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AKA: Discovery. Launched: 1994-09-09. Returned: 1994-09-20. Number crew: 6 . Duration: 10.95 days.
Payloads: Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment (LITE), Shuttle Pointed Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy (SPARTAN) 201-II, Robot-Operated Materials Processing System (ROMPS), Shuttle Plume Impingement Flight Experiment (SPIFEX), getaway special (GAS) bridge assembly with ten GAS experiments, Trajectory Control Sensor (TCS), Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER), Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE), Biological Research in Canisters (BRIC) III, Radiation Monitoring Experiment (RME) III, Military Applications of Ship Tracks (MAST), Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) II, Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) Calibration Test.
NASA Official Mission Narrative
Mission Name: STS-64 (64)
The opportunities for a landing at Edwards began on the 176th orbit with a deorbit burn at 4:14 p.m. EDT and touchdown at 5:11 p.m. EDT. A second opportunity would have Discovery fire its engines at 5:50 p.m. EDT and touchdown at 6:46 p.m. EDT.
KSC September 19, 1994 2:42pm EDT was waived-off due to bad weather. Four landing opportunities -- two to Florida and two to California -- existed for Discovery on Monday. The first and primary opportunity began with a deorbit burn at 12:23 p.m. central time on the mission's 158th orbit leading to a 1:23 p.m. touchdown. A second opportunity to land at KSC would have begun with a deorbit burn at 1:55 p.m. on the 159th orbit and lead to a 2:55 p.m. touchdown. Later landing opportunities result in touchdowns at Edwards Air Force Base, Ca., at 4:24 p.m. or 5:56 p.m. Central time.
On Saturday, September 10, 1994 at 9 a.m. CST, STS-64 MCC Status Report #1 reported: Payload activities on board the Space Shuttle Discovery picked as the STS-64 crew began its second day in orbit. Discovery's six astronauts started Flight Day 2 to a parody of a Beach Boys tune called "We'll Have Fun, Fun, Fun on the Shuttle," sung by Mach 25.
On Saturday, Sept 10, 1994 at 4:30 p.m. CST, STS-64 MCC Status Report #3 reports: Discovery's crew began its first full day in orbit with an assortment of experiments aboard the shuttle. Following a good performance checkout last night, the Lidar in Space Technology Experiment (LITE) completed three orbits of nightime observations above the eastern hemisphere.
On Sunday, Sept 11, 1994 at 4 p.m. CST, STS-64 MCC Status Report #5 reports: Discovery's crew spent the first half of the mission's third day continuing an investigation of the exhaust plumes emitted by the shuttle's steering jets. Using the Shuttle Plume Impingement Flight Experiment attached to the end of the shuttle' s mechanical arm, Mission Specialist Susan Helms positioned instruments above steering jets both at the rear and over the nose of Discovery.
Measuring single and dual jet firings, SPIFEX's instruments characterized the heat and pressure from the jets to help plan for dockings of the shuttle with the Russia's Mir Space Station and the International Space Station. Also, Commander Dick Richards and Jerry Linenger were interviewed by CNN, answering questions about their mission that had been sent in by CNN viewers.
For the rest of the day, the focus aboard Discovery shifted back to laser observations using the Lidar in Space Technology Experment. LITE will take three successive orbits of observations during the last part of the crew's day. The crew also will exercise during the last part of the day, evaluating a new type of treadmill carried aboard Discovery. Exercise has been a long-standing portion of shuttle missions as one method for offsetting the effects of weightlessness on the body.
Information from the Shuttle Plume Impingement Flight Experiment, or SPIFEX, indicates that all instruments on the 32-foot long extension of the Discovery's robot arm are in good health and providing high quality data. At the end of the days activities, SPIFEX will be berthed on the starboard side of the payload bay so that the arm will be available for the deploy and retrieval of the Spartan satellite on Tuesday. SPIFEX is being used in tests to help engineers characterize exhaust plumes emitted by the shuttle's steering jets.
Overnight, the Robot Operated Materials Processing System, or ROMPS, continued its smooth operations. The first U.S. robotics system to be used in space, ROMPS transports semiconductor samples from storage racks to halogen lamp furnaces for heating and cooling.
The STS-64 crew began its fourth day in space at 6:23 a.m. CDT with the song "Ace in the Hole" by George Strait.
On Monday, Sept 12, 1994 at 3 p.m. CDT, STS-64 MCC Status Report #7 reports: A variety of observations by the Lidar In-space Technology Experiment (LITE) marked Discovery's fourth day in orbit, as well as a few final studies of the shuttle's steering jet exhaust plumes.
