National Aeronautics and Space Administration                                            STS-135:                         ...
2011                                   2009                            20082007              2003       2002              ...
1999                        1998              1996              1994       1992                     1991
1990                 1989           STS-1:       The First Mission1985                                  1981
CONTENTSSection                                                                                                           ...
Section                                                                                                                   ...
SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORYINTRODUCTION                                          Engineering and technological advances were    ...
Scientific advances continue aboard the             ranged from political and funding concerns toInternational Space Stati...
On April 1, 1969, Faget, director of engineering     President Spiro Agnew, was established thatand development at the Man...
requirement, while NASA required the 15-foot        orbital maneuvering system engines.          Butwidth to accommodate s...
The first four of the five, beginning Aug. 12,       Gulfstreams were acquired in the 1980s andlanded on Edwards’ dry lake...
performance. Qualification testing, aimed at           number of problems. In April 1977, a test ofshowing various element...
behind schedule because of the delays, NASA            Young and Crippen landed Columbia on thedecided to fly Columbia fro...
Range, and a New Mexico dust storm delayed           Privately owned communications satellites hadit for a day. Finally, o...
The astronauts aboard Challenger on that 10th          The TDRS booster sustained failure, leaving theshuttle flight, STS-...
Columbia’s cargo bay. The crew, including              replaced failed components. Hart put it backMission Specialists Rob...
Using a backup plan, Allen got into foot             Garn, who chaired the Senate committee withrestraints, removed the sa...
deployed with the robotic arm and,                   successfully deployed the new satellites (onesubsequently, after a se...
snapped together. They also assembled and           Nelson represented the district that includeddisassembled an upside-do...
Five astronauts and two payload specialists made up the Challenger crew in January of 1986.  Crew members are (left to rig...
On Feb. 3, President Reagan named a                      forbidden, with certain exceptions, to launchcommission to invest...
The TDRS-D was deployed on STS-29 shortly           intentionally crashed to gather informationafter Discovery’s launch Ma...
An 11-day flight, the longest to that time, was      Some observations were possible, particularlycommanded by Daniel Bran...
After a DoD mission in November 1990 and a             commanded by Daniel Brandenstein andscience flight, the last of the...
A science and satellite deployment mission,           The mission, with Mission SpecialistsSTS-52 on Columbia, followed in...
FROM MIR TO THE INTERNATIONAL                       It marked the first time representatives of thoseSPACE STATION        ...
ways successful, but it too was punctuated by       It gave us valuable experience in training crewan accident.           ...
•    The July 1997, STS-94 mission of                 Launched May 27, 1999, the Spacehab double     Columbia with the fir...
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis
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Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis

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A comprehensive, detailed look at the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis. The press kit provides a space shuttle history and insight into activities for each of the 12 days of the mission and objectives. It introduces the crew members, Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim. A look

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Transcript of "Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis"

  1. 1. National Aeronautics and Space Administration STS-135: The Final Mission Dedicated to the courageous men and women who have devoted their lives to the Space Shuttle Program and the pursuit of space exploration PRESS KIT / JULY 2011www.nasa.gov
  2. 2. 2011 2009 20082007 2003 2002 2001
  3. 3. 1999 1998 1996 1994 1992 1991
  4. 4. 1990 1989 STS-1: The First Mission1985 1981
  5. 5. CONTENTSSection PageSPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY ...................................................................................................... 1 I N T RO D U CT IO N . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 S PA C E SH U TT L E C O N C EP T A ND DEVELOPM ENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 T H E S PA C E SH UT TL E ER A B E G I N S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . 7 N A SA R EB O UND S INTO SPA C E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 14 F R OM M I R TO TH E I NT E RNA TI O NAL S PA C E S TAT I O N . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 S T AT I ON A SSEM BL Y C OMPL ET E D AFT ER C O L UMB IA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 M I SSI O N C ON T R OL R O S ES E X P R ES S THA N K S , S UPP OR T . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 S PA C E SH U TT L E PR O GRAM ’ S K EY S TAT I ST I C S (T HR U S TS -1 3 4 ) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 T H E O RB I T ER F L E ET . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 S H UT TL E UPS A N D DOW NS : L AU N C H, LAND AND LAUNCH A GA I N . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 T HR E E L A N D ING S I TES U SE D , MANY M OR E A VA IL A BLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 A S TR O NA UT C O RP S M ARKS C HA N G E S IN S PAC E , S OC I E T Y . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 H U BBL E A ND T H E S HU TT L E: N E W VI E WS O F O U R U NI V E R S E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49STS-135 MISSION OVERVIEW ............................................................................................... 51STS-135 TIMELINE OVERVIEW ............................................................................................... 61STS-135 MISSION PROFILE ................................................................................................... 63STS-135 MISSION OBJECTIVES ............................................................................................. 65MISSION PERSONNEL ............................................................................................................. 67STS-135 ATLANTIS CREW ...................................................................................................... 69PAYLOAD OVERVIEW .............................................................................................................. 75 R A F FA EL L O MUL T I -P UR POSE L OG I ST I CS M O DUL E (MP L M ) FLI GHT MO D UL E 2 ( F M2 ) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 MP L M B A CKG R O UN D I N FORM AT ION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 T H E L I GH TWE I GH T M UL T I- P UR PO S E EXP E RIM E N T SUPP O RT ST RUC T UR E C ARR I ER (L M C) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 R O B OT I C R E FUE L I N G M I SSI O N ( RRM ) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 82 P UM P MOD UL E (PM ) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . 85JULY 2011 CONTENTS i
  6. 6. Section PageRENDEZVOUS & DOCKING ....................................................................................................... 87 U N D O CK I NG , S E PA RA TI O N A N D D EPA RTU R E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88SPACEWALKS ......................................................................................................................... 89STS-135 EXPERIMENTS .......................................................................................................... 93 S T S -1 3 5 / UL F7 R E S EA R CH A N D TE C HN OL OG Y D EV EL OPM E N T . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 S H OR T- D UR AT I O N R E S EA RC H TO B E C OMP LETED ON STS-135 / UL F7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 R E S EA R CH TO B E D EL I V ER E D TO S TA TI O N O N SH UTT L E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 R E S EA R CH OF O PP O RT U NI T Y . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . 97 R E S EA R CH TO B E R ET UR NE D O N S PA C E S H UT TL E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 PICO-SAT ELLITE SOLA R CEL L TES T BED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 100 D E V E L O PM E NT T E ST O B JEC T I V E S ( DT O) A N D D ETA ILE D S U PPL EMEN T AR Y O B J ECTIVES (DSO) . . . . . . . . . . 102 S T U D E NT EXP ERIM E N T S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . 105SHUTTLE REFERENCE DATA .................................................................................................... 117LAUNCH & LANDING ................................................................................................................ 135 L A U N CH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 A B OR T T O OR B IT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 T RA N S O C EA NI C A BO RT L AN D I N G . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 135 R E T UR N TO L A UNCH SIT E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . 135 A B OR T O N C E A RO U N D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . 135 L A N D I NG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135ACRONYMS & ABBREVIATIONS .............................................................................................. 137MEDIA ASSISTANCE ............................................................................................................... 153SPACE SHUTTLE AND INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION − PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACTS ..... 155THE FUTURE ............................................................................................................................ 159 O R I ON MUL T I- P UR PO S E CR E W V EHI CLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 9 N A SA C OMMER C IAL C R EW PR OG RAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 62ii CONTENTS JULY 2011
