11. That month, when the TDRS missions were delayed, it was brought forward to STS-8 to fill the hole in the manifest.[9] It was an aluminum structure resembling two wheels with a 6 m (20 ft) long central axle, ballasted with lead to give it a total mass of 3,855 kg (8,499 lb), which could be lifted by the Canadarm Remote Manipulator System – the Shuttle's "robot arm" – and moved around to help astronauts gain experience in using the system. It was stored in the midsection of the payload bay.[10]

The orbiter carried the Development Flight Instrumentation (DFI) pallet in its forward payload bay; this had previously flown on Columbia to carry test equipment. The pallet was not outfitted with any flight instrumentation, but was used to mount two experiments. The first studied the interaction of ambient atomic oxygen with the structural materials of the orbiter and payload, while the second tested the performance of a heat pipe designed for use in the heat rejection systems of future spacecraft.[11]

Four Getaway Special (GAS) payloads were carried. One studied the effects of cosmic rays on electronic equipment. The second studied the effect of the gas environment around the orbiter using ultraviolet absorption measurements, as a precursor to ultraviolet equipment being designed for Spacelab 2. A third, sponsored by the Japanese Asahi Shimbun newspaper, tried to use water vapor in two tanks to create snow crystals. This was a second attempt at an experiment first flown on STS-6, which had had to be redesigned after the water in the tanks froze solid. The last was similar to an experiment flown on STS-3, and studied the ambient levels of atomic oxygen by measuring the rates at which small carbon and osmium wafers oxidized.[12]

The mission, in cooperation with the United States Postal Service (USPS), also carried 260,000 postal covers franked with US$9.35 express postage stamps, which were to be sold to collectors, with the profits divided between the USPS and NASA. Two storage boxes were attached to the DFI pallet, with more stored in six of the Getaway Special canisters.[13]

A number of other experiments were to be performed inside the orbiter crew compartment. Among these was the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System, being flown for the fourth time. This separated solutions of biological materials by passing electric fields through them; the experiment aimed at supporting research into diabetes treatments.[14] A small animal cage was flown containing six rats; no animal experiment was carried out on the flight, but a student involvement project was planned for a later mission which would use the cage, and NASA wanted to ensure it was flight-tested.[15] The student involvement project carried out on STS-8 involved William E. Thornton using biofeedback techniques, to try to determine if they worked in microgravity.[15] A photography experiment would attempt to study the spectrum of a luminous atmospheric glow which had been reported around the orbiter, and determine how this interacted with firings of the reaction control system (RCS).[16]

STS-9 edit

 
Columbia launches on mission STS-9 from Launch Pad 39-A. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}

STS-9 (also referred to Spacelab 1) [17] was the ninth NASA Space Shuttle mission and the sixth mission of the Space Shuttle Columbia. Launched on 28 November 1983, the ten-day mission carried the first Spacelab laboratory module into orbit.

The mission was devoted entirely to Spacelab 1, a joint NASA/European Space Agency (ESA) program designed to demonstrate the ability to conduct advanced scientific research in space. Both the mission specialists and payload specialists worked in the Spacelab module and coordinated their efforts with scientists at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Payload Operations Control Center (POCC), which was then located at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Texas. Funding for Spacelab 1 was provided by the ESA.

Over the course of the mission, 72 scientific experiments were carried out, spanning the fields of atmospheric and plasma physics, astronomy, solar physics, material sciences, technology, astrobiology and Earth observations. The Spacelab effort went so well that the mission was extended an additional day to 10 days, making it the longest-duration shuttle flight at that time.

STS-10 edit

 
STS-41B was launched. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
McCandless approaches his maximum distance from Challenger. Credit: NASA STS-10 crew.{{free media}}

STS-41-B was the tenth (STS-10) NASA Space Shuttle mission and the fourth flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger. It launched on 3 February 1984, and landed on 11 February 1984. The mission carried five Get Away Special (GAS) canisters, six live rats in the middeck area, a Cinema-360 camera and a continuation of the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System and Monodisperse Latex Reactor experiments.[18] Included in one of the GAS canisters was the first experiment designed and built by a high school team to fly in space. The experiment, on seed germination and growth in zero gravity, was created and built by a team of four students from Brighton High School, Cottonwood Heights, Utah, through a partnership with Utah State University.[18]

STS-11 edit

 
Mission Specialists George Nelson and James D. A. van Hoften repair the captured Solar Maximum Mission satellite on 11 April 1984. Credit: NASA STS-13 (STS-41-C) crew.{{free media}}
 
The launch of STS-41-C on 6 April 1984 is shown. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
The deployed Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) became an important source of information on the small-particle space debris environment. Credit: NASA STS-13 (STS-41-C) crew.{{free media}}

STS-41-C (formerly STS-13) was NASA's eleventh Space Shuttle mission, and the fifth mission of Space Shuttle Challenger.[19][20] The launch took place on 6 April 1984 and the landing on 13 April 1984 took place at Edwards Air Force Base.

On the second day of the flight, the LDEF was grappled by the Remote Manipulator System (Canadarm) and successfully released into orbit. Its 57 experiments, mounted in 86 removable trays, were contributed by 200 researchers from eight countries. Retrieval of the passive LDEF was initially scheduled for 1985, but schedule delays and the Challenger disaster of 1986 postponed the retrieval until 12 January 1990, when Columbia retrieved the LDEF during STS-32.

STS-12 edit

 
The launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on its first mission on 30 August 1984. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
View of the OAST-1 solar array on STS-41-D is shown. Credit: NASA STS-14 crew.{{free media}}

STS-41-D (formerly STS-14) was the 12th flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program, and the first mission of Space Shuttle Discovery. It was launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 30 August 1984, and landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on 5 September 1984.

A number of scientific experiments were conducted, including a prototype electrical system of the International Space Station, or extendable solar array, that would eventually form the basis of the main solar arrays on the International Space Station (ISS).

The OAST-1 photovoltaic module (solar array), a device 4 m (13 ft) wide and 31 m (102 ft) high, folded into a package 18 cm (7.1 in) deep. The array carried a number of different types of experimental solar cells and was extended to its full height several times during the mission. At the time, it was the largest structure ever extended from a crewed spacecraft, and it demonstrated the feasibility of large lightweight solar arrays for use on future orbital installations, such as the International Space Station (ISS).

A student experiment to study crystal growth in microgravity was also carried out.

STS-13 edit

STS-41-G (formerly STS-17) was the 13th flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program and the sixth flight of Space Shuttle Challenger. Challenger launched on 5 October 1984 and landed at the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at Kennedy Space Center – becoming the second shuttle mission to land there – on 13 October 1984, at 12:26 p.m. EDT.[21].

The OSTA-3 experiment package (Spacelab) in the payload bay included the Large Format Camera (LFC) to photograph the Earth, another camera called MAPS which measured air pollution, and a feature identification and location experiment called FILE, which consisted of two TV cameras and two 70 mm (2.8 in) still cameras.

Payload Specialist Scully-Power, an employee of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), performed a series of oceanography observations during the mission. Garneau conducted a series of experiments sponsored by the Canadian government, called CANEX, which were related to medical, atmospheric, climatic, materials and robotic science. A number of Getaway Special (GAS) canisters, covering a wide variety of materials testing and physics experiments, were also flown.

STS-14 edit

STS-51-A (formerly STS-19) was the 14th flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program, and the second flight of Space Shuttle Discovery. The mission launched from Kennedy Space Center on 8 November 1984, and landed just under eight days later on 16 November 1984.

STS-51-F (also known as Spacelab 2) was the 19th flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program and the eighth flight of Space Shuttle Challenger. It launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 29 July 1985, and landed just under eight days later on 6 August 1985.

Names: Space Transportation System-19 and Spacelab 2.

STS-15 edit

STS-51-C (formerly STS-20) was the 15th flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program, and the third flight of Space Shuttle Discovery. It launched on 24 January 1985, and made the fourth shuttle landing at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 27 January 1985.

STS-16 edit

STS-51-D was the 16th flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program, and the fourth flight of Space Shuttle Discovery.[22] The launch of STS-51-D from Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida, on 12 April 1985, and landed on 19 April 1985, at KSC.

Discoverys other mission payloads included the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System III (CFES-III), which was flying for sixth time; two Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSIP) experiments; the American Flight Echo-cardiograph (AFE); two Getaway specials (GASs); a set of Phase Partitioning Experiments (PPE); an astronomical photography verification test; various medical experiments; and "Toys in Space", an informal study of the behavior of simple toys in a microgravity environment, with the results being made available to school students upon the shuttle's return.[23]

STS-17 edit

 
Space Transportation System-17, Spacelab 3, Overmyer, Lind, van den Berg, and Thornton are in the Spacelab Module LM1 during flight. Credit: NASA STS-17 crew.{{free media}}
 
Space Shuttle Challenger launches on STS-51B. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}

STS-51B was the 17th flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program, and the seventh flight of Space Shuttle Challenger. The launch of Challenger was on April 29, 1985, and it landed successfully on May 6, 1985.

