AKA: Boeing North American;Boeing Palmdale;Boeing Reusable Space Systems;Rockwell;Rockwell International Corp. Location: Palmdale, El Segundo. Downey, CA.
North American's Downey facility was originally used for construction of the Apollo spacecraft. It then became the facility for Space Shuttle construction.
After a spectacular night launch, the Shuttle completed its rendezvous with Hubble Space Telescope on February 13. Over the next four days five spacewalks were undertaken to renovate Hubble.
The Hubble Space Telescope was released back into orbit at 06:41 GMT on February 19. Discovery landed on Runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center at 08:32 GMT on February 21.
Deployed and retrieved the CRISTA-SPAS-2 (the Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescopes for the Atmosphere-Shuttle Pallet Satellite-2) designed to study Earth's middle atmosphere. The CRISTA-SPAS-2 was making its second flight on the Space Shuttle and represented the fourth mission in a cooperative venture between the German Space Agency (DARA) and NASA.
CRISTA-SPAS was deployed by the RMS arm at 22:27 GMT on August 7 and was recaptured by Discovery's RMS arm at 15:14 GMT on August 16. Because of unfavorable weather conditions at the primary shuttle landing site at the Kennedy Space Center, Discovery was waved off for its scheduled August 18 landing. STS-85 landed the next day, at Kennedy Space Center at 11:08 GMT.
OV-102 Columbia was launched on a microgravity science mission. Spartan 201 was released a day late on November 21. However the satellite did not start its automatic orientation maneuver because the crew failed to send it the correct commands prior to release.
Spartan was recaptured by hand, during a spacewalk by Takao Doi and Winston Scott on November 25. Tests of space station tools went well, but the free-flying Sprint camera subsatellite was not deployed due to lack of time.
NASA decided not to redeploy Spartan on this mission. During an EVA on Dec 3, Doi and Scott carried out more tests of the Space Station crane. They also deployed the AERCam/Sprint 'football' remote-controlled camera for a free flight in the payload bay.
Columbia landed on December 5, with a deorbit burn at 11:21 GMT. Touchdown was at 12:20 GMT at Kennedy Space Center.
First attempted launch of STS-88 was scrubbed at 09:03 GMT on December 3 due to a problem with a hydraulic system sensor. Launch came the next day, with Endeavour entering an initial 75 km x 313 km x 51.6 degree orbit. Half an orbit after launch, at 09:19 GMT, Endeavour fired its OMS engines to raise the orbit to 180 km x 322 km x 51.6 degree.
On December 5 at 22:25 GMT Nancy Currie unberthed the Unity space station node from the payload bay using the RMS arm. She then moved the Unity to a position docked to the Orbiter Docking System in the payload bay in readiness for assembly with the Russian-launched Zarya FGB ISS component. After rendezvous with the Zarya FGB module, on December 6 at 23:47 GMT Endeavour grappled Zarya with the robot arm, and at 02:07 GMT on December 7 it was soft docked to the PMA-1 port on Unity. After some problems hard dock was achieved at 02:48 GMT. Unity and Zarya then formed the core of the future International Space Station. Ross and Newman made three space walks to connect cables between Zarya and Unity, on December 7, 9 and 12. On the last EVA a canvas tool bag was attached to the exterior of Unity to provide tools for future station assembly workers. Docking cables were disconnected to prevent Unity and Zarya from inadvertently undocking. Following an internal examination of the embryonic space station, Endeavour undocked at 20:30 GMT on December 13. The SAC-A and Mightysat satellites were ejected from the payload bay on December 14 and 15. Deorbit burn was December 16 at 03:48 GMT, and Endeavour landed at 04:53:29 GMT, on Runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center.
Discovery docked at the PMA-2 end of the International Space Station PMA-2/Unity/PMA-1/Zarya stack. The crew transferred equipment from the Spacehab Logistics Double Module in the payload bay to the interior of the station. Tammy Jernigan and Dan Barry made a space walk to transfer equipment from the payload bay to the exterior of the station. The ODS/EAL docking/airlock truss carried two TSA (Tool Stowage Assembly) packets with space walk tools. The Integrated Cargo Carrier (ICC), built by Energia and DASA-Bremen, carried parts of the Strela crane and the US OTD crane as well as the SHOSS box which contains three bags of tools and equipment to be stored on ISS's exterior.
The STS-96 payload bay manifest:
On May 30 at 02:56 GMT Tammy Jernigan and Dan Barry entered the payload bay of Discovery from the tunnel adapter hatch, and made a 7 hr 55 min space walk, transferring equipment to the exterior of the station.
On May 31 at 01:15 GMT the hatch to Unity was opened and the crew began several days of cargo transfers to the station. Battery units and communications equipment were replaced and sound insulation was added to Zarya. Discovery undocked from ISS at 22:39 GMT on June 3 into a 385 x 399 km x 51.6 degree orbit, leaving the station without a crew aboard. On June 5 the Starshine satellite was ejected from the payload bay. The payload bay doors were closed at around 02:15 GMT on June 6 and the deorbit burn was at 04:54 GMT. Discovery landed on runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center at 06:02 GMT.