  7. 7. SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORYINTRODUCTION Engineering and technological advances were required in development of the shuttle. ItShuttle History: Knowledge, was called the most complex machine everCapabilities, and Cooperation built. Its main engines stretched design and metallurgical capabilities. Its thermalFor 30 years, the space shuttle has been the U.S. protection system, which shielded the orbiterhuman access to space. It has capabilities no from temperatures as high as 3,000 degreesother spacecraft can claim. No other spacecraft Fahrenheit during re-entry, was a work inis likely to match those capabilities in this progress until shortly before the first shuttlegeneration. launch. Engines and the thermal protectionIt is the fastest winged vehicle ever to fly, with system were designed for repeated reuse.an orbital velocity of 17,500 mph, 10 times the Both have been continually improved duringspeed of a high-powered rifle bullet. It is the the life of the Space Shuttle Program. So hasonly winged vehicle to reach orbit, and the only just about every other major shuttle system.reusable space launch and landing vehicle. Science, in addition to the advances requiredThe shuttle can carry cargos of substantial for the spacecraft’s development, has madeweight and dimensions. It has taken into space huge strides with the help of the space shuttle.more than half the mass of all payloads We have learned more about ourselves, aboutlaunched by all nations since Sputnik in 1957 – how our bodies and those of other organisms3,450,143 pounds (though STS-132) and function, from the subcellular level on up. Wecounting as the final shuttle launch approaches. have learned how we as individuals interactMore singular still is the shuttle’s ability to with one another under unusual and stressfulreturn payloads from space. It has brought circumstances – and how to work together.back from orbit more than 97 percent of We have learned about our planet, its landall mass returned to Earth, a total of masses, its oceans, its atmosphere and its225,574 pounds (though STS-132) before the environment as a whole. With the help of theupcoming final flight. shuttle we have learned more about our moon,It has launched 802 crew members including solar system, our galaxy and our universe.those lost on Challenger and Columbia. Crew The Hubble Space Telescope, for example,members returning on the shuttle numbered launched and repeatedly upgraded and789. Many crew members flew more than once. repaired on shuttle missions, has given usA total of 356 different individuals have flown unprecedented vision of distant stars, someaboard the shuttle (all through STS-132). with planets orbiting them. It has allowed us toIt leaves a significant legacy. look at objects so distant that viewing the light from them takes us back in time to nearer the beginning of the universe.JULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 1
  8. 8. Scientific advances continue aboard the ranged from political and funding concerns toInternational Space Station. The shuttle has competing design ideas and conflicting systemsbeen instrumental in the station’s construction requirements – when one system changedand operation. others were impacted.Perhaps as important as any element of the There were different requirements of users.shuttle legacy is the development of Contractors and program managers worked outinternational cooperation in space. Humans compromises of their own.from many nations have begun to worktogether in space. Shuttle visits to the Russian All in all, more than 50 different shuttlespace station Mir were a beginning that led to versions were developed during the designthat new cooperation we see today aboard the process. Eventually, they evolved into theInternational Space Station. space shuttle that has flown since Columbia’s first launch in April 1981. It was the first ofIt has helped to develop respect and 135 launches, a string scheduled to end in July.understanding for people and technologicalcapabilities of many countries, including some The prospect of reusable spacecraft capable offormer enemies. Such synergies could give carrying large cargos and humans into spacehumans as a whole greater potential for space had been talked about for decades in scienceexploration and development that any single fiction and by scientists since shortly afternation could achieve alone. Such capabilities World War II.eventually could be critical in how well our Indeed, a German design looked at a wingedspecies flourishes or, indeed, survives. craft to be launched from a supersonic sled,The shuttle has provided inspiration – for the rocket itself into suborbital space, skip alongyoung and the not so young. the upper atmosphere and bomb New York. After gliding to a landing and refueling, itIt has encouraged uncounted youths to focus would return home using the same technique.on science and technology. The idea ofbecoming an astronaut, as some certainly Ideas for the next generation of U.S. humanwill, is a powerful motivation. So too is the spacecraft had been discussed within NASAprospect of using such an education to advance and the Department of Defense. In late 1958,human knowledge and understanding in space. NASA had established a working group based at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., toPeople of all the nations contributing to the look at the nation’s future human spacespace shuttle’s design and operation can take program.pride in its accomplishments. Among the group’s 37 original engineersSPACE SHUTTLE CONCEPT AND headed by Robert Gilruth were Maxime Faget,DEVELOPMENT head of engineering; Chris Kraft of flight operations; and Glynn Lunney, who, at 21, wasLike any project of its magnitude, the space the youngest member of the team.shuttle was a series of compromises. They2 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  9. 9. On April 1, 1969, Faget, director of engineering President Spiro Agnew, was established thatand development at the Manned Spacecraft February. It issued a report called “TheCenter (now Johnson Space Center (JSC), held a Post-Apollo Space Program: Directions for themeeting with 20 colleagues at which he Future” in September 1969.presented a balsa-framed, paper-skinnedmodel. It was about 18 inches long, had The Space Task Group recommended, amongstraight, stubby wings and a shark-like nose. other things, “low-cost, flexible, long-lived, highly reusable, operational space systems withFaget, who designed the Mercury spacecraft a high degree of commonality and reusability.”and contributed to U.S. spacecraft design It suggested a system that could carry people,through the space shuttle, told them, “We’re equipment, supplies and fuel to and from orbitgoing to build America’s next spacecraft. It’s routinely, as well as support a range ofgoing to launch like a spacecraft; it’s going to Department of Defense missions.land like a plane.” The first humans landed onthe moon the following July 20. Phase B contracts for project definition went to two orbiter teams, one McDonnell Douglas andA request for proposals for “An Integral Martin Marietta, and the other North AmericanLaunch and Reentry Vehicle” had been issued Rockwell and General Dynamics. Both teamson Oct. 30, 1968, through the Manned would look at competing NASA designs, theSpacecraft Center in Houston and the Marshall Maxime Faget design with limited cross-rangeSpace Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. It called and cargo capabilities but lower heating onfor studies on configurations for launch and re-entry and a high cross-range design withlanding vehicles. Safety and economy were a delta wing, a larger cargo bay and cargoemphasized over the capability to carry heavy capability. Main engine contracts went tocargos. Pratt & Whitney, Rocketdyne and Aerojet.Four companies got 10-month study contracts Funding limitations caused Phase B to bein February 1969. General Dynamics, amended, with the option of an expendableLockheed, McDonnell Douglas, and North external tank. Eventually, that concept wasAmerican Rockwell came up with various adopted, and solid rocket boosters wereconcepts, some involving expendable and some attached to the tank. The Air Force insisted onreusable launchers. Engine contracts went to the long cargo bay and heavy payloadPratt & Whitney and Rocketdyne. This was the capability as well as a cross range of 1,265 milesbeginning of Phase A of a four-step process to launch large satellites into polar orbit fromculminating in production and operation of a Vandenberg Air Force Base in California andnational space shuttle. return there after a single orbit. Department of Defense political support was an importantNASA decided during Phase A that it wanted a shuttle consideration.two-stage craft, both stages reusable. Cargo bay dimensions were an example of theWhile those studies were going on, the Space compromises at work. The length, whichTask Group, established by newly elected wound up being 60 feet, was the Air ForcePresident Richard Nixon and chaired by ViceJULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 3
