AKA: Endeavour. Launched: 1992-05-07. Returned: 1992-05-16. Number crew: 7 . Duration: 8.89 days.
Retrieved Intelsat 6 and attached new SRM. First active dual rendezvous of two orbiting spacecraft (Endeavour and Intelsat-VI) First deployment of a drag chute on the orbiter fleet. Payloads: Intelsat-VI reboost mission hardware, Assembly of Station by EVA Methods (ASEM), Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG), Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) Calibration Test, Ultraviolet Plume Instrument (UVPI).
Orbits of Earth: 141. Distance traveled: 5,948,165 km. Orbiter Liftoff Mass: 116,390 kg. Orbiter Mass at Landing: 91,464 kg. Payload to Orbit: 14,786 kg. Payload Returned: 3,881 kg. Landed at: Concrete runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base, Cali. Landing Speed: 366 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 660 m. Landing Rollout: 2,892 m. EVA: EVA No. 1, Pierre J. Thuot and Richard J. Hieb, 3 hours, 43 minutes duration; EVA No. 2, Pierre J. Thuot and Richard J. Hieb, 5 hours, 30 minutes duration; EVA No. 3, Pierre J. Thuot, Richard J. Hieb, and Thomas D. Akers, 8 hours, 29 minutes duration (first three-person EVA and longest U.S. spacewalk to date); and EVA No. 4, Kathryn C. Thornton and Thomas D. Akers, 7 hours, 45 minutes duration (most EVAs on a flight to date). During EVAs 1 and 2, Thuot and Hieb attempted unsuccessfully to retrieve the Intelsat-VI satellite using a capture bar. On EVA 3, Thuot, Hieb, and Akers manually captured the satellite, which was subsequently repaired and redeployed. EVA 4 was used to evaluate Space Station assembly by EVA methods. First active dual rendezvous of two orbiting spacecraft (Endeavour and Intelsat-VI) First deployment of a drag chute on the orbiter fleet.
NASA Official Mission Narrative
Mission Name: STS-49 (47)
Pad 39-B (19)
47th Shuttle Mission
1st Flight OV-105
Daniel C. Brandenstein (4), Commander
Kevin P. Chilton (1), Pilot
Pierre J. Thuot (2), Mission Specialist 1
Kathryn C. Thornton (2), Mission Specialist 2
Richard J. Hieb (2), Mission Specialist 3
Thomas D. Akers (2), Mission Specialist 4
Bruce E. Melnick (2), Mission Specialist 5<
On Dock KSC: 5-7-91
VAB: 5-8-91 to complete mfg.
OPF: 7-25-91 to begin processing for STS-49
May 7, 1992, 7:40 p.m. EDT. First flight of orbiter Endeavour. Launch originally scheduled for May 4 at 8:34 p.m. EDT, but was moved to May 7 for an earlier launch window opening at 7:O6 p.m. EDT which provided better lighting conditions for photographic documentation of vehicle behavior during the launch phase. Launch delayed 34 minutes due to TAL site weather conditions. Launch Weight: 256,597 lbs.
Altitude: 195 nm
Inclination: 28.35 degrees
Duration: 8 days, 21 hours, 17 minutes, 38 seconds.
Distance: 3,696,019 miles
Hardware: (Flow-A FRF-07)
SSME-3: SN-2034 (Flow-B)
ET : 43/LWT-36
MLP : 2
May 16, 1992, 6:57:38 p.m. EDT, Runway 22, EAFB, CA. Rollout distance 9,49O feet, no braking. First use of a drag chute during landing. Orbiter returned to KSC on May 30, 1992. Landing Weight: 201,649 lbs.
INTELSAT VI (F-3) satellite, stranded in an unusable orbit since launch aboard a Titan vehicle in March 199O, was captured by crewmembers during an EVA (extravehicular activity) and equipped with a new perigee kick motor. The Satellite was subsequently released into orbit and the new motor fired to put the spacecraft into a geosynchronous orbit for operational use.
The capture required three EVAs: a planned one by astronaut
Pierre J. Thuot and Richard J. Hieb who were unable to attach a capture bar to the satellite from a position on the RMS; a second unscheduled but identical attempt the following day; and finally an unscheduled but successful hand capture by Pierre J. Thuot and fellow crewmen
Richard J. Hieb and Thomas D. Akers as commander Daniel C. Brandenstein delicately maneuvered the orbiter to within a few feet of the 4.5-ton communications satellite. An ASEM structure was erected in the cargo bay by the crew to serve as a platform to aid in the hand capture and subsequent attachment of the capture bar.
A planned EVA also was performed by astronauts Kathryn C. Thornton and Thomas D. Akers as part of the Assembly of Station by EVA Methods (ASEM) experiment to demonstrate and verify maintenance and assembly capabilities for Space Station Freedom. The ASEM space walk, originally scheduled for two successive days, was cut to one day because of the lengthy INTELSAT retrieval operation.
Other "payloads of opportunity" experiments conducted included: Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG), Ultraviolet Plume Imager (UVPI) and the Air Force Maui Optical Station (AMOS) investigation. Mission was extended two days to complete objectives.
The following records were set during the STS-49 mission:
* First EVA involving three astronauts.
* First and second longest EVA to date: 8 hours and 29
minutes and 7 hours and 45 minutes.
* First Shuttle mission to feature four EVAs.
* EVA time for a single Shuttle mission: 25 hours and
27 minutes, or 59:23 person hours.
* First Shuttle mission requiring three rendezvous with an
orbiting spacecraft. Attached a live rocket motor to an
* First use of a-drag chute during a Shuttle landing.
Retrieved Intelsat 6 and attached new SRM. First active dual rendezvous of two orbiting spacecraft (Endeavour and Intelsat-Vl). First deployment of a drag chute on the orbiter fleet. Payloads: Intelsat-Vl reboost mission hardware, Assembly of Station by EVA Methods (ASEM), Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG), Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) Calibration Test, Ultraviolet Plume Instrument (UVPl).