STS-93 was first rolled out to pad 39B on June 7 1999. The Chandra/IUS-27 vehicle was placed in the payload canister on June 19. The first launch attempt was on July 20, but controllers aborted the launch at T-6 seconds, just before main engine ignition, due to a data spike in hydrogen pressure data. This was determined to be due to a faulty sensor and a second attempt was on July 22. A lightning storm prevented launch during the 46 minute window, and the launch was again scrubbed. Finally the vehicle lifted off the pad on July 23, but five seconds after launch a short in an electrical bus brought down two of the three main engine controllers. Backup controllers took over, but a further failure on the backup controller bus would have resulted in engine shutdown and the first ever attempt at an RTLS (Return To Launch Site) abort. To further complicate matters engine 3 (SSME 2019) had a hydrogen leak throughout the ascent, causing the engine to run hot. Controllers sweated as temperatures neared redline. The hot engine's controller compensated as programmed by using additional liquid oxygen propellant. The final result was that the shuttle ran out of gas - main engine cut-off (MECO) was at 04:39 GMT, putting Columbia into a 78 km x 276 km x 28.5 degree transfer orbit. Columbia was 1,700 kg short of oxygen propellant and 5 meters/sec slower than planned. The OMS-2 engine burn at 05:12 GMT circularised the orbit 10 km lower than planned.
The orbiter payload bay contained only the Chandra spacecraft, the IUS, and the IUS tilt tableTthe following payloads were carried in the shuttle's cabin: STL-B (Space Tissue Loss), CCM (Cell culture module), SAREX-II (Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment), EarthKam, PGIM (Plant Growth Investigations in Microgravity), CGBA (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus), MEMS (Micro-electric Mechanical System), and BRIC (Biological Research in Canisters) and SWUIS (the Southwest Ultraviolet Imaging System, an 0.18-m UV telescope to be used for airglow and planetary observations); GOSAMR (the Gelation of Sols: Applied Microgravity Research experiment) and LFSAH, the Lightweight Flexible Solar Array Hinge. MSX and SIMPLEX experiments were also to be carried out.
Chandra/IUS-27 was deployed from Columbia at 11:47 GMT July 23. Flight duration was limited; this was the heaviest shuttle (122,534 kg) and heaviest payload (19,736 kg) to that date. Columbia landed at 03:20 GMT on July 28 on runway 33 at Kennedy Space Center. Post-flight inspection found the presence of holes in the cooling lines on the nozzle of SSME 2019 (engine 3) which caused a hydrogen leak. A loose repair pin in the engine broke free and caused the failure. The cause of the short was found to be chaffed wiring inside the shuttle. The entire fleet was grounded for inspection and replacement of wiring as necessary.
Hubble Space Telescope (HST) servicing mission SM-3A, delayed repeatedly by technical problems with the shuttle fleet after the near-disastrous previous launch. Finally launched after the last possible day to avoid Y2K computer problems; one spacewalk was cancelled so that the shuttle could return by December 28. Hubble was in a 591 km x 610 km x 28.5 deg orbit at launch. After separation of the external tank ET-101 the Orbiter was in a 56 km x 587 km x 28.5 deg transfer orbit. The OMS 2 burn at 0134 UTC raised the orbit to 313 km x 582 km. The payload bay contained:
Endeavour was launched on an assembly mission to the to the International Space Station (ISS). The main mission was to install a 72 m x 11.4 m, 65 kW double-wing solar panel on the Unity module of the ISS. The external tank and the Orbiter entered a 74 x 325 km orbit at 0314 GMT. Endeavour's OMS burn raised its perigee to 205 km at around 0347 GMT; the ET re-entered over the Pacific. Endeavour docked with the Station's PMA-3 docking port at 1959 GMT on December 2. Astronauts then installed the P6 solar panel truss to the station during a series of spacewalks. The P6 was made up of the LS (Long Spacer), PV-1 IEA (Integrated Equipment Assembly) and the PVAA (Photovoltaic Array). The LS carried two Thermal Control Systems with radiators to eject waste heat from the Station; these radiators were to be moved to truss segments S4 and S6 later in assembly. The PVAA had solar array wings SAW-2B and SAW-4B, which deployed to a span of 73 meters. Only after completion of three station assembly space walks on December 3, 5, and 7 did the Endeavour crew enter the station (at 1436 GMT on December 8), delivering supplies to Alpha's Expedition One crew. Hatches were closed again at 1551 GMT December 9, and Endeavour undocked at 1913 GMT the same day. After one flyaround of the station, Endeavour fired its engines to depart the vicinity at 2017 GMT December 9. The deorbit burn was at 2158 GMT on December 11, changing the orbit from 351 x 365 km to 27 x 365 km, with landing at Runway 15 of Kennedy Space Center at 2303 GMT.
The payload bay of Endeavour for STS-97 contained a total cargo of 18740 kg: