Following separation of the third stage and the primary Deep Space 1 payload, the Delta second stage manoeuvred from its 185 km parking orbit to a 174 km x 2744 km x 28.5 degree orbit. It then released the SEDSAT micro-satellite, built by the Huntsville, Alabama chapter of SEDS (the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space). SEDSAT has two amateur radio transponders and an earth imaging camera.
On an extremely successful mission the space shuttle Endeavour deployed the 61 metre long STRM mast. This was a side-looking radar that digitally mapped with unprecedented accuracy the entire land surface of the Earth between latitudes 60 deg N and 54 deg S. Sponsors of the flight included the US National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), NASA, and the German and Italian space agencies. Some of the NIMA data would remain classified for exclusive use by the US Department of Defense.
ISS Logistics flight. Launch delayed three times by weather. Objective of mission STS-101 was repair, resupply and construction tasks aboard the international space station. This was the first launch with new electronic cockpit displays and other upgrades. The solid boosters separated at 10:13 GMT and the main engines cutoff at 10:19 GMT. The external tank, ET-102 then separated, with both orbiter and ET-102 in a 52 x 320 km initial orbit. At 10:54 GMT the OMS engines fired to raise perigee to 159 x 329 km x at 51.6 deg. Atlantis docked with the International Space Station's PMA-2 docking adapter on the Unity node at 04:31 GMT on May 21. At that time the ISS was in a 332 x 341 km orbit.
On May 22 mission specialists Jeff Williams and James carried out external maintenance work on the ISS.
On May 23 at 00:03 GMT the Atlantis crew opened the first hatch to PMA-2 and entered the Station. The crew replaced a set of batteries in Zarya, installed fans and ducting to improve airflow, and delivered supplies and equipment. Three hour-long orbit raising burns on May 24 and 25 by the RCS engines on Atlantis raised the station to a 372 x 380 km x 51.6 deg orbit.
The STS-101 crew left the station on May 26, closing the PMA-2 hatch at 08:08 GMT and undocking at 23:03 GMT. Atlantis performed a 180 degree flyaround of the station and departed the vicinity around 23:44 GMT.
Atlantis closed its payload bay doors around 02:30 GMT on May 29 and fired the OMS engines for deorbit at 05:12 GMT. The vehicle landed on RW15 at Kennedy Space Center at 06:20 GMT. Atlantis was to be turned around for the next ISS shuttle flight, STS-106.
Left in orbit was the renovated International Space Station, equipped with an upgraded electrical system, new fans, filters, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and communications gear.
Atlantis was launched from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39B. Solid rocket boosters RSRM-75 and external tank ET-103 were used to loft the orbiter into space. The inital orbit of 72 x 328 km x 51.6 deg was circularised by the Shuttle's OMS engines at apogee.
Atlantis docked with the PMA-2 adapter on the International Space Station at 05:51 GMT on September 10. The orbiter's small RCS engines were used to gently reboost the station's orbit several times.
Astronauts Lu and Malenchenko made a spacewalk on September 11 beginning at 04:47 GMT. They rode the RMS arm up to Zvezda and began installing cables, reaching a distance of 30 meters from the airlock when installing Zvezda's magnetometer. Total EVA duration was 6 hours 21 minutes.
During their 12-day flight, the astronauts spent a week docked to the International Space Station during which they worked as movers, cleaners, plumbers, electricians and cable installers. In all, they spent 7 days, 21 hours and 54 minutes docked to the International Space Station, outfitting the new Zvezda module for the arrival of the Expedition One crew later this fall.
The Shuttle undocked from ISS at 03:44 GMT on September 18 and made two circuits of the station each lasting half an orbit, before separating finally at 05:34 GMT. The payload bay doors were closed at 04:14 GMT on September 20 and at 06:50 GMT the OMS engines ignited for a three minute burn lowering the orbit from 374 x 386 km x 51.6 deg to 22 x 380 km x 51.6 deg. After entry interface at 07:25 GMT, the orbiter glided to a landing on runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center with main gear touchdown at 07:56:48 GMT for a mission duration of 283 hr 11min.