STS-51B was the second flight of the European Space Agency (ESA)'s Spacelab pressurized module, and the first with the Spacelab module in a fully operational configuration. Spacelab's capabilities for multi-disciplinary research in microgravity were successfully demonstrated. The gravity gradient attitude of the orbiter proved quite stable, allowing the delicate experiments in materials processing and fluid mechanics to proceed normally. The crew operated around the clock in two 12-hour shifts. Two squirrel monkeys and 24 Brown rats were flown in special cages,[24] the second time American astronauts flew live non-human mammals aboard the shuttle. The crew members in orbit were supported 24 hours a day by a temporary Payload Operations Control Center, located at the Johnson Space Center.

On the mission, Spacelab carried 15 primary experiments, of which 14 were successfully performed. Two Getaway Special (GAS) experiments required that they be deployed from their canisters, a first for the program. These were NUSAT (Northern Utah Satellite) and GLOMR (Global Low Orbiting Message Relay satellite). NUSAT deployed successfully, but GLOMR did not deploy, and was returned to Earth.

STS-18 edit

 
Mexico's Morelos satellite deploys from Discovery's payload bay. Credit: NASA STS-18 crew.{{free media}}
 
Spartan 1 is shown after deployment on STS-51-G. Credit: NASA STS-18 crew.{{free media}}

STS-51-G was the 18th flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program, and the fifth flight of Space Shuttle Discovery.

The SPARTAN-1 (Shuttle Pointed Autonomous Research Tool for AstroNomy) a deployable/retrievable carrier module, was designed to be deployed from the orbiter and fly free in space before being retrieved. SPARTAN-1 included 140 kg (310 lb) of astronomy experiments. It was deployed and operated successfully, independent of the orbiter, before being retrieved. Discovery furthermore carried an experimental materials-processing furnace, two French biomedical experiments (French Echocardiograph Experiment (FEE) and French Postural Experiment (FPE)),[25] and six Getaway Special (GAS) experiments, which were all successfully performed, although the GO34 Getaway Special shut down prematurely. This mission was also the first flight test of the OEX advanced autopilot which gave the orbiter capabilities above and beyond those of the baseline system.

The mission's final payload element was a High Precision Tracking Experiment (HPTE) for the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) (nicknamed "Star Wars"); the HPTE successfully deployed on orbit 64.

STS-19 edit

 
Aborted launch attempt is at T-3 seconds on 12 July 1985. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
The Plasma Diagnostics Package (PDP) is grappled by the Canadarm. Credit: NASA STS-19 crew.{{free media}}
 
A view of the Sierra Nevada mountains and surroundings from Earth orbit was taken on the STS-51-F mission. Credit: NASA STS-19 crew.{{free media}}

STS-51-F (also known as Spacelab 2) was the 19th flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program and the eighth flight of Space Shuttle Challenger.

STS-51-F's primary payload was the laboratory module Spacelab 2. A special part of the modular Spacelab system, the "Spacelab igloo", which was located at the head of a three-pallet train, provided on-site support to instruments mounted on pallets. The main mission objective was to verify performance of Spacelab systems, determine the interface capability of the orbiter, and measure the environment created by the spacecraft. Experiments covered life sciences, plasma physics, astronomy, high-energy astrophysics, solar physics, atmospheric physics and technology research. Despite mission replanning necessitated by Challengers abort to orbit trajectory, the Spacelab mission was declared a success.

The flight marked the first time the European Space Agency (ESA) Instrument Pointing System (IPS) was tested in orbit. This unique pointing instrument was designed with an accuracy of one arcsecond. Initially, some problems were experienced when it was commanded to track the Sun, but a series of software fixes were made and the problem was corrected. In addition, Anthony W. England became the second amateur radio operator to transmit from space during the mission.

The Plasma Diagnostics Package (PDP), which had been previously flown on STS-3, made its return on the mission, and was part of a set of plasma physics experiments designed to study the Earth's ionosphere. During the third day of the mission, it was grappled out of the payload bay by the Remote Manipulator System (Canadarm) and released for six hours.[26] During this time, Challenger maneuvered around the PDP as part of a targeted proximity operations exercise. The PDP was successfully grappled by the Canadarm and returned to the payload bay at the beginning of the fourth day of the mission.[26]

In an experiment during the mission, thruster rockets were fired at a point over Tasmania and also above Boston to create two "holes" – plasma depletion regions – in the ionosphere. A worldwide group collaborated with the observations made from Spacelab 2.[27]

STS-20 edit

STS-51-I was the 20th mission of NASA's Space Shuttle program and the sixth flight of Space Shuttle Discovery. The mission launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on August 27, 1985, and landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on September 3, 1985.

STS-21 edit

STS-51-J was the 21st NASA Space Shuttle mission and the first flight of Space Shuttle Atlantis. It launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 3 October 1985, and landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on 7 October 1985.

STS-22 edit

STS-61-A (also known as Spacelab D-1) was the 22nd mission of NASA's Space Shuttle program. It was a scientific Spacelab mission, funded and directed by West Germany – hence the non-NASA designation of D-1 (for Deutschland-1). STS-61-A was the ninth and last successful flight of Space Shuttle Challenger.

STS-23 edit

STS-61-B was NASA's 23rd Space Shuttle mission, and its second using Space Shuttle Atlantis. The shuttle was launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 26 November 1985. Atlantis landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, at 16:33:49 EST on 3 December 1985.

STS-24 edit

STS-61-C was the 24th mission of NASA's Space Shuttle program, and the seventh mission of Space Shuttle Columbia. The mission launched from Florida's Kennedy Space Center on 12 January 1986, and landed six days later on 18 January 1986.

STS-26 edit

 
Discovery lifts off from KSC, the first shuttle mission after the Challenger disaster. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
This 70mm southward-looking view over the Pacific Ocean features the Hawaiian Islands chain. Credit: NASA STS-26 crew.{{free media}}
 
Chad is photographed from orbit on STS-26. Credit: NASA STS-26 crew.{{free media}}
 
Jebel Marra, Sudan, is photographed from Discovery, STS-26. Credit: NASA STS-26 crew.{{free media}}

STS-26 was the 26th NASA Space Shuttle mission and the seventh flight of the orbiter Discovery. The mission launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 29 September 1988, and landed four days later on 3 October 1988.

The materials processing experiments included two Shuttle Student Involvement Projects, one on titanium grain formation and the other on controlling crystal growth with a membrane. Another materials science experiment, the Physical Vapor Transport of Organic Solids-2 (PVTOS-2), was a joint project of NASA's Office of Commercial Programs and the 3M company.

Three life sciences experiments were conducted, including one on the aggregation of red blood cells, intended to help determine if microgravity can play a beneficial role in clinical research and medical diagnostic tests. Two further experiments involved atmospheric sciences, while one was in communications research.

  • Physical Vapor Transport of Organic Solids (PVTOS-2)
  • Protein Crystal Growth (PCG)
  • Infrared Communications Flight Experiment (IRCFE)
  • Aggregation of Red Blood Cells (ARC)
  • Isoelectric Focusing Experiment (IFE)
  • Mesoscale Lightning Experiment (MLE)
  • Phase Partitioning Experiment (PPE)
  • Earth-Limb Radiance Experiment (ELRAD)
  • Automated Directional Solidification Furnace (ADSF)
  • Two Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSIP) experiments
  • Voice Control Unit test and evaluation (VCU)

The Hawaiian Islands shown in the image on the right perturb the prevailing northeasterly winds producing extensive cloud wakes in the lee of the islands. The atmospheric haze in the Hawaii wake is probably a result of the continuing eruptions of Kilauea volcano on the southeast coast. From the lower right corner in a diagonal directed upward to the north are the islands of Nihau (1), Kauai (2), Oahu (3), Molokai (4), Lanai (5), Maui (6), Kahoolawe (7), and Hawaii (8).

STS-27 edit

 
Atlantis launches on STS-27. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
The Brahmaputra River was imaged from orbit. Credit: NASA STS-27 crew.{{free media}}
 
Fiji was imaged from orbit. Credit: NASA STS-27 crew.{{free media}}

STS-27 was the 27th NASA Space Shuttle mission, and the third flight of Space Shuttle Atlantis. Launching on 2 December 1988, 14:30:34 UTC, and landing on 6 December 1988, 23:36:11 UTC, at Edwards Air Force Base, Runway 17.

STS-28 edit

 
Liftoff shows mission STS-29 with shuttle Discovery. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
Lake Natron, Tanzania, was photographed from Discovery on mission STS-29. Credit: NASA STS-28 crew.{{free media}}

STS-29 was the 28th NASA Space Shuttle mission, the eighth flight of Discovery and the 28th Space Shuttle mission overall. It launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 13 March 1989,[28] and landed on 18 March 1989, 14:35:50 UTC, at Edwards Air Force Base, Runway 22.

Discovery carried eight secondary payloads, including two Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSIP) experiments. One student experiment, using four live rats with tiny pieces of bone removed from their bodies, was to test whether the environmental effects of space flight inhibit bone healing. The other student experiment was to fly 32 chicken eggs to determine the effects of space flight on fertilized chicken embryos.[29]

One experiment, mounted in the payload bay, was only termed "partially successful". The Space Station Heat Pipe Advanced Radiator Element (SHARE), a potential cooling system for the planned Space Station Freedom, operated continuously for less than 30 minutes under powered electrical loads. The failure was blamed on the faulty design of the equipment, especially the manifold section.[30]

All other experiments operated successfully. Crystals were obtained from all the proteins in the Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) experiment. The Chromosomes and Plant Cell Division in Space (CHROMEX), a life sciences experiment, was designed to show the effects of microgravity on root development. An IMAX (70 mm) camera was used to film a variety of scenes for the 1990 IMAX film Blue Planet,[31] including the effects of floods, hurricanes, wildfires and volcanic eruptions on Earth. A ground-based United States Air Force experiment used the orbiter as a calibration target for the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing observatory (AMOS) in Hawaii.[32]

STS-29 edit

 
The launch of Atlantis is as STS-30. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
Thunderstorms are imaged from orbit. Credit: NASA STS-29 crew.{{free media}}

STS-30 was the 29th NASA Space Shuttle mission and the fourth mission for the Space Shuttle Atlantis. The mission launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 4 May 1989, and landed four days later on 8 May 1989 at Edwards Air Force Base, Runway 22.