LITE completed observations of smoke in the atmosphere above portions of South America, the sea surface in the mid-Atlantic, clouds above Central America, and the upper atmosphere above northern Europe. Observations by the laser radar were made during both daylight and night passes. Several precisely targeted observations required Commander Dick Richards to aim the laser by altering Discovery's orientation, while other sites were surveyed by using a slow rocking of Discovery to create a sweep with the laser pulses.
Scientists with LITE are delighted with the information obtained thus far, and a variety of concurrent measurements by ground instruments and airborne instruments have been recorded.
Earlier today, Mission Specialist Susan J. Helms conducted a few more tests of exhaust plumes from Discovery's small jets using SPIFEX, a 32-foot long instrumented boom grasped by the shuttle's mechanical arm. However, early in the test session, communications broke off between the laptop computer aboard Discovery and the experiment's instruments, causing several low-priority studies to be missed. The communications link was restored prior to latching the experiment back into its cradle along the right edge of Discovery's cargo bay.
SPIFEX has completed the majority of its planned studies, including all of the studies of heat and pressures from the jet exhausts that were deemed to be a high priority for the experiment. The information will assist in planning future dockings between the shuttle and space stations.
On Tuesday, Sept 13, 1994 at 8 a.m. CDT, STS-64 MCC Status Report #8 reports: The STS-64 crew today prepared to release the Spartan-201 satellite which is expected to spend about 40 hours flying free of Discovery as it collects information on the Sun and its solar winds. Following deployment, the orbiter will perform three separation burns to move it away from Spartan to a station-keeping point about 50 miles behind. Spartan-201 will then begin its mission to look for evidence explaining how the solar wind is generated by the Sun.
The solar wind originates in the corona, the outermost atmosphere of the Sun. Spartan-201- carries two separate telescopes to study the corona. The White Light Coronagraph measures density distribution of electrons making up the corona. The other telescope, the Ultraviolet Coronal Spectrometer investigates the temperatures and distribution of protons and hydrogen atoms through the layers of the corona. This information, which will be recorded on board the satellite and retrieved after landing, will help scientists characterize this part of the Sun. Spartan will be retrieved on Thursday to be berthed once again in Discovery's payload bay for the return home.
Overnight, the Robot Operated Materials Processing System continued to processes semiconductor samples. Fifty-four of the 100 ROMPS samples have been processed, and controllers are pleased with the system's performance so far.
Crew members began their fifth day in space at 6:23 a.m. CDT with a parody of the Beach Boys song "I Get Around" called "We Orbit Round" by Mach 25. The astronauts' efforts to conserve Discovery's cryogenic fuels are paying off. Flight controllers in Houston say the outlook for an additional day in space is promising.
On Tuesday, Sept 13, 1994 at 8 p.m. CDT, STS-64 MCC Status Report #9 reports: Discovery's crew was given a go to stay in space an additional day prior to the checkout and deployment of a science satellite designed to study the Sun's corona. Later, the crew continued work with a laser instrument to measure the Earth's atmosphere and cloud cover.
Mission managers gave the go ahead to extend the mission after evaluating electrical power usage thus far. The latest margins showed electrical power consumption is running below pre-flight predictions to provide enough hydrogen and oxygen to permit an extra day of science data gathering. The STS-64 mission now is scheduled to conclude with a landing September 19 in the early afternoon.
The Spartan satellite was released from Discovery's robot arm at 4:30 Tuesday afternoon followed closely by three separation maneuvers to slowly move the Orbiter away from SPARTAN to a station-keeping point about 50 miles behind. Two orbits after release, the satellite began its mission searching for evidence explaining how the solar wind is generated by the Sun. SPARTAN will be retrieved on Thursday to be berthed once again in Discovery's payload bay for the return home.
After the deploy, the six crew members began preparations for continued work with the primary payload aboard the orbiter -- LITE. The laser device bounces off of the Earth's clouds and atmosphere providing real- time data on the environment and the effects of human interaction.
Overnight, the Robot Operated Materials Processing System, or ROMPS, will continue to process semiconductor samples in canisters mounted on the side of the payload bay. The operation is conducted remotely while the crew sleeps. Discovery's crew will go to sleep shortly before 10:30 this evening and wake up tomorrow morning at 6:23 to begin checkout of spacesuit equipment to be used during Friday's spacewalk.