ISS Logistics flight. 100th shuttle flight. Launch delayed from October 6. STS-92 brought the Z-1 Truss (mounted on a Spacelab pallet), Control Moment Gyros, Pressurised Mating Adapter-3 (PMA-3) and two DDCU (Heat pipes) to the International Space Station.
The RSRM-76 solid rocket boosters separated at 23:19 GMT and main engine cut-off (MECO) came at 23:25 GMT. External tank ET-104 separated into a 74 x 323 km x 51.6 deg orbit. At apogee at 00:01 GMT on Oct 12, Discovery's OMS engines fired to raise perigee to a 158 x 322 km x 51.6 deg orbit; ET-104 re-entered over the Pacific around 00:30 GMT. At Oct 12 on 03:01 GMT the NC1 burn raised the orbit to 180 x 349 km; NC3 on Oct 12 to 311 x 375 km; and the TI burn at 14:09 GMT on Oct 13 to 375 x 381 km x 51.6 deg. Discovery's rendezvous with the International Space Station came at 15:39 GMT on Oct 13, with docking at 17:45 GMT. The spaceship docked with PMA-2, the docking port on the +Y port of the Space Station's Unity module. Hatch was open to PMA-2 at 20:30 GMT the same day.
STS-92 Cargo Manifest
Total payload bay cargo: ca. 14,800 kg
The Z1 first segment of the space station truss was built by Boeing/Canoga Park and was 3.5 x 4.5 meters in size. It was attached to the +Z port on Unity. Z1 carried the control moment gyros, the S-band antenna, and the Ku-band antenna.
PMA-3, built by Boeing/Huntington Beach, was docked to the -Z port opposite Z1. PMA-3 was installed on a Spacelab pallet for launch.
On October 14 at 16:15 GMT the Z1 segment was unberthed from the payload bay and at around 18:20 GMT it was docked to the zenith port on the Unity module.
On October 15 at 14:20 GMT the ODS airlock was depressurised, beginning a spacewalk by Bill McArthur and Leroy Chiao. Official NASA EVA duration (battery power to repress) was 6 hours 28 minutes.
The second spacewalk was on October 16, with Jeff Wisoff and Mike Lopez-Alegria. The suits went to battery power at 14:15 GMT and Wisoff left the airlock at 14:21 GMT. Repressurisation began at 21:22 GMT for a duration of 7 hours 07minutes.
Leroy Chiao and Bill McArthur began the third STS-92 EVA at 15:30 GMT on October 17, completing their work at 22:18 GMT for a total time of 6 hours 48 minutes.
After the spacewalk, Discovery completed the second of the three station reboosts scheduled for STS-92. They fired reaction control system jets in a series of pulses of 1.4 seconds each, over a 30-minute period, gently raising the station's orbit by about 3.1 km.
The last of four successful spacewalks began on 18 October at 16:00 GMT and ended at 22:56 GMT, lasting 6 hours and 56 minutes. Jeff Wisoff and Mike Lopez-Alegria each jetted slowly through space above Discovery's cargo bay.
After the space walk, Discovery completed the third and final reboost of the space station.
On 19 October the astronauts worked within the ISS. They completed connections for the newly installed Z1 external framework structure and transferred equipment and supplies for the Expedition One first resident crew of the Station. The crew also tested the four 290-kg gyroscopes in the truss, called Control Moment Gyros, which will be used to orient the ISS as it orbits the Earth. They will ultimately assume attitude control of the ISS following the arrival of the U.S. Laboratory Destiny. The tests and the transfer of supplies into the Russian Zarya Module took longer than expected. As a result, the crew's final departure from the Station's Unity module was delayed. Melroy and Wisoff took samples from surfaces in Zarya to study the module's environment. They then unclogged the solid waste disposal system in the Shuttle's toilet, which was restored to full operation after a brief interruption in service.
Discovery undocked from the ISS at 16:08 GMT on 20 October. The final separation burn was executed about 45 minutes after undocking. The crew had added 9 tonnes to the station's mass, bringing it to about 72 tonnes. The return to earth, planned for 22 October, was delayed repeatedly due to high winds at the Kennedy landing site. The landing was finally made at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on October 24, at 22:00 GMT.