Three mid-deck experiments were included on the mission. All had flown before. Mission Specialist Cleave used a portable laptop computer to operate and monitor the Fluids Experiment Apparatus (FEA).[33]

 
Ocean waves off the coast of Mexico are imaged from orbit. Credit: NASA STS-29 crew.{{free media}}

An 8 mm (0.31 in) video camcorder, flown for the first time on the Shuttle, provided the opportunity for the crew to record and downlink on-orbit activities such as the FEA, which was a joint endeavor between Rockwell International and NASA. Payload bay video cameras were used to record storm systems from orbit as part of the Mesoscale Lightning Experiment.[33]

STS-30 edit

 
Launch of STS-28 is shown. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
SILTS camera infrared image shows the flight surfaces of Columbia during STS-28 reentry. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
Human skull is flown as part of DSO-469 on Space Shuttle missions STS-28, 36, and 31 during a study of radiation doses in space. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
Alaska and the vast Malaspina Glacier were photographed from Columbia on mission STS-28. Credit: NASA STS-30 crew.{{free media}}

STS-28 was the 30th NASA Space Shuttle mission, the fourth shuttle mission dedicated to United States Department of Defense (DoD) purposes, and the eighth flight of Space Shuttle Columbia. The mission launched on 8 August 1989 and landed on runway 17 of Edwards Air Force Base, California, on 13 August 1989.

The mission marked the first flight of an 5 kg (11 lb) human skull, which served as the primary element of "Detailed Secondary Objective 469", also known as the In-flight Radiation Dose Distribution (IDRD) experiment. This joint NASA/DoD experiment was designed to examine the penetration of radiation into the human cranium during spaceflight. The female skull was seated in a plastic matrix, representative of tissue, and sliced into ten layers. Hundreds of thermoluminescent dosimeters were mounted in the skull's layers to record radiation levels at multiple depths. This experiment, which also flew on STS-36 and STS-31, was located in the shuttle's mid-deck lockers on all three flights, recording radiation levels at different orbital inclinations.[34]

The Shuttle Lee-side Temperature Sensing (SILTS) infrared camera package made its second flight aboard Columbia on this mission. The cylindrical pod and surrounding black tiles on the orbiter's vertical stabilizer housed an imaging system, designed to map thermodynamic conditions during reentry, on the surfaces visible from the top of the tail fin. Ironically, the camera faced the port wing of Columbia, which was breached by superheated plasma on STS-107 (its disastrous final flight), destroying the wing and, later, the orbiter. The SILTS system was used for only six missions before being deactivated, but the pod remained for the duration of Columbias career.[35] Columbia's thermal protection system was also upgraded to a similar configuration as Discovery and Atlantis in between the loss of Challenger and STS-28, with many of the white LRSI tiles replaced with felt insulation blankets in order to reduce weight and turnaround time. One other minor modification that debuted on STS-28 was the move of Columbia's name from its payload bay doors to the fuselage, allowing the orbiter to be easily recognized while in orbit.

STS-31 edit

 
The launch was viewed from below. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
Greece was imaged from orbit. Credit: NASA STS-31 crew.{{free media}}
 
The Mekong River delta was imaged from orbit. Credit: NASA STS-31 crew.{{free media}}

STS-34 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission using Atlantis. It was the 31st shuttle mission overall, launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 18 October 1989, and landed at Edwards Air Force Base, Runway 23, California, on 23 October 1989.

Atlantis' payload bay held two canisters containing the Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SSBUV) experiment. SSBUV, which made its first flight on STS-34, was developed by NASA to check the calibration of the ozone sounders on free-flying satellites, and to verify the accuracy of atmospheric ozone and solar irradiance data. The experiment operated successfully.

STS-34 carried a further five mid-deck experiments, all of which were deemed successful, including the Polymer Morphology (PM) experiment, sponsored by the 3M company under a joint endeavor agreement with NASA. The PM experiment was designed to observe the melting and resolidifying of different types of polymers while in orbit. The Mesoscale Lightning Experiment (MLE), which had been flown on previous shuttle missions, observed the visual characteristics of large-scale lightning in the upper atmosphere. Chang-Díaz and Baker, a medical doctor, performed a detailed supplementary objective by photographing and videotaping the veins and arteries in the retinal wall of Baker's eyeball to provide detailed measurements which might give clues about a possible relationship between cranial pressure and motion sickness. Baker also tested the effectiveness of anti-motion sickness medication in space.

STS-32 edit

 
Launch shows STS-32. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}

STS-33 was NASA Space Shuttle mission 32 using the Space Shuttle Discovery that lifted off from Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida, on 22 November 1989 at 7:23:30 p.m. EST; and landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on 27 November 1989 at 7:30:16 p.m. EST.

STS-33 was observed by the 1.6 m (5 ft 3 in) telescope of the United States Air Force, Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing observatory (AMOS) during five passes over Hawaii. Spectrographic and infrared images of the shuttle obtained with the Enhanced Longwave Spectral Imager (ELSI) were aimed at studying the interactions between gases released by the shuttle's primary reaction control system (RCS) and residual atmospheric oxygen and nitrogen species in orbit.[36][37]

STS-33 edit

 
The launch show STS-32 from LC-39A. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}

STS-32 was the 33rd mission of NASA's Space Shuttle program, and the ninth launch of Space Shuttle Columbia, that launched on 9 January 1990, 12:35:00 UTC, from the Kennedy Space Center, LC-39A, and landed on 20 January 1990, 09:35:36 UTC, at Edwards Air Force Base, Runway 22.

A primary objective was to retrieve NASA's Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) on the fourth day of the flight using the shuttle's Remote Manipulator System (Canadarm). The crew performed a 41⁄2-hour photographic survey of the free-flying structure, which held 57 science, technology and applications experiments. The 12-sided cylinder, about the size of a small satellite bus, was then berthed in the orbiter's payload bay for return to Earth. LDEF had dropped to such a low altitude that the orbiter could not do the usual lower-orbit catch-up because of the thicker atmosphere, and had to reach the LDEF from above.

Earth observation footage from the IMAX camera was retrieved. STS-32 carried a number of mid-deck scientific payloads, some of which had already been flown on previous shuttle missions. The experiments included:

  • Characterization of Neurospora crassa Circadian Rhythms (CNCR)
  • Protein Crystal Growth (PCG)
  • Fluid Experiment Apparatus (FEA)
  • American Flight Echocardiograph (AFE)
  • Latitude / Longitude Locator (L3)
  • Mesoscale Lightning Experiment (MLE)
  • IMAX camera
  • Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) experiment.

STS-34 edit

 
Launch shows Atlantis. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}

STS-36 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission using Atlantis, the sixth flight, launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 28 February 1990, and landed on 4 March 1990 at Edwards Air Force Base Runway 23.

The mission marked another flight of a 5 kg (11 lb) human skull, which served as the primary element of "Detailed Secondary Objective 469", also known as the In-flight Radiation Dose Distribution (IDRD) experiment. This joint NASA/DoD experiment was designed to examine the penetration of radiation into the human cranium during spaceflight. The female skull was seated in a plastic matrix, representative of tissue, and sliced into ten layers. Hundreds of thermo-luminescent dosimeters were mounted in the skull's layers to record radiation levels at multiple depths. This experiment, which also flew on STS-28 and STS-31, was located in the shuttle's mid-deck lockers on all three flights, recording radiation levels at different orbital inclinations.[34]

STS-35 edit

 
Space Shuttle Discovery launches from LC-39B for STS-31 with Columbia on LC-39A in preparation for STS-35. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST), still in the grasp of Discovery's Remote Manipulator System (RMS), is backdropped over Cuba and the Bahama Islands. Credit: NASA STS-35 crew.{{free media}}
 
Hubble drifts away over Peru. Credit: NASA STS-35 crew.{{free media}}
 
Florida and The Bahamas are photographed. Credit: NASA STS-35 crew.{{free media}}

STS-31 was the 35th mission of the NASA Space Shuttle program, launch date: 24 April 1990, 12:33:51 UTC, spacecraft: Space Shuttle Discovery, launch site: Kennedy Space Center, LC-39B, landing date: 29 April 1990, 13:49:57 UTC, landing site: Edwards Air Force Base, Runway 22.

The mission was devoted to photography and onboard experiments.

At one point during the mission, Discovery briefly reached an apsis (apogee) of 621 km (386 mi), the highest altitude ever reached by a Shuttle orbiter.[38] The record height also permitted the crew to photograph Earth's large-scale geographic features not apparent from lower orbits.