  10. 10. requirement, while NASA required the 15-foot orbital maneuvering system engines. Butwidth to accommodate space station modules. Enterprise would provide additional valuable information on flight characteristics, atop aThe requirement for two fly-back stages was shuttle carrier aircraft and in free flight.dropped as was, in early 1974, the idea toprovide air-breathing engines for the orbiter When the shuttle’s air-breathing engines wereapproach and landing and ferry flights under dropped, it became apparent that NASA wouldits own power. have to find a way to transport the orbiter. Designing a specific-purpose aircraft and usingPhases C (design) and D (production and the Air Force C5A were considered.operation) were combined. President Nixongave NASA the OK to go ahead with the larger Eventually, NASA settled for a used 747-100payload bay on Jan. 3, 1972. North American that had flown almost 9,000 hours for AmericanRockwell was named winner of the orbiter Airlines, most on its New York-Los Angelescontract on July 26 of that year. route. It bought the plane on July 18, 1974. (A second used 747 was acquired from JapanRocketdyne, a division of North American Air Lines for NASA by Boeing in April 1988Rockwell, had been named winner of the and delivered to the space agency inengine contract on July 13. NASA announced November 1990.)Thiokol as winner of the Solid Rocket Boosterdevelopment contract on June 24, 1973, and less Under a $30 million contract with Boeing, thethan a month later, Martin Marietta got the nod former American Airlines plane’s structure wasto design, develop and test the external tank. strengthened and instrumentation improved, orbiter mounting assembly fittings wereThe war in Southeast Asia, a recession and the installed and vertical endplates were added tofading of the excitement of the Apollo moon its horizontal stabilizers. The modificationslandings had made spaceflight funding tight. were completed by January 1977.Shuttle development was to be stretched overa longer time and the space station, one Approach and landing tests using Enterprisejustification for the shuttle’s development, was and the 747 (its American Airlines logo stillput on hold. Appeals of some of the contract faintly visible on each side) began the followingawards also caused delays. month at Edwards Air Force Base in California. First came three taxi tests on Feb. 15, the thirdRockwell began building the first orbiter, reaching a speed of 157 mph. Five “inactive”Orbiter Vehicle 101, in Palmdale, Calif., on flight tests followed from Feb. 18 to March 2.June 4, 1974. It was to have been namedConstitution, but after 100,000 fans of the TV Two astronaut crews, the first Fred Haise andseries “Star Trek” wrote in, the name was Charles “Gordon” Fullerton and the secondchanged to Enterprise. It was rolled out on Joe Engle and Richard Truly, alternated atSept. 17, 1976. Enterprise controls for three active test flights captive atop the 747 beginning Aug. 12 and fiveBy then, it already had been subjected to a free flights involving Enterprise being releasedseries of vibration tests. It had no main or from the aircraft and landing at Edwards.4 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  11. 11. The first four of the five, beginning Aug. 12, Gulfstreams were acquired in the 1980s andlanded on Edwards’ dry lakebed. The fifth, on converted to shuttle trainers.)Oct. 26, wound up the 1977 test series with anexciting Enterprise landing by Haise and New crew members would be needed. InFullerton on Edwards’ concrete runway. The January 1978 a new group of astronauts wasfourth and fifth of those flights were flown selected. It was the first new astronaut classwithout the tail cone, giving a more accurate since the seven new astronauts had beenpicture of how an orbiter would glide to a selected in August 1969.landing after a spaceflight. The group, the eighth beginning with theAfter some additional tests, Enterprise was to Mercury astronauts selected in 1957, was unlikehave been returned to Rockwell to be outfitted any chosen before. Six of the 35 members wereto fly in space, but it was not to be. NASA women; two of them were medical doctors anddecided it would be quicker and cheaper to the others held Ph.D.s. Three were Africanconvert a structural test article, OV-99, into a American; two of them held Ph.D.s. One was anflight orbiter. That orbiter was named Asian American.Challenger. Many members of the new group wouldEnterprise was subjected to additional tests, become the heart of the new category ofincluding some at Vandenberg, and was astronauts, shuttle mission specialists. Theirdisplayed at several locations, including the qualifications were varied from the mostly testParis Air Show in 1983 and the World’s Fair pilots who made up earlier groups. Several ofin New Orleans in 1985. It was officially the new selectees were civilians, often withtransferred to the Smithsonian Institution’s considerably different perspectives than theirNational Air and Space Museum on military predecessors.Nov. 18, 1985, though NASA continued to Mission specialist physical qualifications wereborrow parts from it for testing in subsequent different, and still differ slightly, for pilots andyears. mission specialists. Mercury astronauts couldOther preparations for shuttle flight continued: be no taller than 5 feet 11 inches – for groups of the Gemini and Apollo era, the maximum wasNASA bought two Gulfstream II business jets 6 feet -- so they would fit into space capsules.and converted them into shuttle training Now astronauts well over six feet tall could flyaircraft. They realistically simulate the in space.behavior of a returning orbiter between35,000 feet and a point just above the runway – Launch facilities and equipment were modifiedthe height of the spacecraft’s cockpit on at Kennedy Space Center in Florida and a newlanding. launch site was being built at Vandenberg. Various contractor and NASA field center testThe controls on the left side are much like facilities were established or modified.those used by a space shuttle commanderon landing, and the plane reacts to inputs As development continued, efforts were madelike a descending orbiter. (Two additional to reduce spacecraft weight and improveJULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 5
  12. 12. performance. Qualification testing, aimed at number of problems. In April 1977, a test ofshowing various elements of the shuttle were two engines was dubbed successful, butready to fly safely, was heating up. turbopump problems continued.By early 1980, formal qualification tests had Finally, by late 1980, the difficulties seemedbeen completed on the orbital maneuvering to be largely resolved. A key test wassystem engines and the reaction control system completed on Jan. 17, 1981. Columbia’s threejets. Testing for qualification of the solid rocket main engines were successfully test fired at theboosters was completed about that time. launch pad for 20 seconds on Feb. 20, providing additional confidence for launch of STS-1 lessNASA had not used solid rockets in human than two months later, on April 12.spaceflight before. Each solid rocket boosterhas four motor segments. They are transported The thermal protection system, particularly theby rail from Thiokol’s Utah facility and that tiles, was a persistent problem. The ablativemode of travel, with its curves and tunnels, heat shields used from Mercury through Apollonecessitated their being built in segments and were obviously not reusable. Reinforcedattached to one another once they reach Florida. carbon-carbon was used in areas subject to the greatest heating like the nose cone and wingMarshall Space Flight Center did a series of leading edges.tests on the external tank. A series ofweight-saving measures, and additional tests, After a lot of testing, a ceramic heat shield waswere introduced during early phases of tank chosen to protect much of the aluminum bodyconstruction and beyond. Later tanks were of the orbiter. Shielding in these areas wasmore than 10,000 pounds lighter than the early made up of tiles.production models. Black tiles were used where heat did not exceedIt became apparent that the greatest threat of 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit (e.g., orbiter’s bottom)delay was in development of the shuttle main and white tiles were used where temperaturesengines and the thermal protection system. did not get above 1,200 degrees. Thermal blankets were used in areas that stayed belowThe main engine was a challenge. Chamber 700 degrees.pressures were higher than those of anyprevious liquid-fueled rocket engine. The Attaching the rigid tiles to the aluminum skindesign was for a reusable, two-stage engine that of the orbiter was a problem. An interveningcould be throttled. It required turbopumps that felt pad was thought to be a solution. Aoperated at higher speeds and higher pressures stronger bond between the tile and the pad wasthan any before. found to be necessary, but when that was done, the combination of adhesive, felt, adhesive, tileRocketdyne built an engine test bed at a NASA resulted in a loss of about 50 percent of thefacility in Mississippi, at what is now Stennis strength of the four elements.Space Center, where it tested an engine largerand heavier than those built for flight, which NASA decided to fill voids on the inward sidewere not yet available. It found and resolved a of the tile, a “densification” process. Far6 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  13. 