ISS Assembly flight. Launch delayed from January 18 and February 6. International Space Station assembly mission; delivered the Destiny and PMA-2 modules. Destiny was an American ISS module, an 8.4 meter long and 4.2 meter wide cylindrical structure with a mass of 15 tonnes. It was to function as a science and technology module and the primary control module for the ISS. The shuttle orbiter was placed in an initial 74 x 323 km x 51.6 deg orbit. At 2357 GMT the OMS engines fired for the OMS-2 burn which raised Atlantis' orbit to 204 x 322 km x 51.6 deg. Atlantis docked with the Station at 1651 GMT on February 9 at the PMA-3 port on Unity's nadir. At 1500 GMT on Feb 10 Marsha Ivins used the RMS arm to unberth the PMA-2 docking port from Unity. Tom Jones and Bob Curbeam then conducted three spacewalks on Februay 10 to 14 to attach the Destiny and PMA-2 modules to the station. The crew also delivered over a tonne of food, fuel and equipment to the ISS. Atlantis undocked from Alpha at 1406 GMT on February 16. Atlantis landed at Edwards AFB on February 20; plans to land on February 18 and 19 were called off due to persistent wind problems at Kennedy Space Center. The deorbit burn was at 1927 GMT and lowered the orbit from 370 x 386 km to about 50 x 380 km. The nominal entry interface at 122 km came at 2002 GMT and touchdown on runway 22 was at 20:33 GMT. On March 1 Atlantis was flown on the back of NASA's SCA 911 carrier aircraft to Altus AFB, Oklahoma, en route to Kennedy.
STS 102 was an American shuttle spacecraft that carried a crew of seven astronauts (six American and one Russian). The primary mission was to deliver a multi-rack Italian container (Leonardo MultiPurpose Logistics Module, LMPLM) to the Destiny Module of the International Space Station, ISS. It docked with the ISS at 05:34 UT on 9 March. The 6.4 m x 4.6 m cylindrical LMPLM delivered new equipment to Destiny, and retrieved used/unwanted equipment, and trash back to the shuttle. The crew did a few spacewalks to install a platform on the ISS to support a Canadian robot arm when it arrives next month. The STS 102 left behind three of the astronauts (two American and one Russian) and brought back the three astronauts (one American and two Russian) who had been inhabiting the ISS for about four and a half months. It landed at Cape Canaveral at 07:31 UT on 21 March.
Discovery was launched on mission STS-102 (Space Station flight 5A.1) into an initial 60 x 222 km x 51.6 deg orbit. The mission was delivery of supplies and equipment, and changeout of the Expedition One and Expedition Two station crews. STS-102 carried the Leonardo Multi Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), built by Alenia Spazio (Torino), to the International Space Station. The 6.4 m x 4.6 m cylindrical MPLM was a descendant of the Spacelab long modules. Also carried was a Spacehab/Energia unpressurized Integrated Cargo Carrier with LCA/MTSAS-A, RU, and PFCS. A sidewall adapter beam with two GAS canisters (G-783 and WSVFM) was also on board. WSVFM measured vibration during launch. Another adapter beam, probably at the rear of the payload bay, carried SEM-9. SEM-9 and G-783 contained high school microgravity experiments.
Leonardo carried 16 'racks' of equipment, including the Human Research Facility Rack (Rack 13) which allowed the astronauts to do extensive medical experiments, the CHeCS Rack (28), the DDCU-1 and DDCU-2 racks (7 and 9), the Avionics-3 (Rack 6), and the MSS Avionics/Lab (Rack 11) and Avionics/Cupola (Rack 12) racks for a total of 7 equipment racks to be installed on Destiny. Three Resupply Stowage Racks (50, 51, 52) and four Resupply Stowage Platforms (180, 181, 182 and 188) remained installed on Leonardo, with their equipment bags being individually transferred to the Station. System Racks 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8 were already on Destiny together with stowage racks 110 through 117. Each rack had a mass of 150-300 kg.
The orbiter fired its OMS engines at 1221 GMT to raise the orbit to 185 x 219 km. Discovery docked with the PMA-2 port on the Station at 0639 GMT on March 10. The LCA (Lab Cradle Assembly) was attached to Destiny's +Z side during an EVA. It was to be used on the next mission to temporarily place a Spacelab pallet on Destiny during installation of the Station's robot arm. Later, it would be the site for the main Station truss, beginning with segment S0.
The PMA-3, on Unity at the -Z nadir position, had to be moved to the port position to make room for Leonardo. An external stowage platform was attached to Destiny and the External Stowage Platform and the PFCS Pump Flow Control System were added to the port aft trunnion on Destiny. A rigid umbilical (RU) was connected to the PDGF grapple fixture on Destiny to support the Station's future robot arm. Leonardo was docked to Unity at -Z for a while so that its cargo could be transferred to the station easily; it was then be returned to the payload bay and brought back to earth.
At 0232 GMT on March 19 command of ISS was transferred to Expedition 2 and the hatches were closed. Discovery undocked at 0432 GMT and flew once around the station before departing at 0548 GMT. ISS mass after undocking was 115527 kg. The OMS engines fired for the deorbit burn at 0625 GMT on March 21, and Discovery touched down on runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center at 0731 GMT.
Space Shuttle OV-105 Endeavour was launched on mission STS-100 to carry out International Space Station Flight 6A continued the outfitting of the Station. The crew of four Americans, one Russian, one Canadian and one Italian were to install an 18 meter, 1,700 kg Canadian robotic arm named Canadarm-2 on the ISS, and to transport an Italian cargo container, Raffaello, which delivered 4,500 kg of supplies and equipment to the station. Total payload of 13,744 kg consisted of:
On 23 April the SSRMS station manipulator was unberthed from the SLP Spacelab pallet at 1114 GMT and latched on to the PDGF fixture on the Destiny ISS module at 1416 GMT. This was followed at 1458 GMT with the MPLM-2 Raffaello module being moved from Endeavour's payload bay by the Shuttle's RMS and berthed to the nadir port on the ISS Unity module at 1600 GMT. Over the next few days, the cargo racks on the MPLM were transferred to Destiny. Raffaello was then unberthed from Unity at 2003 GMT on April 27 and reberthed in the rear of Endeavour's bay for return to earth at 2059 GMT.
Undocking of Endeavour was delayed by a series of computer problems at the Station. Failures in the Station's command and control computers left only one of the three computers operating.
They were all restarted by April 29, and the Shuttle RMS grappled the Spacelab pallet at 2044 GMT . The station's Canadarm-2 released it at 2106 GMT, and the RMS berthed the pallet back in the Shuttle cargo bay. Endeavour undocked from the Station at 1734 GMT on April 29. The weather in Florida was bad at the planned May 1 landing time, so Endeavour landed in California. The deorbit burn was at 1502 GMT on May 1, with landing at 1610:42 GMT on runway 22 at Edwards. Endeavour returned to the Kennedy Space Center atop a Boeing 747 SCA aircraft on May 9.
STS-104 was an American ISS Assembly shuttle flight with a crew of five American astronauts and a major space station module, the Quest Airlock. Orbiter OV-104 Atlantis main engine cutoff and external tank separation was at 0913 GMT. Atlantis was then in an orbit of 59 x 235 km x 51.6 deg. The OMS-2 burn at 0942 GMT increased velocity by 29 m/s and raised the orbit to 157 x 235 km x 51.6 deg and another burn at 1240 GMT raised it further to 232 x 305 km. Atlantis docked with the International Space Station at 0308 GMT on July 14. The main payload on STS-104 was the Quest Joint Airlock, built by Boeing/Huntsville. It consisted of an Equipment Lock for storage and the Crew Lock, based on the Shuttle airlock. The 13,872 kg payload consisted of:
The six tonne Airlock consisted of two cylinders of four meters diameter and a total length six meters. The Airlock could be pressurized by the externally-mounted high pressure oxygen-nitrogen tanks, and was to be the sole unit through which all future EVAs were to take place. (Until that point, all EVA entries/exits had been through a Russian module in ISS, with non-Russians having to wear Russian space suits). Another payload was the "EarthKAM" of middle/high school interest. It was to allow pupils to command picture-taking of chosen spots on Earth; they were expected to target 2,000 spots. The shuttle also carried out pulsed exhaust tests during maneuvers to enable better understanding of the formation of HF echoes from the shuttle exhaust. The echoes were obtained by ground based radars in an experiment called SIMPLEX (Shuttle Ionospheric Modification with Pulsed Local EXhaust). The STS-104 crew returned to Atlantis on July 22, and undocked at 0455 GMT. After flying around the station they departed the vicinity at 0615 GMT. Atlantis landed at 0338:55 GMT on July 25, touching down at Kennedy Space Center runway 15.