Experiments on the mission included a biomedical technology study, advanced materials research, particle contamination and ionizing radiation measurements, and a student science project studying zero gravity effects on electronic arcs. Discovery's reentry from its higher than usual orbit required a deorbit burn of 4 minutes and 58 seconds, the longest in Shuttle history up to that time.[39]

Secondary payloads included the IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC) to document operations outside the crew cabin, and a handheld IMAX camera for use inside the orbiter. Also included were the Ascent Particle Monitor (APM) to detect particulate matter in the payload bay; a Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) experiment to provide data on growing protein crystals in microgravity, Radiation Monitoring Equipment III (RME III) to measure gamma ray levels in the crew cabin; Investigations into Polymer Membrane Processing (IPMP) to determine porosity control in the microgravity environment, and an Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing observatory (Air Force Maui Optical Site, or AMOS) experiment.[39]

The mission marked the flight of a 5 kg (11 lb) human skull, which served as the primary element of "Detailed Secondary Objective 469", also known as the In-flight Radiation Dose Distribution (IDRD) experiment. This joint NASA/DoD experiment was designed to examine the penetration of radiation into the human cranium during spaceflight. The female skull was seated in a plastic matrix, representative of tissue, and sliced into ten layers. Hundreds of thermo-luminescent dosimeters were mounted in the skull's layers to record radiation levels at multiple depths. This experiment, which also flew on STS-28 and STS-36, was located in the shuttle's mid-deck lockers on all three flights, recording radiation levels at different orbital inclinations.[34]

STS-36 edit

 
STS-41 launches from Kennedy Space Center, on 6 October 1990. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}

STS-41 was the 36th Space Shuttle mission, and the eleventh mission of the Space Shuttle Discovery.

Instruments:

  1. Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS)
  2. Chromosome and Plant Cell Division Experiment (CHROMEX)
  3. INTELSAT Solar Array Coupon (ISAC)
  4. Investigations into Polymer Membrane Processing (IPMP)
  5. Physiological Systems Experiment (PSE)
  6. Radiation Monitoring Experiment (RME III)
  7. Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SSBUV)
  8. Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE)
  9. Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSIP)
  10. Voice Command System (VCS).

By comparing Discovery's measurements with coordinated satellite observations, scientists were able to calibrate their satellite instruments to insure the most accurate readings possible.

Until STS-41, previous research had shown that during the process of adapting to microgravity, animals and humans experienced loss of bone mass, cardiac deconditioning, and after prolonged periods (over 30 days), developed symptoms similar to that of terrestrial disuse osteoporosis. The goal of the STS-41 Physiological Systems Experiment (PSE), sponsored by the Ames Research Center and Pennsylvania State University's Center for Cell Research, was to determine if pharmacological treatments would be effective in reducing or eliminating some of these disorders. Proteins, developed by Genentech of San Francisco, California, were administered to eight rats during the flight while another eight rats accompanying them on the flight did not receive the treatment.

STS-37 edit

 
Launch shows STS-38. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
Sunlight on the ocean is shown. Credit: NASA STS-37 crew.{{free media}}

STS-38 was a Space Shuttle mission by NASA using the Space Shuttle Atlantis, launch date: 15 November 1990, 23:48:15 UTC, launch site: Kennedy Space Center, LC-39A, landing date: 20 November 1990, 21:42:46 UTC, landing site: Kennedy Space Center, SLF Runway 33.

STS-38 edit

 
Columbia finally heads aloft on 2 December 1990. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
ASTRO-1 is in Columbia's payload bay. Credit: NASA STS-38 crew.{{free media}}
 
MS Robert A. Parker manually points ASTRO-1's instruments using a toggle on the aft flight deck. Credit: NASA STS-38 crew.{{free media}}
 
Columbia passes over Lake Eyre, Australia. Credit: NASA STS-38 crew.{{free media}}
 
Namibia is photographed from orbit. Credit: NASA STS-38 crew.{{free media}}

STS-35 was the tenth flight of Space Shuttle Columbia, the 38th shuttle flight, and a mission devoted to astronomical observations with ASTRO-1, a Spacelab observatory consisting of four telescopes. The mission launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on 2 December 1990, 06:49:01 UTC, launch site: Kennedy Space Center, LC-39B, landing date: 11 December 1990, 05:54:09 UTC, landing site: Edwards Air Force Base, Runway 22.

The primary payload of mission STS-35 was ASTRO-1, the fifth flight of the Spacelab system and the second with the Igloo and two pallets train configuration. The primary objectives were round-the-clock observations of the celestial sphere in ultraviolet and X-ray spectral wavelengths with the ASTRO-1 observatory, consisting of four telescopes: Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT); Wisconsin Ultraviolet Photo-Polarimeter Experiment (WUPPE); Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UIT), mounted on the Instrument Pointing System (IPS). The Instrument Pointing System consisted of a three-axis gimbal system mounted on a gimbal support structure connected to a Spacelab pallet at one end and the aft end of the payload at the other, a payload clamping system for support of the mounted experiment during launch and landing, and a control system based on the inertial reference of a three-axis gyro package and operated by a gimbal-mounted microcomputer.[40] The Broad-Band X-Ray Telescope (BBXRT) and its Two-Axis Pointing System (TAPS) rounded out the instrument complement in the aft payload bay.

The crew split into shifts after reaching orbit, with Gardner, Parker, and Parise comprising the Red Team; the Blue Team consisted of Hoffman, Durrance, and Lounge. Commander Brand was unassigned to either team and helped coordinate mission activities. The telescopes were powered up and raised from their stowed position by the Red Team 11 hours into the flight. Observations began under the Blue Team 16 hours into the mission after the instruments were checked out.[41] In a typical ASTRO-1 ultraviolet observation, the flight crew member on duty maneuvered the Shuttle to point the cargo bay in the general direction of the astronomical object to be observed. The mission specialist commanded the pointing system to aim the telescopes toward the target. They also locked on to guide stars to help the pointing system remain stable despite orbiter thruster firings. The payload specialist set up each instrument for the upcoming observation, identified the celestial target on the guide television, and provided the necessary pointing corrections for placing the object precisely in the telescope's field of view. He then started the instrument observation sequences and monitored the data being recorded. Because the many observations created a heavy workload, the payload and mission specialists worked together to perform these complicated operations and evaluate the quality of observations. Each observation took between 10 minutes to a little over an hour.[42]

Issues with the pointing precision of the IPS and the sequential overheating failures of both data display units (used for pointing telescopes and operating experiments) during the mission impacted crew-aiming procedures and forced ground teams at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to aim the telescopes with fine-tuning by the flight crew. BBXRT-01 was directed from the outset by ground-based operators at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and was not affected. The X-ray telescope required little attention from the crew. A crew member would turn on the BBXRT and the TAPS at the beginning of operations and then turn them off when the operations concluded. After the telescope was activated, researchers at Goddard could "talk" to the telescope via computer. Before science operations began, stored commands were loaded into the BBXRT computer system. Then, when the astronauts positioned the Shuttle in the general direction of the source, the TAPS automatically pointed the BBXRT at the object. Since the Shuttle could be oriented in only one direction at a time, X-ray observations had to be coordinated carefully with ultraviolet observations. Despite the pointing problems, the full suite of telescopes obtained 231 observations of 130 celestial objects over a combined span of 143 hours. Science teams at Marshall and Goddard estimated that 70% of the mission objectives were completed.[43] ASTRO-1 was the first shuttle mission controlled in part from the Spacelab Mission Operations Control facility at MSFC in Huntsville, Alabama.

Conducting short-wave radio transmissions between ground-based amateur radio operators and a Shuttle-based amateur radio operator was the basis for the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX-II). SAREX communicated with amateur stations in line-of-sight of the orbiter in one of four transmission modes: voice, Slow-scan television (SSTV), data or (uplink only) amateur television (Fast scan television) (FSTV). The voice mode was operated in the attended mode while SSTV, data or FSTV could be operated in either attended or unattended modes. During the mission, SAREX was operated by Payload Specialist Ron Parise, a licensed operator (WA4SIR), during periods when he was not scheduled for orbiter or other payload activities.[44] A ground-based experiment to calibrate electro-optical sensors at Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing observatory (Air Force Maui Optical Site, AMOS) in Hawaii was also conducted during the mission. The Space Classroom Program, Assignment: The Stars project was carried out to spark student interest in science, mathematics and technology. Mission Specialist Hoffman conducted the first classroom lesson taught from space on 7 December 1990 in support of this objective, covering material on the electromagnetic spectrum and the ASTRO-1 observatory. A supporting lesson was taught from the ASTRO-1 control center in Huntsville.

STS-39 edit

 
Launch shows Atlantis on STS-37. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
Smoke plumes from aKuwaiti Oil Fires were seen during STS-37. Credit: NASA STS-39 crew.{{free media}}

STS-37, the thirty-ninth NASA Space Shuttle mission and the eighth flight of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, launch date: 5 April 1991, 14:22:45 UTC, launch site: Kennedy Space Center, LC-39B, landing date: 11 April 1991, 13:55:29 UTC, landing site Edwards Air Force Base, Runway 33.