13. behind schedule because of the delays, NASA Young and Crippen landed Columbia on thedecided to fly Columbia from Palmdale to dry lakebed at Edwards Air Force Base.Kennedy in March 1979, with about 6,000 of the30,000 tiles still not installed. A number of tiles STS-2, commanded by Joe Engle and piloted bythat had been installed were lost during that Richard Truly, launched Nov. 12 marking theflight. first time a launch and entry spacecraft had been used. It was the first flight of theNondestructive tests were developed to check Canadian robotic arm, which was testedtiles’ conditions, and gap fillers were installed thoroughly during the mission.to prevent tile rotation under shock-wavestress. Tile installation and testing went on The arm, just over 50 feet long, was an earlyaround the clock six days a week for 20 months. international contribution to the shuttleMany newly installed tiles had to be removed program. Stowed on the left sill of the payloadafter testing and reinstalled. By the end of bay, it can deploy and retrieve payloads, moveNovember 1980, the number of tiles to be spacewalkers around and help inspect theinstalled was below 1,000. orbiter.Finally, on Dec. 29, 1980, Columbia was rolled Although the flight was shortened fromout on the newly modified mobile launch five days to two days, six hours after one ofplatform, from Kennedy’s Vehicle Assembly three fuel cells failed, the two crew membersBuilding to Pad 39A. Its gleaming white completed most of their planned tasks. Theyexternal tank seemed to harmonize with the also landed on Edwards’ dry lake bed.white of the solid rocket boosters and the The third flight was different in a number ofblack-trimmed white of the orbiter. ways, beginning visually. The external tank, which had been painted white on theTHE SPACE SHUTTLE ERA BEGINS first two flights, was now the rust color thatOn April 12, 1981, Commander John Young and characterized it from then on. EngineersPilot Robert Crippen launched from Kennedy decided the white paint was not needed. ThatSpace Center’s Pad 39A aboard Columbia on decision resulted in a weight savings ofSTS-1. 595 pounds, almost all of it translating into increased cargo capacity.The space shuttle era was under way. Commander Jack Lousma and PilotSTS-1 was the first of four test flights. Each Gordon Fullerton launched STS-3 oncarried a two-man crew. The commander and March 22, 1982. They flew Columbia in variouspilot had ejection seats. attitudes to check out thermal characteristics, conducted more tests of the robotic arm andThe first flight lasted just over two days, did scientific experiments, some involvingsix hours and 20 minutes. It orbited the Earth plants and insects.36 times at an inclination of 40 degrees and analtitude of 166 statute miles and traveled Rain at Edwards caused the landing to be1,074,111 miles. After testing orbiter systems, moved to the strip on the White Sands MissileJULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 7
  14. 14. Range, and a New Mexico dust storm delayed Privately owned communications satellites hadit for a day. Finally, on March 30, they landed become a growing field while the shuttle wasafter a flight of just over eight days. being developed and more and more communications satellites would require launchThe final test flight launched June 27, 1982, and the shuttle seemed perfectly suited towith Commander Ken Mattingly and Pilot provide it.Henry Hartsfield. They did extensive tests ofColumbia systems and conducted several Legislation had given the space agency aexperiments. monopoly on the domestic satellite launch market. NASA aggressively marketed thatAmong the experiments was a classified one launch capability, both domestically andfrom the Department of Defense. It marked a internationally. Estimates had foreseennew way of doing things for NASA. Previous between 30 and 60 shuttle flights.public openness was partly muted. No cameraviews of the payload bay were transmitted to Bargain prices were offered for multipleEarth and oral communications relating to launches over the firsts five years of thethe payload were conducted in a simple, but program, with the idea of building repeateffective code. business.After a flight of more than seven days and Columbia launched on the first operational3.3 million miles, STS-4 landed on Edwards’ flight on Nov. 11, 1982. In the crewconcrete runway, a first for an orbiter returning compartment, in addition to Commanderfrom space. Vance Brand and Pilot Robert Overmyer, were the first mission specialists, Joseph P. Allen andAt Edwards, they got a July 4 welcome from William Lenore. Both had been amongPresident Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy the Group 6 science astronauts selected inand a holiday crowd of thousands. At the August 1967.ceremony, NASA Administrator James Beggsdeclared the space shuttle operational. Two commercial satellites were in the payload bay. The first to be launched from a shuttle,The president compared the completion of SBS-C, left the payload bay about eight hoursthe test flight series to the driving of the into the flight. The Canadian Telesat-Egold spike marking completion of the followed. Both were successfully boosted intotranscontinental railroad. “It marks our geostationary orbits, 22,300 feet above theentrance into a new era,” he said. Earth, by Payload Assist Modules.Shortly after Columbia had landed, Challenger By mid-January 1986, a total of 24 commercialpassed close by. Atop the shuttle carrier satellites had been deployed from the shuttle.aircraft, it was departing on its first cross Of those, the Payload Assist Module boosterscountry flight, its delivery to Kennedy Space of two, the Indonesian Palapa B2 and theCenter. Westar-VI, had failed to fire, leaving theWith the test phase finished, it was time to get satellites useless in a low orbit.down to business.8 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  15. 15. The astronauts aboard Challenger on that 10th The TDRS booster sustained failure, leaving theshuttle flight, STS-41-B, in February 1984 had spacecraft well below geosynchronous altitudeperformed flawlessly. But the failure of the but far too high for the shuttle to reach. NASAboosters gave the shuttle a chance to and TDRS builder, TRW, came up with ademonstrate another capability. method to use its thrusters to gradually lift it to the proper orbit, a process that took severalBoth those satellites were later retrieved and weeks.returned to Earth by Discovery astronauts onthe 14th shuttle mission, STS-51-A. They Challenger’s STS-7 mission launched June 18 toworked under contract with the insurance deploy two commercial satellites. It carriedcompanies, which already had paid the owners various experiments, including those on thefor their loss. German Shuttle Pallet Satellite which was deployed from the cargo bay by the roboticLloyds of London was delighted with the arm. After a time as a free flyer in its own orbit,recovery, and rang its Lutine bell to mark the Challenger rendezvoused with it, grappled itimportance of the event. It gave the insurance with the arm and secured it in the cargo bay forcompanies partial reimbursement. It was then return home.called monetarily the largest salvage recovery.The satellites were refurbished and sold to new Commander Crippen’s four crew membersowners to be launched again. were from the shuttle-focused astronaut Group 8. It included Sally Ride, the firstThe new numbering system for shuttle flights U.S. woman in space.was introduced after STS-9. The followingflight became STS-41-B. The first number The next Challenger mission, STS-8, haddesignated the fiscal year and the second three more Group 8 alumnae, includingnumber was the launch site – 1 for Kennedy Guyon Bluford, the first U.S. black in space.and 2 for Vandenberg Air Force Base. The Commanded by Truly, it was the first to launchletter was the order of launch assignment, so B at night, on Aug. 30, 1983. It deployed awas the second scheduled for that fiscal year. satellite from India. Its landing also was at night.The old numbering system was revived for Columbia was back for STS-9, launched Nov. 28STS-26, the return-to-flight mission after the as the final flight of 1983. It was the firstChallenger accident. Spacelab flight. Commanded by YoungThe STS-6 mission, Challenger’s first flight, (making the last of his six spaceflights, whichlaunched April 4, 1983, and began a series of included two missions to the moon) withother firsts. The flight carried the first Tracking Brewster Shaw as pilot, its six-man crewand Data Relay Satellite (TDRS). The TDRS included the first payload specialists,system replaced the ground, a NASA Byron Lichtenberg of Massachusetts Institute ofcommunications satellite which began the Technology and Ulf Merbold, a Germanreplacement of the ground stations on which physicist.the space agency had relied through the end of The European Space Agency built thethe Apollo era. $1-billion, 23-foot laboratory flown inJULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 9