STS 105 was an American shuttle that carried a crew of ten (including three crew for the ISS - one American and two Russian), five tonnes of supplies, hardware, and a bedroom suite to accommodate a third astronaut in the Destiny module. The crew installed in the station two new science experiment racks that were carried in the Leonardo container which was first lifted out of the shuttle and bolted to the Unity module. Leonardo then carried back all the trash from the ISS back to the shuttle. They crew installed the MISSE (Materials International Space Station Experiment) container outside the ISS to test the effect of radiation on materials and some low-cost science experiments such as microgravity cell growth studies inside the station.
The 15,107 kg payload consisted of:
The Leonardo MPLM module was lifted out of Discovery's payload bay at 1326 GMT on August 13 and docked to Unity's nadir at 1554 GMT. 3300 kg of cargo from Leonardo was transferred to the Station. Then 1700 kg of station garbage and materials were loaded into Leonardo. It was unberthed from Unity at 1816 GMT on August 19 and returned to the payload bay for the return to Earth at 1917 GMT.
Discovery undocked at 1452 GMT on August 20 with the Expedition 2 crew aboard, leaving Expedition 3 at the Station.
At 1830 GMT on August 20 the Simplesat test satellite was ejected from a GAS canister in the cargo bay. Discovery landed at Kennedy Space Center at 1822:58 GMT on August 22 on runway 15, after a deorbit burn at 1715 GMT. The Expedition Two crew of Usachyov, Voss and Helms had been in space for 167 days. Discovery was taken out of service after the flight for structural inspections. Its last maintenance down period was in 1995-1996.
ISS Logistics flight, launch delayed from November 30 and December 4. Gorie, Kelley, Godwin, Tani, Onufrikeno, Bursch, Walz STS-108 flew the UF-1 Utilization Flight mission to the International Space Station. The UF designation distinguished this from earlier Station flights which were considered assembly flights. The shuttle would deliver the Expedition-4 crew of Onufrikeno, Bursch, and Walz to the station and return the Expedition-3 crew to earth. In addition to the crew swap, UF-1 brought supplies to the Station aboard the Raffaello module, and Godwin and Tani conducted a spacewalk to add thermal blankets to the gimbals on the Station's solar arrays. Endeavour reached an orbit of approximately 58 x 230 km (according to the NASA PAO) at 2228 GMT. At 2259 GMT it fired its OMS engines to raise perigee to 225 km. Mass after OMS-2 was 114,692 kg. Endeavour soft docked with the International Space Station at 2003 GMT on December 7. Problems with aligning the vehicles delayed hard dock until 20:51 GMT, and the hatch was opened at 22:43 GMT. The Raffaello module was unberthed from Endeavour at 1701 GMT on December 8 and berthed to the Unity module of the station at 1755 UTC.
STS-108 cargo bay payload was dominated by the Raffaello (MPLM-2) logistics module with 4 RSP and 8 RSR resupply racks. Also in the cargo bay were the MACH-1 and LMC experiment trusses flown under the Goddard small payloads program. MACH-1 was an MPESS-type Hitchhiker bridge carrying the CAPL-3 capillary thermal control experiment on top. On its forward side was the Starshine-2 launch canister, the CAPL-3 avionics plate, the Hitchhiker avionics plate, and the SEM-15 canister. On the aft side was the G-761 canister containing experiments from Argentina, the PSRD synchrotron detector (a prototype for the AMS antimatter experiment which will fly on Station later), and the COLLIDE-2 and SEM-11 canisters. The SEM (Space Experiment Modules) are collections of high school experiments. LMC, the Lightweight MPESS Carrier carried four canisters with materials science and technology experiments: SEM-12, G-785, G-064 and G-730. In addition, an adapter beam on the starboard sidewall carried G-221 and G-775, with materials science and biology experiments.