During the spaceflight, the crew was additionally able to photograph the Kuwaiti oil fires on 7 April 1991, as the Gulf War was ongoing during the spaceflight.[45]

Smoke plumes from a few of the Kuwaiti Oil Fires on April 7, 1991, are seen during STS-37.[46]

Instruments:

  1. Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS)
  2. Ascent Particle Monitor (APM)
  3. Bioserve/Instrumentation Technology Associates Materials Dispersion Apparatus (BIMDA) to explore the commercial potential of experiments in the biomedical, manufacturing processes and fluid sciences fields
  4. Crew and Equipment Translation Aid (CETA), which involved scheduled six-hour spacewalk by astronauts Ross and Apt
  5. Protein Crystal Growth (PCG), which has flown eight times before in various forms
  6. Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME Ill)
  7. Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX II).

STS-40 edit

 
Launch shows STS-39. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
The Critical ionization velocity (CIV) experiment is shown in Discovery's payload bay. Credit: NASA STS-40 crew.{{free media}}
 
STS-39 observes Aurora australis. Credit: NASA STS-40 crew,{{free media}}

STS-39 was the twelfth mission of the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery, and the 40th orbital shuttle mission overall, launch date: 28 April 1991, 11:33:14 UTC, launch site: Kennedy Space Center, LC-39A, landing date: 6 May 1991, 18:55:37 UTC, landing site: Kennedy Space Center, SLF Runway 15.

The high orbital inclination of the mission, 57.01° with respect to the equator, allowed the crew to fly over most of Earth's large land masses and observe and record environmental resources and problem areas.


Instruments:

  1. Chemical Release Observation (CRO)
  2. Cryogenic Infrared Radiance Instrumentation for Shuttle (CIRRIS)
  3. Cloud Logic to Optimize Use of Defense Systems (CLOUDS-1A)
  4. Infrared Background Signature Survey (IBSS)
  5. Multi-Purpose Release Canister (MPEC)
  6. Shuttle pallet satellite (SPAS-II)
  7. Space Test Program (STP-01)
  8. Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME-III).

STS-41 edit

 
Launch shows STS-40. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
Spacelab Module LM1 in Columbia's payload bay, served as the Spacelab Life Sciences laboratory. Credit: NASA STS-41 crew.{{free media}}

STS-40, the eleventh launch of Space Shuttle Columbia, was a nine-day mission in June 1991. It carried the Spacelab module for Spacelab Life Sciences 1 (SLS-1), the fifth Spacelab mission and the first dedicated solely to biology.

The mission featured the most detailed and interrelated physiological measurements in space since 1973-1974 Skylab missions. Subjects were humans, 30 rodents and thousands of tiny jellyfish. Primary SLS-1 experiments studied six body systems; of 18 investigations, ten involved humans, seven involved rodents, and one used jellyfish.

Six body systems investigated were cardiovascular/cardiopulmonary (heart, lungs and blood vessels); renal/endocrine (kidneys and hormone-secreting organs and glands); blood (blood plasma); immune system (white blood cells); musculoskeletal (muscles and bones); and neurovestibular (brains and nerves, eyes and inner ear). Other payloads included twelve Getaway Special (GAS) canisters installed on GAS bridge in cargo bay for experiments in materials science, plant biology and cosmic radiation; Middeck Zero-Gravity Dynamics Experiment (MODE); and seven Orbiter Experiments (OEXs).

STS-42 edit

 
Launch shows Space Shuttle Atlantis from the Kennedy Space Center. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
Crew members pose for on-orbit portrait in the middeck of Atlantis. Credit: NASA STS-43 crew.{{free media}}
 
Atlantis passes over Florida. SHARE-II is prominent on the left. Credit: NASA STS-43 crew.{{free media}}

STS-43, the forty-second space shuttle mission overall, the ninth mission for Space Shuttle Atlantis, was a nine-day mission to test an advanced heatpipe radiator for potential use on the then-future space station, conduct a variety of medical and materials science investigations, and conduct astronaut photography of Earth. Launch date: 2 August 1991, 15:01:59 UTC, launch site Kennedy Space Center, LC-39A, landing date: 11 August 1991, 12:23:25 UTC, landing site: Kennedy Space Center, SLF Runway 15.

On the left, the Space Shuttle Atlantis streaks skyward as sunlight pierces through the gap between the orbiter and ET assembly. Atlantis lifted off on the 42nd space shuttle flight at 11:02 a.m. EDT on August 2, 1991 carrying a crew of five and TDRS-E. A remote camera at the 275-foot level of the Fixed Surface Structure took this picture.

STS-43 crewmembers pose for on-orbit (in space) portrait on the middeck of Atlantis, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 104. At the left side of the frame are the forward lockers and at the right is the open airlock hatch. In between and in front of the starboard wall-mounted sleep restraints are (left to right) Mission Specialist (MS) G. David Low, MS Shannon W. Lucid, MS James C. Adamson, Commander John E. Blaha, and Pilot Michael A. Baker.

Other experiments included Auroral Photography Experiment (APE-B) Protein Crystal Growth Ill (PCG Ill); Bioserve / Instrumentation Technology Associates Materials Dispersion Apparatus (BIMDA); Investigations into Polymer Membrane Processing (IPMP); Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS); Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE); Ultraviolet Plume imager (UVPI); and the Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) experiment.[47]

Instruments:

  1. Optical Communications Through Windows (OCTW)
  2. Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE)
  3. Space Station Heat Pipe Advanced Radiator Element (SHARE II)
  4. Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultra-Violet (SSBUV)
  5. Tank Pressure Control Equipment (TPCE)

STS-43 edit

 
Liftoff shows STS-48. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}

STS-48 was a Space Shuttle mission that launched on 12 September 1991, 23:11:04 UTC, from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The orbiter was Space Shuttle Discovery. The mission landed on 18 September at 12:38 a.m. EDT at Edwards Air Force Base on runway 22.

Names: Space Transportation System-43.

NSSDCA ID: 1991-063A, launch date: 1991-09-12.

Instruments:

  1. Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS)
  2. Ascent Particle Monitor (APM)
  3. Cosmic Ray Effects and Activation Monitor (CREAM)
  4. Investigations into Polymer Membrane Processing (IPMP)
  5. Middeck 0-Gravity Dynamics Experiment (MODE)
  6. Physiological and Anatomical Rodent Experiment (PARE)
  7. Protein Crystal Growth (PCG II-2)
  8. Shuttle Activation Monitor (SAM)

STS-44 edit

 
STS-44 Atlantis, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 104, soars into the evening darkness after liftoff from Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Launch Complex (LC) Pad at 6:44 pm (Eastern Standard Time (EST)). Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
Low oblique photograph was taken from Atlantis of clouds over the Indian Ocean. Credit: NASA STS-44 crew.{{free media}}
 
This spectacular, low-oblique photograph shows the bowl-shaped eye (center of photograph) of Typhoon Yuri in the western Pacific Ocean just west of the Northern Mariana Islands. Credit: NASA STS-44 crew.{{free media}}

STS-44 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission using Atlantis that launched on 24 November 1991, 23:44:00 UTC, launch site: Kennedy Space Center, LC-39A, landing date: 1 December 1991, 22:34:12 UTC, landing site: Edwards Air Force Base, Runway 5. NSSDCA ID: 1991-080A, launch date: 1991-11-24.

Names: Space Transportation System-44.

The clouds over the Indian Ocean were photographed at tilt: Low Oblique cldp: 50, -24.2°N latitude, 89.8°N longitude, azimuth: 103°, 198 km altitude, elevation: 52°.

In the second image down on the right, the eye wall descends almost to the sea surface, a distance of nearly 45 000 feet (13 800 meters). In this case the eye is filled with clouds, but in many cases the sea surface can be seen through the eye. Yuri grew to super typhoon status, packing maximum sustained winds estimated at 165 miles (270 kilometers) per hour, with gusts reaching an estimated 200 miles (320 kilometers) per hour. The storm moved west toward the Philippine Islands before turning northeast into the north Pacific Ocean, thus avoiding any major landmass.

Instruments:

  1. Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS)
  2. Bioreactor Flow
  3. Cosmic Radiation Effects and Activation Monitor (CREAM)
  4. Extended Duration Orbiter Medical Project
  5. Extended Duration Orbiter (EDO)
  6. Interim Operational Contamination Monitor (IOCM)
  7. Military Man in Space (M88-1)
  8. Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME III)
  9. Shuttle Activation Monitor (SAM)
  10. Terra-Scout
  11. Ultraviolet Plume Instrument (UVPI)
  12. Visual Function Tester (VFT-1)

STS-45 edit

 
Kunlun Mountains are in Tibet at lat: 36°N lon: 91°E. Credit: NASA STS-45 crew.{{free media}}

STS-42/IML 1, NSSDCA ID: 1992-002A. launch date: 1992-01-22. Space Shuttle Mission STS-42 was the 45th Shuttle flight and the 15th flight of Discovery.