  16. 16. Columbia’s cargo bay. The crew, including replaced failed components. Hart put it backMission Specialists Robert Parker and into its own orbit with the arm.Owen Garriott, worked around the clock in twoshifts, conducting more than 70 experiments. After an attention-getting June 26 abort seconds before scheduled liftoff, Discovery launched onThe 10th shuttle flight, STS-41-B, saw the its first flight, STS-41-D, flight 12, on Aug. 30program’s first spacewalks, and with them, with Commander Hartsfield and Pilotdemonstration of a jet backpack that took Michael Coats. With Mission SpecialistsMission Specialists Bruce McCandless and Richard Mullane, Steve Hawley, Judith ResnikRobert Stewart untethered out of the cargo bay. and Charles Walker, they launched two communications satellites and deployed, testedThe mission, launched Feb. 3, 1984, with and restowed a large solar array.Commander Vance Brad, Pilot Robert Gibsonand Mission Specialist Ronald McNair, was Crippen commanded STS-41-G. The 13thdemonstrating the use of the Manned flight launched with Pilot Jon McBride onManeuvering Unit’s potential in the capture Oct. 5 on board Challenger. It was the first toand repair of the Solar Maximum Satellite, have two women mission specialists, Ride andscheduled for the next flight. They could not Kathryn Sullivan. Sullivan became the firstguess how important the jet backpack would be female spacewalker on a 3.5-hour outing withto the future of the two satellites deployed from Mission Specialist Dave Leestma to test atheir cargo bay, the Indonesian Palapa B2 and satellite refueling system.the Westar-VI. Two mission specialists, Paul Scully-Power,It was the first mission to land at Kennedy an Australian oceanographer, and CanadianSpace Center. Marc Garneau made this seven-member crew the largest yet. The largely scientific flightCrippen commanded the STS-41-C flight, the focusing on Earth included release of a satelliteprogram’s 11th, with Pilot Francis “Dick” to measure solar radiation reaching Earth.Scobee and Mission Specialist van Hoften. Itlaunched April 6 with a 30-foot, 22,000-pound The two-satellite retrieval mission, STS-51-A,Long Duration Exposure Facility and its was commanded by Frederick Hauck. Crew57 experiments in the cargo bay. On the way to members were Pilot Dave Walker and Missionthe ailing satellite, Mission Specialist Terry Hart Specialists Joseph Allen, Anna Fisher andused the robotic arm to deploy the container, Dale Gardner. Discovery launched Nov. 8 onscheduled to stay in orbit for a year. the year’s final flight.After rendezvous with the satellite, Mission An early task was to launch twoSpecialist George Nelson flew to it with the jet communications satellites it had brought intobackpack. Initial efforts to attach a docking orbit. Then, after rendezvous with Palapa B-2,device failed, but succeeded the next day after Allen jetted to the satellite with the backpacksome help from Goddard Space Flight Center. and attached a capture device. Fisher used theIn the cargo bay Nelson and van Hoften arm to bring it back to Discovery, but a problem prevented its docking in the cargo bay.10 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  17. 17. Using a backup plan, Allen got into foot Garn, who chaired the Senate committee withrestraints, removed the satellite from the NASA budget oversight, volunteered for spacearm and held it over his head for about sickness studies. He said later he had indeed90 minutes, one orbit of the Earth. The suffered from that malady.satellite’s weight on Earth was about1,600 pounds, about nine times that of Allen. Challenger’s STS-51-B flight, the 17th ofGardner attached an adapter and secured the the program, launched April 29 and was thesatellite for the trip home. second Spacelab mission. Crew members were Commander Overmyer, PilotThe Westar VI was less of a problem. Using Frederick Gregory, Mission Specialiststheir experience two days before, Gardner Don Leslie Lind, Norman Thagard andjetted to the satellite and together they secured William Thornton, and Payload Specialistsit in the cargo bay. Taylor E. Wang (a Jet Propulsion Laboratory physicist) and Lodewijk van der Berg, anDiscovery’s flight STS-51-C, the 15th flight EG & G scientist.was a Department of Defense mission,launched Jan. 24, 1985. Commanded by Again, the crew worked around the clock, inMattingly, it lasted just over three days and had two shifts. The wide-ranging experimentsan all-military-astronaut crew. involved disciplines, ranging from astronomy to materials processing. In the lab wereThe launch had been delayed one day because two squirrel monkeys and 24 rats flown to testof freezing weather. cages, which proved inadequate.U.S. Senator Jake Garn of Utah, a former Navy When the cages were opened to feed thepilot, was aboard Discovery for the 16th occupants, food debris and feces were releasedshuttle flight, STS-51-D. Launched on April 12 to float throughout the lab and even into theand commanded by Karol Bobko, the flight crew compartment. The problem was solvedincluded Pilot Donald Williams, Mission by putting plastic bags over food trays whenSpecialists Jeffrey Hoffman, David Griggs crew members, in surgical masks, removedand Rhea Seddon and Payload Specialist them, and using a vacuum cleaner.Charles Walker. Daniel Brandenstein commanded the 18thThe flight launched two communications shuttle flight, STS-51-G, in Discovery, withsatellites, but the booster of one did not Pilot John Creighton, Mission Specialistsactivate. Crew members spent an extra John Fabian, Steve Nagel and Shannon Lucid,two days in orbit, using the robotic arm with a and Payload Specialists Patrick Baudryflyswatter-like device at its end, trying without (a French astronomer) and Saudi Arabiansuccess to activate a switch satellite thought Prince Sultan Salman Abdul Azziz Al Sa’ud.to be in the wrong position on the Leasat 3. Thesatellite was repaired on flight STS-51-I that The flight, launched June 17, deployed threeOctober. communications satellites, one for Mexico, one for Saudi Arabia and one U.S. A satellite called Spartan, an astronomy experiment, wasJULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 11
  18. 18. deployed with the robotic arm and, successfully deployed the new satellites (onesubsequently, after a separation of more than Australian and two U.S., including Leasat-4),100 miles, was recaptured and returned to then successfully rendezvoused with andEarth. A number of other experiments were captured the Leasat-3. Van Hoften and Fisher,aboard including several from France. a surgeon, repaired it during two spacewalks and it was redeployed.Challenger’s flight STS-51-F, the program’s19th, started badly. Five minutes and Atlantis made its first flight on STS-51-J, the45 seconds after the July 29 launch the No. 1 21st flight of the shuttle program. Theengine shut down prematurely (the cause Department of Defense mission, commandedturned out to be a faulty sensor reading) and an by Bobko with Pilot Ronald J. Grabe, Missionabort to orbit was declared. Specialists David C. Hilmers and Stewart and Payload Specialist William A. Pailes, lasted justAfter running the remaining two main engines over four days and reached a then-recordfor almost a minute and a half longer than altitude of 319 statute miles.planned, Challenger wound up in a lower thannormal orbit, 164 by 124 statute miles. The Challenger flew the Spacelab module with itsorbital maneuvering system engines were used 76 experiments on 61-A, Mission No. 22. Ato raise the orbit enough to continue to the record eight crew members were aboard,flight’s planned conclusion. Commander Hartsfield, Pilot Nagel, Mission Specialists James. F. Buchli, Bluford andThis was another Spacelab mission, though the Bonnie J. Dunbar and Payload Specialistsmodule was not aboard. Many experiments Reinhard Furrer of Germany, Wubbo Ockels ofwere on a pallet in the cargo bay. The crew, the Netherlands and Ernst Messerschmid, alsoCommander Fullerton, Pilot Roy Bridges, of Germany.Mission Specialists Story Musgrave,Anthony England and Karl Heinz, and Payload The mission was largely financed by WestSpecialists Loren Acton (a Lockheed solar Germany. The mostly material processingphysicist) and John-David Bartoe from the experiments were operated by two shifts ofNaval Research Laboratory, worked around three crew members with the other twothe clock in 12-hour shifts. working as needed.The 20th shuttle flight, STS-51-I, launched The last mission of 1985, the 23rd for a shuttle,Aug. 27 on Discovery, to deploy three 61-B by Atlantis, launched the night of Nov. 26communications satellites, then capture, repair on a flight that put the space station on theand release another – the Leasat-3. It had been spaceflight stage. President Reagan had toldthe object of the unsuccessful flyswatter efforts NASA to start work on a space station duringby STS-51-D astronauts when it failed to his State of the Union message in 1984.activate after its deployment the previous April. Two spacewalks, both by Mission SpecialistsThe crew, Commander Engle, Pilot Sherwood Spring and Jerry Ross, saw repeatedRichard Covey and Mission Specialists assembly and disassembly of a frameworkvan Hoften, William Fisher and John Lounge, beam using almost 100 tube-like struts that12 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  19. 