Raffaello was transferred back to the Shuttle payload bay on December 14. Endeavour undocked from the Station at 17:28 UTC on December 15 and made a half loop around the station before making a small separation burn at 1822 UTC. The Starshine-2 reflector satellite was ejected from the MACH-1 bridge in Endeavour's payload bay at 1502 UTC on December 16. Endeavour landed on runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center at 1755 UTC on December 17. The Expedition 3 crew of Culbertson, Dezhurov and Tyurin returned to Earth aboard Endeavour, leaving the Expedition 4 crew of Onufrienko, Bursch and Walz in charge of the Station.
Hubble Servicing Mission 3B. STS-109 main engine cutoff came at 1130 UTC with Columbia in a 55 x 574 km x 28.5 deg transfer orbit. The OMS-2 burn at about 1207 UTC raised perigee to about 195 km. There was a problem with a freon cooling loop on the Orbiter, but it wasn't quite bad enough to affect the mission. The Hubble Space Telescope closed its aperture door on March 2 in preparation for the rendezvous. Columbia got within 100m of HST by 0852 UTC on March 3 and grappled it with the RMS at 0931 UTC. HST was berthed on the FSS in Columbia's payload bay by 1032 UTC.
In the course of five spacewalks, the crew installed new equipment on HST. This was the first flight of Columbia since the launch of Chandra in 1999 following refurbishment. In the first two spacewalks, two new solar arrays were installed, and the two old arrays stowed on the RAC carrier. The RWA-1R reaction wheel assembly on the MULE carrier replaced the faltering RWA-1 in the telescope. The third spacewalk was the most difficult, as HST was entirely powered down while astronauts replaced its power controller unit, not designed for on-orbit replacement. On the fourth spacewalk the astronauts removed the European FOC camera, aboard HST since launch in 1990, and replaced it with the new ACS (Advanced Camera for Surveys). They also installed the CASH wire harness, part of the aft shroud cooling system. On the final spacewalk, the astronauts installed the NCS (NICMOS cooling system) cryocooler in the aft shround and the associated NCS radiator on the telescope's exterior. The NICMOS infrared camera had been idle since its original thermal control system failed. With the removal of FOC, the COSTAR device (which deployed contact lenses for the original instruments) became obsolete, since the newer instruments made the corrections to the incorrect HST mirror internally. Cargo manifest:
Launch delayed from March 22, April 4. Space Shuttle Atlantis entered an orbit of approximately 59 x 229 km x 51.6 deg at 2052 UTC, and separated from the External Tank, ET-114. ET-114 reached apogee around 2122 UTC and reentered over the Pacific about 2150 UTC at the end of its first orbit. Atlantis fired its OMS engines at apogee to raise its perigee to 155 km. Further orbit changes will lead to a rendezvous with the Space Station on Station mission 8A. STS-110 carried the S0 truss segment to the Station. The truss was the first segment of the main backbone of the Station which was to grow to carry the large solar panel wings and radiators. Cargo manifest:
Launch delayed from May 2, 6, 30, 31 and June 4. STS-111 reached a 58 x 224 km x 51.6 deg orbit at 2131 UTC and separated from the External Tank. It coasted to apogee at 2201 UTC and carried out the OMS-2 burn to raise the orbit to 158 x 235 km. The mission of STS-111 (UF-2 ISS utilization flight) was to swap the Expedition 4 and 5 crews and deliver the MBS Mobile Base System and some interior experiment racks. Endeavour docked with the Station at 1625 UTC on June 7. The Leonardo MPLM module was attached to the Station on June 8. Cargo manifest:
ISS Assembly flight delayed from March 22, April 4, August 22, September 28, October 2 due to payload delays and then SSME problems. American shuttle spacecraft STS-112 carried a crew of five Americans and one Russian to the International Space Station (ISS). During the 11-day mission, the crew extended the truss system of the exterior rail line with a 14-m, 13-ton girder. The crew also tested a manual cart on the rails. The cart, named CETA (Crew and Equipment Transportation Aid), was designed to increase mobility of crew and equipment during the later installation phases. STS-112 landed back in Cape Canaveral at 15:43 UT on 2002 October 18 carrying the same crew of six.