"The main objective of STS-42 was to carry out the International Microgravity Laboratory-1 (IML-1) mission, a collection of life science and microgravity experiments developed by more than 200 scientists from 16 countries. The IML-1 was the first in a series of IML missions planned to fly aboard the Space Shuttle this decade. In addition the the IML-1 module, STS-42 also carried 12 Get Away Special containers containing experiments ranging from materials processing work to investigations into the development of animal life in weightlessness. Two experiments from the Space Shuttle Student Involvement Program, Convection in Zero Gravity and Zero-G Capillary Rise of Liquid Through Granular Porous Media, were also flown. On Discovery's lower deck, the Investigation into Polymer Membrane Processing investigated advances in filtering technologies in microgravity, and the Radiation Monitoring Equipment-III recorded radiation levels in the crew cabin. The spacecraft maintained a gravity gradient orientation with its nose pointed to space and its tail to Earth in order to minimize firings of the Shuttle's small steering thrusters, thus avoiding disturbances to onboard experiments."[48]

STS-46 edit

 
Components of the Spacelab (ATLAS-1 laboratory) in the payload bay of Atlantis is shown. Credit: NASA STS-46 crew.{{free media}}

STS-45 was a 1992 NASA Space Shuttle mission using the Space Shuttle Atlantis, Names: Space Transportation System-46. It was the 46th Space Shuttle mission and the 11th for Atlantis. Launch date: 24 March 1992, 13:13:39 UTC, launch site: Kennedy Space Center, LC-39A, lLanding date: 2 April 1992, 11:23 UTC, landing site Kennedy Space Center, SLF Runway 33.

NSSDCA ID: 1992-015A.[49]

STS-45 carried the first Spacelab (Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science) (ATLAS-1) experiments, placed on Spacelab pallets mounted in the orbiter's payload bay. The non-deployable payload, equipped with 12 instruments from the United States, France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Japan, conducted studies in atmospheric chemistry, solar radiation, space plasma physics and ultraviolet astronomy. ATLAS-1 instruments included the Atmospheric Trace Molecule Spectroscopy (ATMOS); Grille Spectrometer; Millimeter Wave Atmospheric Sounder (MAS); Imaging Spectrometric Observatory (ISO); Atmospheric Lyman-Alpha Emissions (ALAE); Atmospheric Emissions Photometric Imager (AEPI); Space Experiments with Particle Accelerators (SEPAC); Active Cavity Radiometer (ACR); Measurement of Solar Constant (SOLCON); Solar Spectrum;[50] Solar Ultraviolet Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SUSIM); and Far Ultraviolet Space Telescope (FAUST). Other payloads included the Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SSBUV) experiment, a Get Away Special (GAS) experiment and six mid-deck experiments.

STS-47 edit

STS-49 was the NASA maiden flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, which launched on 7 May 1992, Names: Space Transportation System-47.

NSSDCA ID: 1992-026A, launch date: 1992-05-07.

Other "payloads of opportunity" experiments conducted included: Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG), Ultraviolet Plume Imager (UVPI) and the Air Force Maui Optical Station (AMOS) investigation. Mission was extended two days to complete objectives.

STS-48 edit

 
Spacelab Module LM1 in Columbia's payload bay, served as the United States Microgravity Laboratory. Credit: NASA STS-48 crew.{{free media}}

STS-50 (U.S. Microgravity Laboratory-1) was a NASA Space Shuttle mission, the 12th mission of the Columbia orbiter.

Names: Space Transportation System-48.

NSSDCA ID: 1992-034A, launch date: 1992-06-25.

"Space Shuttle Mission STS 50 was the 48th Shuttle flight and the 12th flight of Columbia. [...] STS 50 carried the United States Microgravity Laboratory (USML 1), a Spacelab long module with an Extended Duration Orbiter (EDO) pallet in the aft cargo bay. The USML 1 consisted of 31 experiments ranging from the manufacture of crystals for possible semiconductor use to the study of the behavior of weightless fluids. STS 50 also carried the Investigations into Polymer Membrane Processing experiment and the Space Shuttle Amature Radio Experiment-II. Columbia landed July 9, 1992, at 11:43 a.m. UT on KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility Runway 33."[51]

Columbia's "stand-up" orbital attitude, although ideal for microgravity experiments, was very far from optimal from the point of view of D&M (Debris and Micrometeoroid) vulnerability. The orbiter received 40 radiation debris impacts, impacts on eight windows, and three impacts on the carbon-carbon wing leading edges.[52]

STS-49 edit

 
Space Shuttle Atlantis' STS-46 mission was launched on July 31, 1992, from the Kennedy Space Center. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
Earth observation is from the shuttle orbiter Atlantis during STS-46 of Dominican Republic, lat. 20°, lon. -71°. Credit: NASA STS-49 crew.{{free media}}
 
Vietnam, Dong Hoi coastal area is at lat: 17.5° lon: 105.8°, tilt: 15°, dir: N, azi: 83, alt: 124, elev: 34. Credit: NASA STS-49 crew.{{free media}}

NSSDCA ID: 1992-049A for STS-46 launch date 1992-07-31.

STS-46 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission using Space Shuttle Atlantis and was launched on July 31, 1992, 13:56:48 UTC, and landed on August 8, 1992, 13:11:50 UTC, at Kennedy Space Center, SLF Runway 33.

Names: Space Transportation System-49.

Secondary payloads included the Evaluation of Oxygen Integration with Materials/Thermal Management Processes (EOIM-III/TEMP 2A), Consortium for Materials Development in Space Complex Autonomous Payload (CONCAP II and CONCAP III), IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC), Limited Duration Space Environment Candidate Materials Exposure (LDCE), Pituitary Growth Hormone Cell Function (PHCF), and the Ultraviolet Plume Instrument (UVPI).

STS-50 edit

 
STS-47 Endeavour, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 105, lifts off from KSC. Credit: NASA.
 
Part of Space Shuttle Endeavour's payload bay and the Spacelab-J science module are shown. Credit: NASA STS-50 crew.{{free media}}
 
Bosten Lake area in East Turkestan (Xinjiang) is shown. Credit: NASA STS-50 crew.{{free media}}

STS-47 was the 50th NASA Space Shuttle mission of the program, as well as the second mission of the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

NSSDCA ID: 1992-061A.

"STS 47 was the 50th Shuttle mission and flew as its primary payload Spacelab-J (SL-J), utilized pressurized Spacelab module. Jointly sponsored by NASA and the National Space Development Agency (NASDA) of Japan, SL-J included 24 material science and 19 life sciences experiments, of which 34 were sponsored by NASDA, seven by NASA, and two collaborative efforts. The mission was extended one day to further science objectives. The materials science investigations covered such fields as biotechnology, electronic materials, fluid dynamics and transport phenomena, glasses and ceramics, metals and alloys, and acceleration measurements. The life sciences investigations covered human health, cell separation and biology, development biology, animal and human physiology and behavior, space radiation, and biological rhythms. Test subjects included the crew, Japanese koi fish, cultured animal and plant cells, chicken embryos, fruit flies, fungi and plant seeds, and frogs and frog eggs."[53]

"Also flown in the payload bay were 12 Get Away Special (GAS) canisters (10 holding experiments, two for ballast) attached to a GAS Bridge Assembly. Middeck experiments included Israeli Space Agency Investigation about Hornets (USAIAH); Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE); Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX II); Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS); and Ultraviolet Plume Instrument (UVPI)."[53]

Camera location for the second image on the right was 42° 00′ 00″ N, 87° 00′ 00″ E, taken on 13 September 1992, 04:07:31.

STS-51 edit

 
Liftoff shows STS-51. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}

STS-52 was a Space Transportation System (NASA Space Shuttle) mission using Space Shuttle Columbia, and was launched on 22 October 1992.[54]

NSSDCA ID: 1992-070A, launch date: 1992-10-22. Names: Space Transportation System-51.

"It carried the US Microgravity Payload-2 (USMP-2) which contained several microgravity experimental packages. Among them were the growth of cadmium telluride crystals from vapor phase, growth of protein/enzyme crystals, and a number of high school experiments such as the clotting action of snake venom on blood plasma proteins, germination of Florida's official flower seeds, and microgravity effect on dry mustard seeds that were germinated after return. Also on-board were 6 rats that had been given anti-osteoporotic treatment with an experimental drug."[55]

STS-52 edit

 
Launch of Discovery is for a United States Department of Defense (DoD) mission. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}

STS-53 was a NASA Space Shuttle Discovery mission in support of the United States Department of Defense (DoD). The mission was launched on 2 December 1992 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States.

NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 1992-086A.

"The secondary unclassified experiments include: (1) Shuttle Glow (GLO), to investigate Shuttle/space environment interactions; (2) Cryogenic Heat Pipe Experiment (CRYOHP), a joint DoD and NASA Hitchhiker experiment to test advanced technology to regect excess heat generated by infrared sensors; [...] (4) Battlefield Laser Acquisition Sensor Test (BLAST), an Army space project to demonstrate the use of spaceborne laser receivers to detect laser energy from ground test locations; (5) Cloud Logic to Optimize Use of Defense System (CLOUDS), a meteorological experiment to quantify the variation in apparent cloud cover as a function of orbital view angle; (6) Cosmic Radiation Effects and Activation Monitor (CREAM), an experiment designed to collect cosmic ray energy loss spectra, neutron fluxes, and induced radioactivity; (7) Fluid Acquisition and Resupply Equipment (FARE), an experimen t to investigate the dynamics of fluid transfer in space; (8) Hand-held, earth-oriented, Real-time, Cooperative, User-friendly, Location-targeting and Environmental System (HERCULES), a Naval Research Lab (NRL) experiment to enable a Shuttle astrionaut to point a camera at an Earth feature, record the image and determine the latitude and longitude of the feature; (10) Microencapsulation In Space (MIS), designed to incresae the knowledge of microencapsulated drug technology; (11) Radiation Monitoring Equipment -III (RME-III), an instrument to measure the exposure to ionizing radiation on the Shuttle; (12) Space Tissue Loss (STL), to study the effects of space on fragile life systems; and (13) Visual Function Tester - Model II (VFT-2), a series of vision performance experiments in space."[56]

Names: Space Transportation System-52.