On Wednesday, Sept 14, 1994 at 7 a.m. CDT, STS-64 MCC Status Report #10 reports: Crew members began their sixth day in space with the song "On Orbit," sung by Mach 25 to the Green Acres theme. Following the completion of post-sleep activities, Mission Specialists Carl Meade and Mark Lee will begin checking out the space suits they will use during Friday's extravehicular activity.
The six-hour space walk, currently scheduled to begin at about 9:45 a.m. Central Friday, is designed to test several tools and techniques that may be used at the International Space Station. Among the tools is the Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue, or SAFER, a small, self-contained, propulsive backpack that can provide a free-flying astronaut control and mobility. SAFER is designed for self-rescue use by a space walker in the event the shuttle is unable or unavailable to retrieve a detached, drifting crew member.
Science activities with the Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment, or LITE, continued with three data takes. The science activities in space are being coordinated with concurrent activities on the ground. Tuesday, 10 different groups from Japan, China, Puerto Rico and the United States took measurements of the Earth's atmosphere from the ground at the same time LITE was recording data in space.
SPARTAN-201 is moving out ahead of Discovery, opening at a rate of 3.6 n.m. per hour. Later today, the crew will start maneuvering the orbiter back toward the science satellite, setting up for its retrieval on Thursday. Overnight, flight controllers looked at the data from Discovery's rendezvous radar which was recording questionable readings during the deploy operations. Controllers have concluded that the signatures were the result of the radar's late acquisition of the satellite, the cause of which is still being investigated.
The Robot Operated Materials Processing System, or ROMPS, also continues to process semiconductor samples in canisters mounted on the side of the payload bay. The operation, conducted remotely while the crew sleeps, is being characterized by its controllers as "very successful." So far, 74 of the 100 samples have been processed..
On Wednesday, Sept 14, 1994 at 5 p.m. CDT, STS-64 MCC Status Report #11 reports: Discovery's crew on Wednesday checked out equipment that will be used during an untethered spacewalk on Friday; continued work in support of laser mapping of clouds, atmospheric and environmental conditions; and began the process of catching up with a science satellite which has been operating free of the Orbiter for two days.
On Thursday, Sept 15, 1994 at 7 a.m. CDT, STS-64 MCC Status Report #12 reports: Discovery is slowly closing in on Spartan-201 as the STS-64 crew prepares to retrieve the science satellite later today. Spartan-201 was deployed from Discovery's payload bay Tuesday for about 48 hours of data collection on the solar wind and the Sun's corona.
With Spartan's science operations nearing completion, crew members will fire Discovery's steering jets several times catch up with the satellite. Once Spartan is within the orbiter's each, Mission Specialist Susan Helms will use the robot arm to grab the satellite about 3:47 p.m. CDT and secure it in the payload bay for return home. The information gathered during the free-flying operations will be analyzed by scientists post flight.
Later today, space-walking astronauts Carl Meade and Mark Lee will perform an abbreviated pre-breathing protocol in preparation of Friday's extravehicular activity. The protocol helps clean nitrogen from the blood of the EVA astronauts before they venture outside the crew cabin, thus preventing the condition known as "the bends." At 5:23 a.m., flight controllers awakened crew members with the song "Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley.
On Thursday, Sept 15, 1994 at 12 noon CDT, STS-64 MCC Status Report #13 reports: Discovery is closing in on the Spartan-201 satellite, aiming for a capture of the satellite at about 3:47 p.m. central time. Spartan will have spent a total of almost 48 hours flying free from the shuttle and performing its observations of the sun.
On Friday, Sept 16, 1994 at 7 a.m. CDT, STS-64 MCC Status Report #15 reports: Mission Specialists Carl J. Meade and Mark C. Lee are getting ready to venture out of Discovery's crew cabin this morning to spend six hours testing a new propulsive backpack.
On Friday, Sept 16, 1994 at 5:30 p.m. CDT, STS-64 MCC Status Report #16 reports: Astronauts Mark Lee and Carl Meade today successfully completed the first untethered U.S. space walk in a decade, trying out a new rescue aid for astronauts who might float free from their spacecraft. The spacewalk or EVA lasted 6 hours 51 minutes and was the 28th in the Space Shuttle program.
Lee and Meade exited the airlock mid-morning Friday and conducted several tests of the SAFER, the Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue, while untethered in Discovery's cargo bay. Astronaut Jerry Linenger assisted his crewmates from inside the spacecraft and Susan Helms maneuvered Discovery's robot arm for the procedures.
Saturday is the bonus day on orbit for STS-64, added when mission managers determined that onboard supplies were sufficient to get one more day of science operations. Additional runs are planned of the Shuttle Plume Impingement Flight Experiment or SPIFEX which looks at the effect of shuttle jet firings on other space structures, and the Lidar in Space Technology Experiment or LITE to study the atmosphere.
