Encyclopedia Astronautica

STS-2 suit preparation
Credit: NASA
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
Space shuttle Columbia being lowered down toward the solid rocket boosters
Credit: NASA
Tile repair activities at Pad 39A after Nitrogen Tetroxide Spill
Credit: NASA
View of the STS-2 prime crew during Countdown demonstration test (CDDT)
Credit: NASA
Space Shuttle Columbia OV (101) launching from pad 39A beginning STS-2
Credit: NASA
Aerial views of the STS-2 launch from Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center
Credit: NASA
Wide angle view of overall activity in Mission Operations Control Room
Credit: NASA
Pilot Truly reviews TAGS teleprinter printout of instructions on middeck
Credit: NASA
Baja California, Mexico
Credit: NASA
Earth observation photo of Pusan, South Korea
Credit: NASA
Astronauts Truly and Engle engaged in on-board activity
Credit: NASA
View of the Columbia's open payload bay and the Canadian RMS
Credit: NASA
Views of STS-2 Columbia landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California
Credit: NASA
Crew: Engle, Truly. First reuse of a manned space vehicle. First use of a remote manipulator in space. Second shuttle test flight. Experienced erosion of the primary O-ring in the right SRM aft field joint, the worst until the loss of the space shuttle Challenger.

Second shuttle test flight. Payloads: Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications (OSTA)-1 experiments, Orbiter Experiments (OEX).

Manned two crew Reusable space transportation system.

Orbits of Earth: 36. Distance traveled: 1,729,347 km. Orbiter Liftoff Mass: 104,647 kg. Orbiter Mass at Landing: 92,650 kg. Payload to Orbit: 8,517 kg. Payload Returned: 8,517 kg. Landed at: Runway 23 dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, . Landing Speed: 365 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 237 m. Landing Rollout: 2,350 m.

NASA Official Mission Narrative

Mission Name: STS-2 (2)
Pad 39-A (14)
2nd Shuttle mission
2nd Flight OV-102
1st Flight of RMS
Shortened mission

Joseph H. Engle (1), Commander
Richard H. Truly (1), Pilot Backup

Thomas K. Mattingly (1), Commander
Henry W. Hartsfield (0), Jr., Pilot

04/29/81 - Move to OPF-1
08/10/81 - Move to VAB-3
08/31/81 - Move to PAD-39A (21 days)
11/12/81 - Launch
11/14/81 - Landing
11/25/81 - Return to KSC (11 days)

Mission Objectives:
Demonstrate safe re-launch and safe return of the orbiter and crew. Verify the combined performance of the entire shuttle vehicle - orbiter, solid rocket boosters and external tank.
Payloads included the Orbital Flight Test Pallet consisting of the Measurement of Air Pollution from Satellite (MAPS) experiment, the Shuttle Multispectral Infrared Radiometer (SMIRR) experiment, the Shuttle Imaging Radar (SIR-A) experiment, the Features Identification and Location Experiment (FILE) and the Ocean Color Experimetn (OCE). Also included was the 11,048 lb Development Flight Instrumentation (DFI) pallet, the Aerodynamic Coefficient Identification Package (ACIP), the Induced Environment Contamination Monitor (IECM) and the 5,395 lb Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications Pallet (OSTA-1).

November 12, 1981, 10:09:59 a.m. EST. Launch on Oct. 9 was rescheduled when nitrogen tetroxide spill occurred during loading of forward reaction control system (RCS). Launch Nov. 4 delayed and then scrubbed when countdown computer called for hold in countdown due to apparent low reading on fuel cell oxygen tank pressures. During hold, high oil pressures discovered in two of three auxiliary power units (APUs) that operate hydraulic system. APU gear boxes flushed and filters replaced, forcing launch reschedule Launch Nov. 12 delayed two hours, 40 minutes to replace multiplexer/demultiplexer and additional nine minutes, 59 seconds to review systems status. Modifications to launch platform to overcome solid rocket booster overpressure problem were effective.
Modifications of the water sound suppression system at the pad to absorb the solid rocket booster overpressure wave during launch were effective -- no tiles were lost and only 12 were damaged. Launch Weight: 320,708 lbs
Altitude: 157nm
Inclination: 38.0 degrees
Orbits: 37
Duration: Two days, Six hours, 13 minutes, 12 seconds
Distance: 1,074,757 miles

SRB: BI-002
ET : 3/SWT-2
MLP: 1
SSME-1: SN-2007
SSME-2: SN-2006
SSME-3: SN-2005

November 14, 1981, 1:23:11 p.m. PST, Runway 23, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Rollout distance: 7,711 feet. Rollout time: 50 seconds. Mission shortened by approximately three days due to number one fuel cell failure. Orbiter returned to KSC Nov. 25,1981. Landing Weight: 204,262 lbs.

Mission Highlights:
Planned five day mission cut nearly three days due to failure of one of three fuel cells that produce electricity and drinking water, but 90 percent of mission objectives achieved, including first time remote manipulator system tests. Mission scientists satisfied with data from Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications-1 (OSTA-1) Earth observation experiments mounted on Spacelab pallet in payload bay.
The flight marked the first time a manned space vehicle had been reflown with a second crew: Joseph H. Engle, commander, and Richard H. Truly, pilot. It again carried the DFI package, as well as the OSTA-l payload -- named for the NASA Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications -- which consisted of a number of remote sensing instruments mounted on a Spacelab pallet in the payload bay. These instruments, including the Shuttle Imaging Radar-A (SIR-1), successfully carried out remote sensing of Earth resources, environmental quality, ocean and weather conditions. In addition, the Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System (RMS) arm was successfully operated in all its various operating modes for the first time.

AKA: Columbia.
First Launch: 1981.11.12.
Last Launch: 1981.11.14.
Duration: 2.26 days.

More... - Chronology...

Associated People
  • Engle Engle, Joe Henry (1932-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on X-15 Flight 138, X-15 Flight 143, X-15 Flight 153, STS-2, STS-51-I. More...
  • Truly Truly, Richard Harrison 'Dick' (1937-) American pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-2, STS-8. More...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Columbia American manned spaceplane. 28 launches, 1981.04.12 (STS-1) to 2003.01.16 (STS-107). Columbia, the first orbiter in the Shuttle fleet, was named after the sloop that accomplished the first American circumnavigation of the globe. More...

See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...
  • NASA Houston American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. Houston, Houston, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • STS The Space Transportation System (Space Shuttle) was conceived originally as a completely reusable system that would provide cheap, routine access to space and replace all American and civilian military launch vehicles. Crippled by technological overreach, political compromise, and budget limitations, it instead ended up costing more than the expendable rockets it was to have replaced. STS sucked the money out of all other NASA projects for half a century. The military abandoned its use after the Challenger shuttle explosion in the 1980's. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...

STS-2 Chronology

1981 November 12 - . 15:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-2.
  • STS-2 - . Call Sign: Columbia. Crew: Engle; Truly. Payload: Columbia F02 / DFI. Mass: 8,517 kg (18,776 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Engle; Truly. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-2. Spacecraft: Columbia. Duration: 2.26 days. Decay Date: 1981-11-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 12953 . COSPAR: 1981-111A. Apogee: 231 km (143 mi). Perigee: 222 km (137 mi). Inclination: 38.0000 deg. Period: 89.00 min. Summary: Second shuttle test flight. Payloads: Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications (OSTA)-1 experiments, Orbiter Experiments (OEX)..

1981 November 14 - .
  • Landing of STS-2 - . Return Crew: Engle; Truly. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Engle; Truly. Program: STS. Flight: STS-2. Summary: STS-2 landed at 21:23 GMT. .

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