19. snapped together. They also assembled and Nelson represented the district that includeddisassembled an upside-down pyramid frame Kennedy Space Center, and was chairmanusing six 12-foot aluminum bars. After the of the Subcommittee on Space Science andsecond spacewalk, they pronounced themselves Applications. He participated on someready to build a space station. experiments on the flight, which launched an RCA communications satellite.Brewster Shaw commanded the flight withBryan D. O’Connor as pilot. Mary Cleave was With Columbia scheduled to launch again inthe third mission specialist and payload early March and several experiments hamperedspecialists were Charles Walker of McDonnell by instrument failures, the flight was shortenedDouglas and Rudolfo Neri Vela of Mexico. from five days to four. But weather causedEarly in the flight, three satellites were attempts to return to Kennedy on the newdeployed, one U.S., one Mexican and one landing day and the day after that. WithAustralian. Florida weather still not cooperating on day 3, Columbia landed at Edwards.Columbia returned after a two-year refit,without its ejection seats (they had been On a cold, clear, bright Florida day,disabled after the last test flight and removed Jan. 28, 1986, Challenger launched at 11:38 a.m.during the overhaul) and with the agency local time. The spacecraft exploded 73 secondsanxious to get started on the 15 launches after launch at an altitude of almost nine miles.scheduled for 1986. The seven crew members, CommanderWeather and technical problems caused seven Francis R. “Dick” Scobee, Pilot Michael J. Smith,postponements before 61-C., Flight No. 24, was Mission Specialists Ellison S. Onizuka,launched on Jan 12. Gibson commanded Judith A. Resnik and Ronald E. McNair, andColumbia, with Pilot Charles Bolden, Mission Payload Specialists Gregory Jarvis and TeacherSpecialists George Nelson, Hawley and in Space Sharon Christa McAuliffe, were killed.Franklin Chang-Diaz, and Payload SpecialistsRobert Cenker (an RCA engineer) and U.S. Rep.Bill Nelson.JULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 13
  20. 20. Five astronauts and two payload specialists made up the Challenger crew in January of 1986. Crew members are (left to right, front row) astronauts Michael J. Smith, Francis R. (Dick) Scobee and Ronald E. McNair; Ellison S. Onizuka, Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis and Judith A. Resnik.NASA REBOUNDS INTO SPACE than at any previous launch. No one really understood how the seals on the boosters’ fieldThe first sign of trouble had been a puff of gray joints worked, or how potentially serious thesmoke from the aft field joint of the right solid partial burn-through of O-ring seals seen inrocket booster about half a second after those joints after some previous flights hadChallenger’s launch, the investigation revealed. been.It was followed by additional puffs, then flameand finally the explosion. Over the next three months, search teams recovered about 30 percent of the orbiter andThe temperature that Jan. 28 at 11:38 a.m. was parts of the boosters were recovered from the36 degrees Fahrenheit, about 15 degrees colder bottom of the Atlantic off Florida.14 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  21. 21. On Feb. 3, President Reagan named a forbidden, with certain exceptions, to launchcommission to investigate the accident. It commercial satellites.was chaired by former Secretary of StateWilliam P. Rogers. Among its 14 members Thirty-two months later, after overhauls thatwere astronauts Neil Armstrong and brought more than 450 changes to each of theSally Ride, test pilot and retired Air Force Brig. remaining three orbiters, with redesigned solidGen. Chuck Yeager, physicist and Nobel rocket boosters, a plethora of changes inlaureate Richard P. Feynman and other leading processes and management procedures andscientists and engineers. more, NASA was ready to fly again.Among its recommendations Discovery launched on STS-26, the Return To Flight mission, on Sept. 29, 1988. The orbiter• The faulty booster joint seal must be carried a veteran five-man crew commanded by changed. Frederick Hauk. The TDRS-C, a new Tracking and Data Relay Satellite replacing the one lost• The Shuttle Program management structure on Challenger, was in the cargo bay. should be reviewed. NASA had returned to the flight numbering• NASA should encourage transition of system used until STS-9. The missions retained qualified astronauts into management the assigned number even if the launch positions. sequence changed.• NASA should establish an office of Safety, Mission Specialists John Lounge and Reliability and Quality Assurance reporting David Hilmers deployed the TDRS-C six hours directly to the administrator. into the flight. Scientific experiments and tests• Reliance on a single launch capability of the upgraded orbiter occupied other should be avoided and NASA must crewmen, Pilot Richard Covey and Mission establish a flight rate consistent with its Specialist George Nelson, during much of the resources. four-day flight.Eventually, after NASA and the National During a news conference from orbit the dayTransportation Safety Board had done a before landing, crew members deliveredthorough evaluation of the Challenger debris, moving tributes to the Challenger crew.they were sealed in unused Minuteman missile Discovery landed on a dry-lakebed runway atsilos not far from the spacecraft’s launch pad. Edwards Air Force Base. Managers had decided to end all missions there until the brakeChallenger had changed a lot. It was a and landing system upgrades could be checkedvery public disaster, watched on live TV by out.millions and millions more on subsequentnewscasts. The space agency and its A four-day, nine-hour STS-27 Department ofcontractors changed in management and Defense (DoD) mission with five crew membersphilosophy. And following the Rogers aboard Atlantis commanded by Robert GibsonCommission recommendation, NASA was was launched Dec. 2 as the last flight of 1988.JULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 15
  22. 22. The TDRS-D was deployed on STS-29 shortly intentionally crashed to gather informationafter Discovery’s launch March 13, 1989, by about its atmosphere.Mission Specialists Robert Springer andJames Bagian. With its predecessor, TDRS-A, The explorer did not fare as well – he was killedthe new satellite in its geosynchronous orbit in the Philippines in 1521, but 18 of his 237 menwas able, after its checkout, to provide returned to Spain, completing the firstcommunications with a shuttle about 85 percent circumnavigation. The satellite circled Venusof the time. The figure for ground stations was thousands of times, and sent back data thatless than 20 percent. changed our ideas about the planet.Commander Michael Coats, Pilot John Blaha Another DoD mission, STS-28, commanded byand Mission Specialist James Buchli worked Brewster Shaw, followed with an Aug. 8with experiments during the five-day flight. launch. Next up was the shuttle’s secondThey also captured extensive Earth views with planetary payload deploymenta 70 mm IMAX camera. Discovery landed on Atlantis, commanded by Donald Williams andEdwards’ concrete runway. piloted by Michael McCulley, launched onWhile NASA generally could not launch STS-34 Oct. 18 with the $l.5-billion Galileocommercial satellites, a backlog of other spacecraft. Mission Specialists Shannon Lucid,spacecraft, including government satellites and Ellen Baker and Franklin Chang-Diaz deployedplanetary probes, had accumulated while the Galileo a little over six hours after liftoff.shuttle was not flying. Galileo, managed by NASA’s Jet PropulsionMagellan was the first planetary mission to be Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., swung aroundlaunched by a space shuttle. Its flight to Venus Venus, then twice around Earth to gainbegan on STS-30 in Atlantis’ cargo bay on momentum. En route to Jupiter, it capturedMay 4. Six hours later it was deployed. images of two asteroids (one with the first asteroid moon discovered). It alsoMagellan’s departure was the highlight of the observed fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levyfour-day flight of Atlantis crew members, crashing into Jupiter in July 1994.Commander David Walker, Pilot Ronald Grabeand Mission Specialists Norman Thagard, Galileo went into orbit around JupiterMary Cleave and Mark Brown. The 15-month Dec. 7, 1995, and dropped a probe into itsflight to Venus took it 1 1/2 times around the atmosphere. Galileo itself was intentionallysun before it went into orbit around the target crashed into Jupiter on Sept. 21, 2003, but notplanet. before returning a wealth of information about the gas giant and four of its moons.Like its explorer namesake, FerdinandMagellan, the spacecraft did not make it home. The fifth shuttle DoD mission and 1989’s finalBut it was not supposed to. After radar flight, STS-33 by Discovery, was launched inmapping of 98 percent of Venus’ surface and darkness on Nov. 22 under command ofmeasuring its gravity field, Magellan was Frederick Gregory.16 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  23. 