On Sunday, Sept 18, 1994 at 3 p.m CDT, STS-64 MCC Status Report #20 reports: Although the primary scientific package aboard Discovery continued to observe Earth's climate for a few more hours, the crew of shuttle mission STS-64 began packing its bags Sunday afternoon for the trip home Monday. Commander Richard N. Richards and Pilot L. Blaine Hammond performed standard day-before-landing checks of Discovery today and found their spacecraft in good health. One of the 38 steering jets on Discovery did malfunction during a test firing, but the jet is not needed for the return to Earth and has been shut off.
On Monday, Sept 19, 1994 at 7 a.m. CDT, STS-64 MCC Status Report #21 reports: Flight controllers are keeping an eye on weather at in Florida and California while the STS-64 crew prepares Discovery for the trip home after spending almost 10 full days in orbit.
Overnight, the Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment wrapped up its operations for the mission following a special data take over an erupting volcano in New Guinea. Throughout the flight, LITE has emitted around 2 million laser pulses from the instruments in Discovery's payload bay and collected around 45 hours of data.
Crew members, who awakened to the song "Yakkety Yak" by the Coasters," will begin their final deorbit preparations at about 8:23 a.m. CDT.
On Monday, Sept 19, 1994 at 3 p.m. CDT, STS-64 MCC Status Report #22 reports: Flight controllers opted to have Discovery spend an extra day in orbit hoping for clear Florida weather on Tuesday after today's landing opportunities to the Kennedy Space Center were thwarted by thunderstorms and low, thick clouds.
The crew spent the last portion of today preparing the shuttle for an extra night in orbit. The crew will begin an eight-hour sleep period at 8:23 p.m. CDT and awaken at 4:23 a.m. CDT Tuesday.
For Tuesday, Discovery has four landing opportunities -- two to Florida early in the afternoon and two to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in the late afternoon. Kennedy Space Center is the preferred landing site and all activities will be aimed toward the first opportunity to land at KSC with a deorbit engine firing at 12:12 p.m. CDT, on the flight's 174th orbit, followed by a touchdown at 1:12 p.m. CDT. A second opportunity to land in Florida would begin with a 1:45 p.m. CDT deorbit burn and result in a 2:45 p.m. CDT touchdown.
The Tuesday forecast for Florida calls for conditions similar to today's with possible rain showers in the vicinity of the landing site. If weather again prohibits a landing at KSC Tuesday, flight controllers will likely attempt a landing in California. The forecast for Edwards Air Force Base calls for excellent landing weather Tuesday.
Tuesday's opportunities for landing in California begin with a deorbit burn by Discovery at 3:16 p.m. CDT on the flight's 176th orbit leading to a touchdown at 4:13 p.m. CDT at Edwards. A second opportunity would have Discovery fire its engines at 4:50 p.m. CDT to begin its descent and touch down at 5:46 p.m. CDT at Edwards.
On Tuesday, Sept 20, 1994 at 7 a.m. CDT, STS-64 MCC Status Report #23 reports: The STS-64 crew awakened at 4:23 a.m. CDT to the sounds of chirping birds and a crowing rooster and a medley of cartoon theme songs including Woody Woodpecker. The astronauts spent the morning configuring the orbiter for landing operations that will bring Discovery back to Earth, ending the 11-day mission.
Discovery has four landing opportunities today -- two to Florida in the early afternoon and two to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in the late opportunity involves a deorbit engine firing at 12:11 p.m. CDT, on the flight's 174th orbit, followed by a touchdown at 1:11 p.m. CDT. A second opportunity would begin with a 1:45 p.m. CDT deorbit burn and result in a 2:45 p.m. CDT Florida touchdown.
The opportunities for a landing at Edwards begin on the 176th orbit with a deorbit burn at 3:14 p.m. CDT and touchdown at 4:11 p.m. CDT. A second opportunity would have Discovery fire its engines at 4:50 p.m. CDT and touchdown at 5:46 p.m. CDT.
Weather forecasters are predicting the possibility of low clouds and precipitation for the landing area in Florida, but excellent weather in California.
More at: STS-64.
Family: Manned spaceflight. People: Hammond, Helms, Lee, Linenger, Meade, Richards. Country: USA. Spacecraft: Discovery. Projects: STS. Launch Sites: Cape Canaveral. Agency: NASA, NASA Houston.
1994 September 9 - . 22:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP2. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
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