STS-53 edit

STS-54 was a NASA Space Transportation System (Space Shuttle) mission using Space Shuttle Endeavour. This was the third flight for Endeavour, and was launched on 13 January 1993.

Names: Space Transportation System-53.

NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 1993-003A.

STS-54 edit

 
Components of the Spacelab ATLAS-2 laboratory are shown in the payload bay of Discovery. Credit: NASA STS-53 crew.{{free media}}
 
Launch shows STS-56. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
SPARTAN-201 free-flying near STS-56. Credit: NASA STS-53 crew retouched by Askeuhd.{{free media}}

Names: Space Transportation System-54.

STS-56 was a NASA Space Shuttle Discovery mission to perform special experiments. The mission was launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 8 April 1993.

NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 1993-023A.

The primary payload of the flight was the Spacelab Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science-2 (ATLAS-2), designed to collect data on the relationship between the Sun's energy output and Earth's middle atmosphere and how these factors affect the ozone layer. It included six instruments mounted on a Spacelab pallet in the cargo bay, with the seventh mounted on the wall of the bay in two Get Away Special (GAS) canisters. Atmospheric instruments included the Atmospheric Trace Molecule Spectroscopy (ATMOS) experiment, the Millimeter Wave Atmospheric Sounder (MAS), and the Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SSBUV/A) spectrometer (on the cargo bay wall). Solar science instruments were the solar spectrometry instrument SOLSPEC,[57] the Solar Ultraviolet Irradiance Monitor (SUSIM), and the Active Cavity Radiometer (ACR) and Solar Constant (SOLCON) experiments.[58]

ATLAS-2 is one element of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth program. All seven ATLAS-2 instruments first flew on Spacelab ATLAS-1 during STS-45, and flew a third time in late 1994 on STS-66.[58]

On 11 April 1993, the crew used the remote manipulator arm (Canadarm) to deploy the Shuttle Point Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy-201 (SPARTAN-201), a free-flying science instrument platform designed to study velocity and acceleration of the solar wind and observe the sun's corona. Collected data was stored on tape for playback after return to Earth. SPARTAN-201 was retrieved on 13 April 1993.[58]

STS-55 edit

 
Spacelab Module LM1 in Columbia's payload bay, serves as the Spacelab D-2 laboratory. Credit: NASA STS-55 crew.{{free media}}

Names: Space Transportation System-55.

NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 1993-027A.

Columbia carried to orbit the second reusable German Spacelab D-2 and demonstrated the shuttle's ability for international cooperation, exploration, and scientific research in space. The Spacelab module and an exterior experiment support structure contained in Columbia's payload bay comprised the Spacelab D-2 payload. The first German Spacelab flight, D-1, flew Shuttle mission STS-61-A in October 1985.

The crew worked in two shifts around-the-clock to complete investigations into the areas of fluid physics, materials sciences, life sciences, biological sciences, technology, Earth observations, atmospheric physics, and astronomy. Many of the experiments advanced the research of the D-1 mission by conducting similar tests, using upgraded processing hardware, or implementing methods that took full advantage of the technical advancements since 1985.

STS-56 edit

 
Endeavour's payload bay, with the Space habitat (SpaceHab) module (foreground), European Retrievable Carrier (EURECA) (background), and astronauts David Low and Peter Wisoff performing an Extravehicular activity (EVA) (centre). Credit: NASA STS-56 crew.{{free media}}
 
Liftoff shows STS-51. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
European Retrievable Carrier (EURECA) is stowed by Endeavour's remote manipulator system (Canadarm). Credit: NASA STS-56 crew.{{free media}}

STS-57 was a NASA Space Shuttle-Spacehab mission of Space Shuttle Endeavour that launched 21 June 1993 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

Names: Space Transportation System-56.

NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 1993-037A.

EURECA had been deployed from the Space Shuttle Atlantis in August 1992 (STS-46) and contained several experiments to study the long-term effects of exposure to microgravity.

STS-57 edit

 
IMAX photography of Discovery in orbit, was viewed from the free-flying SPAS-ORFEUS astronomy platform. Credit: NASA STS-57 crew.{{free media}}
 
Launch was seen from the RSS. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
The ORFEUS/SPAS platform is captured by the Canadarm. Credit: NASA STS-57 crew.{{free media}}

STS-51 was a NASA Space Shuttle Discovery mission. The flight featured the deployment and retrieval of the SPAS-ORFEUS satellite and its IMAX camera, which captured spectacular footage of Discovery in space.

Names: Space Transportation System-57.

NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 1993-058A.

STS-58 edit

 
Spacelab module LM2 is in Columbia's payload bay, serving as the Spacelab Life Sciences-2 laboratory. Credit: NASA STS-58 crew.{{free media}}
 
Columbia is on Pad 39B ready for launch. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}

STS-58 was a NASA mission flown by Space Shuttle Columbia launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 18 October 1993.

Names: Space Transportation System-58.

NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 1993-065A.

STS-59 edit

 
Musgrave is being raised to the top of Hubble by Canadarm, as it sits in Endeavour's payload bay. Credit: NASA STS-59 crew.{{free media}}
 
Launch shows the first Hubble servicing mission. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}

STS-61 was the first NASA Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission, and the fifth flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. The mission launched on 2 December 1993 from Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida.

Names: Space Transportation System-59.

NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 1993-075A.

STS-60 edit

 
The Astrotech Corporation SPACEHAB-2 in Discovery's payload bay, as Canadarm grapples the Wake Shield Facility (WSF-1). Credit: NASA STS-60 crew.{{free media}}

STS-60 was the first mission of the U.S./Russian Shuttle-Mir Program. The mission used NASA Space Shuttle Discovery, which lifted off from Launch Pad 39A on 3 February 1994 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The mission carried the Wake Shield Facility experiment and a SPACEHAB module, developed by SPACEHAB Inc., into orbit.

NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 1994-006A.

Names: Space Transportation System-60.

STS-61 edit

 
Liftoff shows Columbia on STS-62. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
Columbia passes over Typhoon Owen. Credit: NASA STS-61 crew.{{free media}}

STS-62 was a Space Shuttle program mission flown aboard Space Shuttle Columbia. The primary payloads were the USMP-02 microgravity experiments package and the OAST-2 engineering and technology payload, both in the orbiter's cargo bay. The two-week mission also featured a number of biomedical experiments focusing on the effects of long duration spaceflight.

NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 1994-015A

Names: Space Transportation System-61.

STS-62 edit

 
Space Shuttle Endeavour is in orbit with SIR-C in its payload bay. Credit: NASA STS-61 crew.{{free media}}

STS-59 was a Space Shuttle program mission that took place in 1994. The launch was chronicled by the 1994 Discovery Channel special about the Space Shuttle program.

NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 1994-020A.

Names: Space Transportation System-62.

STS-63 edit

 
Spacelab Module LM1 in Columbia's payload bay, serving as the International Microgravity Laboratory. Credit: NASA STS-63 crew.{{free media}}

NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 1994-039A.

Names: Space Transportation System-63.

STS-64 edit

 
STS-64 launches from Kennedy Space Center, 9 September 1994. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
SPARTAN-201 is grappled by the RMS. Credit: NASA crew STS-64.{{free media}}

STS-64 marked the first flight of Lidar In-space Technology Experiment (LITE). LITE payload employs lidar, which stands for light detection and ranging, a type of optical radar using laser pulses instead of radio waves to study Earth's atmosphere. The first spaceflight of lidar was a highly successful technology test. The LITE instrument operated for 53 hours, yielding more than 43 hours of high-rate data. Unprecedented views were obtained of cloud structures, storm systems, dust clouds, pollutants, forest burning and surface reflectance. Sites studied included atmosphere above northern Europe, Indonesia and the south Pacific, Russia and Africa. Sixty-five groups from 20 countries made validation measurements with ground-based and aircraft instruments to verify LITE data. The LITE science program was part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth.

On the fifth day of the mission, the Shuttle Pointed Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy-201 (SPARTAN-201) free flyer was released using the Remote Manipulator System arm. Making its second flight on the Shuttle, SPARTAN-201 was designed to collect data about the acceleration and velocity of the solar wind and to measure aspects of sun's corona. Data was recorded for playback after return to Earth. SPARTAN-201 was retrieved after two days of data collection.

Shuttle Plume Impingement Flight Experiment (SPIFEX) was a 33-foot (10-meter) long instrumented extension for Shuttle robot arm. SPIFEX was designed to collect data about orbiter Reaction Control System (RCS) thrusters to aid understanding about potential effects of thruster plumes on large space structures, such as Mir space station or the planned international space station. The Robot Operated Processing System (ROMPS) was the first U.S. robotics system operated in space, mounted in two Get Away Special (GAS) canisters attached to the cargo bay wall. A GAS bridge assembly in the cargo bay carried 12 cans, 10 holding self-contained experiments.

Biological Research in Canister (BRIC) experiment were to investigate effects of spaceflight on plant specimens; Military Application of Ship Tracks (MAST) took high-resolution imagery of ship tracks and analyzed wake formation and dissipations; Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE) supplied information on flame propagation over fuels in space; Radiation Monitoring Equipment III (RME III) measured ionizing radiation; Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment II (SAREX II) demonstrated feasibility of short-wave radio contacts between orbiter and ground-based amateur radio operators; and Air Force Maui Optical Station (AMOS) test required no onboard hardware.