ISS assembly mission ISS-11A delayed from August 22, September 6, 19, October 6, November 2, 10, 11, 19 and 23 due to SSME problems and then damage to the Shuttle's manipulator arm. Shuttle mission STS-113 carried a crew of seven astronauts (six American and one Russian) and a 13.7-m truss of 12.5 tons to the International Space Station (ISS). During several hours of EVA, the crew installed and secured the truss assembly. The truss was to provide structural support for the station's thermal control radiators, and brought the total mass of the ISS to over 200 tons. Prior to leaving the ISS, the shuttle released a pair of tethered (15-m long) picosatellites. It was to leave the ISS on December 2.
Return to flight after loss of Columbia. Delayed extensively as NASA attempted to fix the external tank foam-shedding problem that resulted in the loss of Columbia (first planned for September 12, 2004, the launch slipped to March; May 14, 15 and 22; July 13, 2005). Discovery safely reached orbit at a total mass of 121,485 kg, but extensive video coverage detected external tank foam shedding during ascent. Discovery docked at the Pirs module of the ISS on 28 July 28 at 11:18 GMT. Following replenishment of the station (using the Raffaello MPLM-6 module with 8240 kg of supplies), a series of spacewalks verified the integrity of the shuttle's heat shield and tested repair techniques, Discovery undocked from the ISS at 07:24 GMT on 6 August and landed safely on Runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base at 12:11 GMT on 9 August. However the shuttle fleet was immediately grounded again while NASA attempted to find a permanent fix to the external tank foam woes.
GOES-13 carried weather imager and sounder instruments, a space environment monitor, and a soft X-ray solar imaging telescope. Mass was 1543 kg empty. It joined GOES 10 (operating as GOES-WEST), GOES 12 (operating as GOES-EAST) and GOES 11 (on standby, set to replace GOES-10 on June 27). As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 105.26W drifting at 0.008W degrees per day.
The shuttle was launched using external tank ET-119 and solid motors RSRM-93. Cameras revealed that large chunks of foam were still shed from the external tank during the ascent to orbit. However examination of the heat shield using a new extension and sensors attached to the shuttle's robot arm revealed no significant damage. Discovery docked with the PMA-2 adapter on the Destiny module of the ISS at 14:52 GMT on 6 July. On July 7 the Leonardo cargo module was moved from the shuttle payload bay by the robot arm and docked to the Unity Module of the ISS between 09:42 and 11:50 GMT. The crew then began unloading the spare parts and supplies in the module to the station. A series of three EVAs conducted on 8 to 12 July tested the new equipment and techniques for repairing the shuttle heat shield in case of damage, and did some preliminary installations on the exterior of the ISS to pave the way for continued station assembly missions. On 14 July, the station's SSRMS robot moved the Leonardo module from the station back to the shuttle cargo bay between 13:08 and 14:50 GMT. The shuttle separated from the ISS, and fired its engines at 12:07 GMT on 17 July to make a 92 m/s deorbit maneuver. Discovery landed at the Kennedy Space Center at 13:14 GMT. European astronaut Reiter was left behind to make up part of the EO-13 resident crew on the station.
Atlantis docked with the International Space Station at the PMA-2 port at 10:48 GMT on 11 September. At the Shuttle RMS robot arm connected to the enormous P3/P4 truss in the payload pay and handed it off to the Station's robot arm between 14:52 and 15:03 GMT the same day. The station arm then connected to the P3/P4 truss to the station's P1 truss at 07:27 on 12 September. Three EVA's were made by the shuttle crew over the next three days to complete installation of the truss and deply its solar panels. The Shuttle undocked from the station at 12:50 GMT on 20 September. There was a one-day delay in landing due to weather at the Cape and some concern about several small objects seen floating near the spacecraft. These were believed to be plastic shims that had worked loose from between the tiles and were not a concern. Atlantis landed at Kennedy Space Center at 10:21 GMT on 21 September.