23. An 11-day flight, the longest to that time, was Some observations were possible, particularlycommanded by Daniel Brandenstein and those of bright objects, before the replannedlaunched Jan. 9, 1990, as STS-32 in Columbia. It first servicing mission was flown. Scientistsdeployed a Navy communications satellite and were able to use image processing to improveretrieved the Long Duration Exposure results. But there was considerable criticismFacility (LDEF). from the public, political figures and the scientific community.LDEF, launched on April 6, 1984, on Flight41-C, the 11th of the shuttle program, with That first servicing mission, STS-61, launched57 experiments expected to stay in orbit for a on Endeavour Dec. 2, 1993, with seven crewyear. Its retrieval was first deferred to a later members. After five lengthy spacewalks, amission then delayed after the Challenger reboosted Hubble was released with clearedaccident. vision, one new camera, new solar arrays, four (of six) new gyroscopes and some newAfter the sixth DoD flight of the program, electronics.STS-36 on Atlantis commanded byJohn Creighton launched Feb. 28, 1990, In early January, NASA declared the mission aperhaps one of the most meaningful payloads success, and released the first of thousands oflaunched aboard a shuttle went into orbit sharp, remarkable images Hubble has sentaboard Discovery on April 24. The Hubble down over the years. The space telescope wasSpace Telescope helped change the way we see, functioning as advertised.and think about, our universe. Four more servicing missions followed, theIt was the first of four NASA Great most recent in May 2009 on Atlantis. Each ofObservatories, three of them taken into orbit by those missions upgraded Hubble’s capabilitiesspace shuttles. and extended its life. (See related story.)The Discovery crew on that STS-31 flight Ulysses, a joint NASA-European Space Agencywas Commander Loren Shriver, Pilot mission, was launched Oct. 6, 1990, inCharles Bolden and Mission Specialists Discovery’s cargo bay on the STS-41 flightSteven Hawley, Bruce McCandless and commanded by Richard Richards and pilotedKathryn Sullivan. They deployed Hubble by Robert Cabana. Ulysses made a swingabout 24 hours after launch at an altitude of around Jupiter before entering a solar polarabout 380 statute miles. orbit.The deployment went flawlessly, but it soon Expected to have a lifetime of five years,became apparent that all was not well with Ulysses made almost three orbits around theHubble. A mistake had been made in the sun and gathered information on most ofgrinding of its main mirror. The mirror had two 11-year solar cycles. It was deactivated inbeen ground to the wrong shape, but ground mid-2009.precisely so that correction was possible.JULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 17
  24. 24. After a DoD mission in November 1990 and a commanded by Daniel Brandenstein andscience flight, the last of the year, the second of piloted by Kevin Chilton was the Intelsat VI,NASA’s great observatories, the Gamma-Ray stranded in a useless orbit since its March 1990Observatory, was ready to go. Its STS-37 launch on a Titan III.mission would see an unplanned spacewalk tofree a stuck antenna on the spacecraft. It was On the flight’s first spacewalk, Missionthe first spacewalk in almost six years. Specialists Pierre Thuot and Richard Hieb could not attach a capture bar to the satellite.Atlantis launched on the deployment mission A second attempt the next day also wason April 5, 1991. The observatory’s high-gain unsuccessful.antenna did not deploy correctly whencommanded by the ground. Mission Specialists After a day off and discussion with MissionJerry Ross and Jerome Apt freed the antenna Control, the spacewalk plan for the thirdduring a 4 1/2-hour spacewalk. spacewalk called for three spacewalkers, with the addition of Mission SpecialistThey also completed a planned spacewalk of a Thomas Akers. Perched on the payload baylittle over six hours the following day to test sill, they would grab the satellite whenideas about how to move about and move Brandenstein maneuvered Endeavour closeequipment during space station assembly and enough for them to reach it.maintenance. It worked. The new booster they attached sentAfter a science flight, a Spacelab Life Intelsat into its proper orbit. It was the firstSciences mission, deployment of TDRS-D and three-person spacewalk. The flight was adeployment of an Upper Atmosphere Research powerful argument for the value of humans inSatellite, Atlantis on STS-44 wound up the 1991 space. It also marked the first use of a dragflight year with a Nov. 24 launch to deploy a parachute when Endeavour landed at Edwards.Defense Support Program satellite. The following microgravity laboratory flightDiscovery on STS-42 began 1992 with a Jan. 22 launched in June 1992. STS-50, in Columbia,launch of an around-the-clock flight of the was the longest by a shuttle to that time,International Microgravity Laboratory in the 13 days, 19 hours and 30 minutes. Atlantis,Spacelab module. It was followed by a March launched in July, tested a tethered satellite as alaunch of Atlantis with the Atmospheric power generator.Laboratory for Applications and Science, madeup of 12 instruments from seven countries. It Endeavour’s second flight, STS-47 in Septemberwas mounted on Spacelab pallets in the cargo with Spacelab life sciences and materialsbay. processing experiments, boasted a number of shuttle firsts – the first Japanese astronaut,The first flight of Endeavour, the replacement Mamoru Mohri; the first black womanfor Challenger put together largely with astronaut, Mae Jemison; and the first marriedavailable spare parts, launched May 7 on a couple to fly together, Mission Specialistsdramatic communications satellite rescue Mark Lee and N. Jan Davis.attempt. The target of the STS-49 mission18 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  25. 25. A science and satellite deployment mission, The mission, with Mission SpecialistsSTS-52 on Columbia, followed in October. Michael Foale, Janice Voss and Bernard Harris,Next came the STS-53 mission on Discovery, was a step toward development of thethe last of 1992 and the last of 11 dedicated International Space Station. It was one of theDoD flights on shuttles. Endeavour began 1993 things the space shuttle had been designed towith the January launch of STS-54 to deploy the do.TDRS-F satellite. In the 1984 State of the Union Address,STS-56 on Discovery took scientific experiments President Ronald Reagan had directed NASAinto orbit in March and STS-55 in Columbia to start working on a space station. Thatfollowed with a Spacelab mission in April. concept, an American orbiting outpost namedLaunched in June, STS-57 saw the first flight of Freedom, languished, particularly after thea Spacehab module, a commercially owned Challenger accident.pressurized module in the cargo bay, and a But in 1992, President George H.W. Bush andspacewalk rehearsal for the first Hubble Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed anServicing Mission and for station construction. agreement for collaboration in space.A Spacelab life science mission followed with Cosmonauts would fly on space shuttles andan October launch on Columbia mission astronauts would serve on Mir. That was theSTS-58. beginning of the Shuttle-Mir Program.The long awaited Hubble flight followed. That After an intervening scientific shuttlemission, STS-61 on Endeavour, was followed mission, cosmonauts Anatoly Solovyez andby one that was a precursor of far-reaching Nikolai Budarin launched on STS-71 aboardchanges in shuttle activities. One of the Atlantis June 27 with Commandermission specialists on Discovery’s STS-60 Robert Gibson, Pilot Charles Precourtflight launched Feb. 3, 1994, was cosmonaut and Mission Specialists Ellen Baker,Sergei Krikalev of the Russian Space Agency. Gregory Harbaugh and Bonnie Dunbar.Krikalev’s flight seemed to have little direct Atlantis brought water, tools and supplies toconnection with station-related activities. But, Mir and took home experiment results and aafter a series of half-a-dozen mostly scientific broken Mir computer.shuttle missions, the flight of fellow cosmonautVladimir Titov certainly did. Also coming home aboard Atlantis was Norman Thagard, who had launched to Mir onAs part of the Shuttle-Mir Program, he came a Soyuz spacecraft four months before, and hiswithin about 40 feet of the Russian space fellow Mir crew members, cosmonautsstation on Discovery’s STS-63 flight Vladimir Dezhurov and Gennadiy Strekalov.launched Feb. 3, 1995. After the rendezvous The cosmonauts who had come to Mir inand approach to Mir (peace), Commander Atlantis got into a Soyuz to film AtlantisJames Wetherbee and Pilot Eileen Collins separating from Mir.(the first female shuttle pilot) guided Discoveryon a fly-around of the station. After Thagard’s mission and the visit of Atlantis, things would never be the same.JULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 19