STS-65 edit

 
The Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-2) Multipurpose Experiment Support Structure (MPESS) is seen at bottom frame. Credit: Johnson Space Center.{{free media}}

Other experiments are the antenna for the Spaceborne Imaging Radar (SIR-C), the X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (X-SAR), the device for Measurement of Air Pollution from Satellites (MAPS) and some Getaway Special (GAS) canisters.

STS-68 used Space Shuttle Endeavour launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 30 September 1994 at 7:16:00.068 am EDT Launch Pad 39-A. Landing occurred on 11 October 1994, 1:02:09 pm EDT, Edwards Air Force Base concrete Runway 22.

Late Friday night, 30 September 1994, Tom Jones sent down some video of a volcano erupting in Kamchatka. The experiment scientists reported the volcano began erupting a couple of weeks ago, but the latest "burst" from the Kliuchevskoi (pronounced clue-chev-skoy) volcano occurred about eight hours after Endeavour's 6:16 am launch Friday.

STS-66 edit

 
Malaspina Glacier can be seen in this north-northeastern photograph. Credit: NASA crew STS-66.{{free media}}
 
ATLAS-3 is in the payload bay of Atlantis, while the Shuttle's Canadarm grapples CRISTA-SPAS. Credit: NASA crew STS-66.{{free media}}
 
Launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis and the beginning of STS-66 mission is shown.{{free media}}

STS-66 launched on 3 November 1994 at 11:59:43.060 am EDT from Launch Pad 39-B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Atlantis landed at Edwards Air Force Base on 14 November 1994 at 10:33:45 am EST.

On the left, the Shuttle Pallet Satellite is grappled by Atlantis on mission STS-66.

STS-67 edit

 
Space Shuttle Discovery launches on mission STS-63, actually STS-67 in the series. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}

STS-63 was the second mission of the US/Russian Shuttle-Mir Program, which lifted off from launch pad 39B on 3 February 1995 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

It carried out the successful deployment and retrieval of the Spartan-204 platform. Objectives included performing the operations necessary to fulfill the requirements of experiments located in SPACEHAB-3 and to fly captively, then deploy and retrieve the Spartan-204 payload. Spartan-204, the Shuttle Pointed Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy, was a free-flying retrievable platform. It was designed to obtain data in the far ultraviolet region of the spectrum from diffuse sources of light.

Payloads flying aboard STS-63 included the Cryo Systems Experiment (CSE), the Shuttle Glow (GLO-2) experiment, Orbital Debris Radar Calibration Spheres (ODERACS-2), the Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE), the Air Force Maui Optical Site Calibration Test (AMOS) and the Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX).

SPACEHAB-3 was making its third flight on the Shuttle and carried 20 experiments: 11 biotechnology experiments, three advanced materials development experiments, four technology demonstrations and two pieces of supporting hardware measuring on-orbit accelerations.

Among the plant growth experiments was Astroculture, flying for the fourth time on the Shuttle. The objective of Astroculture was to validate performance of plant growth technologies in the microgravity environment of space for application to a life support system in space including energy-efficient lighting and removal of pollutants from indoor air.

One of the pharmaceutical experiments, Immune, exploited a known tendency of spaceflight to weaken the immune system, to test the ability of a particular substance to prevent or reduce this weakening.

On flight day two, the crew deployed the Orbital Debris Radar Calibration System-II (ODERACS-II) to help characterize the orbital debris environment for objects smaller than 10 centimeters (about four inches) in diameter. A complement of six target objects of known dimensions and with limited orbital lifespans was released into orbit and tracked by ground-based radars, allowing precise calibration of radars so they can more accurately track smaller pieces of space debris in low Earth orbit.

The crew lifted with the orbiter remote manipulator system arm SPARTAN-204 from its support structure in the payload bay. SPARTAN remained suspended on the arm for observation of orbiter glow phenomenon and thruster jet firings. SPARTAN-204 was later released from the arm to complete about 40 hours of free-flight, during which time its Far Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph instrument studied celestial targets in the interstellar medium.

Along with ODERACS-II, the Cryo System Experiment (CSE) and Shuttle Glow (GLO-2) payloads were mounted on the Hitchhiker support assembly in the cargo bay; an IMAX camera was also located here. In middeck, the Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE) flew for the eighth time. The Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) test required no onboard hardware.

STS-97 edit

 
STS-99 launches from Kennedy Space Center, 11 February 2000. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}
 
The SRTM radar boom in Endeavour's payload bay extends 60 meters off the vehicle's port side. Credit: NASA STS-97 crew.{{free media}}
 
Malaspina Glacier in southeastern Alaska is considered the classic example of a piedmont glacier. Credit: NASA STS-97 crew.{{free media}}

STS-99 was a Space Shuttle mission using Endeavour, that launched on 11 February 2000 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The primary objective of the mission was the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) project.

The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) was an international project spearheaded by the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (now the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency), an agency within the U.S. Department of Defense, and NASA, with participation of the German Aerospace Center DLR. Its objective was to obtain the most complete high-resolution digital topographic database of the Earth. SRTM consisted of a specially modified radar system that flew onboard Endeavour during its 11-day mission. This radar system gathered around 8 terabytes of data to produce high-quality 3-D images of the Earth's surface.

SRTM used C-band and X-band interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IFSAR) to acquire topographic data of Earth's land mass (between 60°N and 56°S). It produced digital topographic map products which met Interferometric Terrain Height Data (ITHD)-2 specifications (30 meter x 30 meter spatial sampling with 16 meter absolute vertical height accuracy, 10 meter relative vertical height accuracy and 20 meter absolute horizontal circular accuracy). The result of the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission was close to 1 trillion measurements of the Earth's topography. Besides contributing to the production of better maps, these measurements could lead to improved water drainage modeling, more realistic flight simulators, better locations for cell phone towers, and enhanced navigation safety.

The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission mast was deployed successfully to its full length, and the antenna was turned to its operation position. After a successful checkout of the radar systems, mapping began at 00:31 EST, less than 12 hours after launch. Crewmembers split into two shifts so they could work around the clock, and began mapping an area from 60 degrees north to 56 degrees south. Data was sent to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for analysis, and early indications showed the data to be of excellent quality.

Radar data gathering concluded at 06:54 EST on the tenth day of flight after a final sweep across Australia. During 222 hours and 23 minutes of mapping, Endeavour's radar images filled 332 high density tapes and covered 99.98% of the planned mapping area – land between 60 degrees north latitude and 56 degrees south latitude – at least once and 94.6% of it twice. Only about 80,000 square miles (210,000 km2) in scattered areas remained unimaged, most of them in North America and most already well mapped by other methods. Enough data was gathered to fill the equivalent of 20,000 CDs.

A student experiment called EarthKAM took 2,715 digital photos during the mission through an overhead flight-deck window. The NASA-sponsored program allowed middle school students to select photo targets and receive the images via the Internet. The pictures were used in classroom projects on Earth science, geography, mathematics and space science. More than 75 middle schools around the world participated in the experiment, which set a record. On four previous flights combined, EarthKAM sent down a total of 2,018 images.

STS-99 also saw the recommissioning of the Spacelab pallet system, despite the Spacelab system being discontinued almost two years prior.

STS-133 edit

 
In the grasp of the International Space Station's Canadarm2, the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) Leonardo is transferred from space shuttle Discovery's payload bay to be permanently attached to the Earth-facing port of the station's Unity node. Credit: NASA STS-133 crew.{{free media}}

STS-133 (ISS assembly flight ULF5)[59] was the 133rd mission in NASA's Space Shuttle program; during the mission, Space Shuttle Discovery docked with the International Space Station. It was Discovery's 39th and final mission. The mission launched on 24 February 2011, and landed on 9 March 2011.

The shuttle also carried the third of four ExPRESS Logistics Carriers to the ISS, as well as a humanoid robot called Robonaut.[60]

STS-135 edit

 
The launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis is shown. Credit: NASA.{{free media}}

STS-135 (ISS assembly flight ULF7)[61] was the 135th and final mission of the American Space Shuttle program.[62][63] It used the orbiter Atlantis and hardware originally processed for the STS-335 contingency mission, which was not flown. STS-135 launched on 8 July 2011, and landed on 21 July 2011, following a one-day mission extension. The four-person crew was the smallest of any shuttle mission since STS-6 in April 1983. The mission's primary cargo was the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) Raffaello and a Lightweight Multi-Purpose Carrier (LMC), which were delivered to the International Space Station (ISS). The flight of Raffaello marked the only time that Atlantis carried an MPLM.[64]

See also edit

References edit

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  10. Press kit, p. 32
  11. Press kit, pp. 38–39. The first experiment was formally designated "Evaluation of Oxygen Interaction with Materials" (DSO-0301) while the second was the High Capacity Heat Pipe Demonstration (DSO-0101)
  12. Press kit, pp. 40–41. In order, these were designated the Cosmic Ray Upset Experiment (CRUX) (G-0346); the Ultraviolet-Sensitive Photographic Emulsion Experiment (G-0347); the Japanese snow crystal experiment (G-0475), and the Contamination Monitor Package (G-0348).
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External links edit

{{Principles of radiation astronomy}}