The mission used solid rocket booster pair RSRM-95 and external tank ET-123. At SSME burnout Discovery was in a 58 km x 220 km x 51.6 deg preliminary burn. The OMS-2 burn at 02:25 GMT placed the shuttle in a stable 225 x 250 km orbit from which rendezvous maneuvers began. Discovery docked with the ISS at 22:12 GMT on December 11. In the most demanding ISS assembly mission ever, the crew would require an additional spacewalk to complete installation of the P5 truss, retraction of the recalcitrant port P6 solar array wing, and activation of the truss electrical and cooling system. Sunita Williams rode the shuttle to the station, and remained behind with the EO-14 crew; ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter, already aboard the station, was returned to earth. Due to weather problems a landing at White Sands was considered; but in the end Discovery landed safely at Kennedy Space Center, after which it was to enter a year-long overhaul cycle.
The active satellite portion of DARPA's Orbital Express satellite servicing experiment. Following operational tests while still joined or grappled together, the first 10-m distance Nextsat free flight and redocking by Astro was conducted on 5 May. On the second free-flight test on 11 May a serious computer failure left the two spacecraft 6 km apart. The problem was solved, revised software was uploaded to Astro, and it redocked with Nextsat on 19 May.
The shuttle delivered the S3 and S4 truss segments to the starboard side of the International Space Station. The crew made three spacewalks to install these truss segments, conduct other station reconfiguration and installation work, deploy the solar arrays and prepare them for operation. A fourth spacewalk was added to repair loose re-entry insulation on the shuttle and get-ahead installation work on the outside of the station. The shuttle delivered NASA long-term ISS crew member Clayton Anderson to the station; and returned Suni Williams to earth. At the conclusion of this mission the station finally achieved its full-power, dual-boom configuration first conceived for Space Station Freedom in the 1980's.
First launch of a pair of satellites, DirecTV 10 and 11, that will beam HDTV programs to 500 local markets from the company's primary orbital slot at 101 degrees west longitude. Acquisition and launch cost of $300 million per satellite; one ground spare also built.
Launch vehicle return-to-flight after on-pad explosion one year earlier damaged launch platform. The satellite was positioned at 98.5 degrees East Longitude to provide L-band and C-band mobile voice, broadband, maritime, rural telephony, and fleet management to Thuraya subscribers. Design lifetime of 12 years.
Placed in orbital slot 99.2° W Longitude. In combination with DirecTV 10, the satellite would allow the parent company to direct broadcast local HDTV to 90 percent of its customers in North America. The Ka-band satellite was equipped with 28 active and 8 spare TWTAs for direct broadcast to the continental United States and Alaska; 4 active and 4 spare for broadcast to the 48 stages and Hawaii; and 55 active and 15 spares for spot transmissions. Total power was 18 kW / 16 kW at beginning/end of life. Propulsion was provided by 445 N liquid apogee engine and four XIPS 35-cm ion thrusters. Mass at launch was 6060 kg and 3700 kg after on-board propellants were consumed to place the satellite in its operational geosynchronous orbit.
First Block IIF Global Positioning System satellite. Supported the L1M and L2M military GPS channels, the L2C civilian channel and a new L5 civilian channel. Also included a nuclear explosion detection system. The IIF system replaces earlier Block I, Block II, and IIA series built by Rockwell/Seal Beach (now part of Boeing) and Block IIR satellites built by Lockheed Martin/Valley Forge.
Third GPS Block IIF satellite, spacecraft 65; replaced SVN 39 in the Navstar constellation. The upper stage and payload first entered a 163 km x 394 km x 41.6 deg parking orbit, followed by a 254 km x 20448 km x 43.3 deg transfer orbit and then a third burn into the final 20426 km x 20481 km x 55.0 deg circular orbit where the satellite was deployed. The RL-10 second stage engine operated at lower than planned thrust during the first two burns, but onboard software compensated by increasing the duration of the engine firings.
Fourth GPS Block IIF satellite, 2.5m high satellite with a solar panel span of 18 m. The IIF navigation payloads carry atomic clocks and broadcast L-band navigation signals in the L1M, L2M, L2C and L5 channels; they also carry sensors to detect nuclear explosions as part of an early warning system.