  26. 26. FROM MIR TO THE INTERNATIONAL It marked the first time representatives of thoseSPACE STATION four agencies had been together in space. It would not be the last.A total of nine space shuttle flights docked tothe Russian space station Mir. Each brought The flight brought water, equipment andequipment and supplies. Each provided new supplies and returned scientific samples toknowledge and new understanding among the Earth. The new docking module, whichU.S., Russians and other international partners. provided better clearance for shuttle dockings, remained on Mir.Working together on those missions, theirpreparation and execution, created a respect Astronaut Shannon Lucid was aboard STS-76among astronauts and cosmonauts, and among on her way to become the secondthe people and programs supporting them. U.S. crew member on Mir. LaunchedShuttle-Mir also helped lay a firm foundation March 22, 1996, with a Spacehab modulefor development, construction and operation of containing equipment and supplies, the flightthe International Space Station. began a record-breaking stay for Lucid and two years of continuous U.S. astronautThe first Mir docking flight by Atlantis on presence on Mir.STS-71 brought home on July 7, 1995, awealth of information with astronaut A Spacehab double module with 4,000 poundsNorman Thagard, who had served a pioneering of equipment and supplies was aboard Atlantisfour months aboard the Russian space station on STS-79 when it brought astronautwith two cosmonaut crewmates. It caused both John Blaha to Mir to replace Lucid. When shesides to look at how the other did things in landed on Sept. 26, she had spent 188 daysspace and sometimes used that knowledge to space, a new U.S. record and a world record forimprove their own methods or to develop new a woman.ways combining the best elements of both. The first shuttle flight of 1997, STS-81 wasThe next flight, STS-70 on Discovery, was the launched on Atlantis Jan. 12, again with alaunch of TDRS G. It was notable, in part, for a Spacehab double module packed with water,delay caused by nesting Flicker Woodpeckers supplies and equipment for Mir. Aboard wasdamaging the external tank – they made more astronaut Jerry Linenger, Blaha’s replacement.than 70 holes ranging from four inches to half During his increment, Linenger and hisan inch in diameter over the Memorial Day crewmates successfully fought a Feb. 23 fireweekend and caused a rollback for repairs. The that had broken out in an oxygen-generatingflight finally launched July 13. “candle.” It filled the station with smoke, butAtlantis launched to Mir again on Nov. 12, none of the six people aboard was badly hurt.STS-74, with a new Russian-built Atlantis launched May 15 on STS-84 withdocking module and Canadian astronaut Linenger’s replacement, Michael Foale, andChris Hadfield. On Mir was European Space about 7,500 pounds of material for the station.Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter of Germany. His increment, like Linenger’s, was in manyNo crew members were exchanged.20 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  27. 27. ways successful, but it too was punctuated by It gave us valuable experience in training crewan accident. members from different nations, and showed us how to operate an international spaceAn unpiloted Progress collided with Mir on program. It gave us experience in support ofJune 25, causing a breech in the hull. One long-duration spaceflight and in dealing withcompartment was sealed off and internal and unexpected challenges.external spacewalks, including one by Foale,were done later to rectify and inspect damage. It helped develop the cooperation and trust we see each day on the International Space StationBoth accidents, and especially the weeks-long and in control centers around the world.recovery from the collision, were learningexperiences. In addition to the woodpecker-plagued STS-70 flight on Discovery, total of 13 non-Mir shuttleSTS-86, again on Atlantis, launched on Sept. 25 flights took place between the time of the firstand brought astronaut David Wolf to Mir along and the final shuttle dockings to Mir. Eachwith a Spacehab double module with contributed to science, to development ofequipment and supplies, and returned home techniques to build the International Spacewith Foale. Wolf’s 119 days aboard Mir were Station and/or to better spaceflight operationalrelatively uneventful, in that his increment understanding and capability.went largely as planned. Among them wereEndeavour became the first orbiter otherthan Atlantis to dock at Mir after its STS-89 • Endeavour’s STS-69 flight inlaunch on Jan. 22, 1998. It brought another September 1995 which included the8,000 pounds of equipment and supplies, along Spartan astronomy tool and a spacewalkwith Andrew Thomas, the Australian-born U.S. to check out International Space Stationastronaut, and cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov. assembly and maintenance tools and procedures.The final flight of the Shuttle-Mir Programwas STS-91 launched June 2 on Discovery. It • Endeavour’s January 1996 mission,delivered about 6,000 pounds of equipment and STS-72, with two spacewalks to evaluatesupplies and returned to Earth with Thomas International Space Station fixtures, tooland long-term U.S. experiments from Mir. holders and an umbilical holder.The Shuttle-Mir Program provided a • The STS-82 flight of Discovery infoundation for the International Space Station. February 1997, the second Hubble SpaceIt gave U.S. astronauts extended time in orbit. Telescope servicing mission. (See relatedThe science program provided a basis for the story.)more extensive International Space Stationscience activities.JULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 21
  28. 28. • The July 1997, STS-94 mission of Launched May 27, 1999, the Spacehab double Columbia with the first Microgravity module in the cargo bay held supplies and Science Laboratory, in a Spacelab module internal outfitting equipment. in the orbiter’s cargo bay. An Integrated Cargo Carrier held a Russian• The Neurolab mission, STS-90, in Strela crane and a U.S. crane, both installed on April 1998, also in a Spacelab module in the station during a spacewalk. Columbia’s cargo bay. The third of NASA’s great observatories, theA single shuttle mission was flown between Chandra X-Ray Observatory, was launched onthe final flight to Mir and the first shuttle Columbia’s STS-93 flight July 23. The flightlaunch of an International Space Station was the first with a female commander,module. That single mission was STS-95 on Eileen Collins.Discovery, launched Oct. 29, 1998. Among itscrew members was Payload Specialist Next up was Hubble Space Telescope ServicingJohn Glenn. Mission 3A, 1999’s last mission launched Dec 19.Glenn had become the first American to orbitthe Earth on Feb. 20, 1962, in his Friendship 7 The Shuttle Radar Topography MissionMercury spacecraft, a flight of just under provided mapping information offive hours. More than 36 years and a stint in unprecedented accuracy covering aboutthe U.S. Senate later, he was back in space, 80 percent of the Earth’s land surface, homethis time for almost nine days on a largely to 95 percent of its population. STS-99scientific mission. launched on Endeavour Feb. 11, 2000. The around-the-clock mission gatheredAssembly of the International Space Station simultaneous radar images from an antenna inbegan on the STS-88 mission of Endeavour, the cargo bay and another at the end of alaunched Dec. 4, 1998. With Commander 197-foot boom, providing strips of 3D images ofRobert Cabana and Pilot Rick Sturckow were the Earth below.robotic arm operator Nancy Currie,spacewalkers Jerry Ross and James Newman, After that flight, the shuttle flight focus was onand cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev. the space station.The Unity Node, Node 1, a connector module Atlantis launched May 19 on STS-101, the firstwas mated late Dec. 6 with the Russian-built flight of the new glass cockpit, to takeZarya module, launched the previous Nov. 20 equipment and supplies to the station. Afrom the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. spacewalk by James Voss and Jeffery WilliamsRoss and Newman did three spacewalks to made equipment changes before the arrival ofconnect power and data cables. the Zevzda Service Module.Another rollback, this one caused by hail Zvezda, the first fully Russian contributiondamage, delayed the start of Discovery’s STS-96 to the ISS – Zarya was Russian built, but U.S.flight, the first logistics flight to the station. funded – launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and docked to the station July 25.22 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011

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