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STS-87
Part of STS
STS-87
STS-87
Microgravity science mission. Spartan 201 was released, but had to be recaptured by hand during EVA. Loss of external tank intertank foam results in over 100 hits on orbiter heat shield.

AKA: Columbia. Launched: 1997-11-19. Returned: 1997-12-05. Number crew: 6 . Duration: 15.69 days.

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.

Solid rocket motors RSRM-63 separated two minutes after launch. The orbiter rolled to a heads up position five minutes after launch, in a test of communications via the TDRS comsat. Main engine cutoff and separation of External Tank ET-89 came at T+8 minutes, leaving OV-102 in an elliptical transfer orbit. It then entered a 300 km circular orbit at 28 deg inclination.

Spartan 201 was released a day late (because of a safe mode event on the SOHO satellite whose results it will calibrate), at 21:05 GMT 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. Mission specialist Chawla moved the robot arm in to grapple it again at about 21:10 GMT. The grapple was unsuccessful and the Spartan was left tumbling. At 22:10 it was decided to move away from Spartan for the day.

Spartan was recaptured by hand, during a spacewalk by Takao Doi and Winston Scott that began at started at 00:02 GMT November 25. After patiently waiting for over two hours as SPARTAN slowly rotated above their heads, the astronauts grabbed the Spartan satellite at 02:09 GMT, then lowered it onto its berth in the payload bay. The astronauts had difficulty berthing it so Chawla grappled it with the RMS arm and berthed it around 033:0 GMT. The spacewalk ended 07:45 GMT. The 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. On December 2, Spartan was unberthed with the RMS arm and used while attached to the arm for tests of an instrument called the Video Guidance Sensor which will be used during space station dockings. During an EVA on December 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. Scott deployed the camera at 12:15 GMT and recovered it at 13:27 GMT. Airlock was repressurized at 14:09 GMT.

Cargo bay payloads:

In-Cabin Payloads: MGBX; CUE; Sprint/AERCAM; MSX; SIMPLEX

Developmental Test Objectives
Detailed Supplementary Objectives
Risk Mitigation Experiments

  • DTO 312: External Tank TPS Performance
  • DTO 671: EVA Hardware for Future Scheduled EVA Missions
  • DTO 685: On-Board Situational Awareness Displays for Ascent and Entry
  • DTO 805: Crosswind Landing Performance
  • DTO 844: RMS Situational Awareness Displays
  • DSO 206: Effects of Space Flight on Bone and Muscle (Doi only)
  • DSO 331: LES and Sustained Weightlessness on Egress Locomotion
  • DSO 496: Individual Susceptibility To Post-Spaceflight Orthostatic Intolerance
  • DSO 802: Educational Activities
  • RME 1309: In-Suit Doppler Ultrasound for Determining Risk of Decompression
  • RME 1323: Autonomous EVA Robotic Camera/SPRINT

  • Payload And Vehicle Masses: Orbiter (Columbia) empty and 3 SSME's: 82,447 kg; Shuttle System at SRB Ignition: 2,050,242 kg; Orbiter Weight at Landing with Cargo: 102,697 kg; SPARTAN: 1,351 kg; EDFT Hardware: 395 kg; LHP: 125 kg; USMP-4: 2,133 kg; OARE: 112 kg; SOLSE: 196 kg; CUE: 135 kg.

    NASA Official Mission Summary:

    STS-87
    (USMP-4, Spartan-201 rescue)
    Columbia
    Pad B
    88th Shuttle mission
    24th flight OV-102
    8th Shuttle flight of 1997
    41st KSC landing
    Crew:
    Kevin R. Kregel, Commander
    (3rd Shuttle flight)
    Steven W. Lindsey, Pilot (1st)
    Kalpana Chawla, Mission Specialist (1st)
    Takao Doi, Mission Specialist (1st) (National Space and Development Agency of Japan)
    Winston E. Scott, Mission Specialist (2nd)
    Leonid K. Kadenyuk, Payload Specialist (1st) (NSAU, Ukrainian Space Agency)
    Orbiter Preps (move to):
    OPF - July 17, 1997
    VAB - Oct. 24, 1997
    Pad - Oct. 29, 1997

    Launch:

    November 19, 1997, 2:46:00 p.m. EST. Eighth Shuttle flight of 1997 - first time since 1992 eight flights were conducted in one year. Sixth on-time liftoff in 97, and all eight flights launched on day set in Flight Readiness Review. First use of Pad 39B since January following completion of extensive modifications to pad structures.

    Landing:

    December 5, 1997, 7:20:04 a.m. EST, Runway 33, Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Rollout distance: 8,004 feet (2,440 meters). Rollout time: 57 seconds. Mission duration: 15 days, 16 hours, 34 minutes, four seconds. Landed on revolution 252.

    Mission Highlights:

    Primary payload of flight, the U.S. Microgravity Payload-4, performed well. Research using other major payload, SPARTAN- 201-04 free-flyer, was not completed.

    SPARTAN deploy delayed one day to Nov. 21 to allow time for companion spacecraft, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) already on-orbit, to come back on-line. Chawla used orbiter's mechanical arm to release SPARTAN at 4:04 p.m. Spacecraft failed to execute a pirouette maneuver several minutes later, suggesting there was a problem with the attitude control system for fine pointing toward solar targets.

    Chawla then regrappled the SPARTAN, but did not receive a firm capture indication. When she backed the arm away once more, a rotational spin of about two degrees per second was apparently imparted to the satellite. Kregel tried to match the satellite's rotation by firing Columbia's thrusters for a second grapple attempt, but this was called off by the flight director.

    After a plan was formulated to retrieve the free-flyer, Scott and Doi began a seven-hour, 43-minute spacewalk Nov. 24 and captured the SPARTAN by hand at 9:09 p.m. EST. The two astronauts then completed a series of activities that continue preparations for on-orbit assembly of the International Space Station. Doi became the first Japanese citizen to walk in space. USMP-4 research was deemed to be highly successful.

    This fourth flight of the U.S. Microgravity Payload focused on materials science, combustion science and fundamental physics. Experiments included the Advanced Automated Directional Solidification Furnace (AADSF); Confined Helium Experiment (CHeX); Isothermal Dendritic Growth Experiment (IDGE); Materials for the Study of Interesting Phenomena of Solidification on Earth and in Orbit (MEPHISTO); Microgravity Glovebox Facility (MGBX), featuring several experiments: the Enclosed Laminar Flames (ELF), Wetting Characteristics of Immiscibles (WCI) and Particle Engulfment and Pushing by a Solid/Liquid Interface (PEP); Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS); and Orbital Acceleration Research Experiment (OARE). Highlights included fastest dedritic growth rate ever measured and highest level of supercooling ever obtained for pivalic acid, a transparent material used by researchers to model metals, in IDGE. With CHeX, the most precise temperature measurement ever made in space was achieved.

    Other payloads: Get Away Special canister containing four experiments; the Collaborative Ukrainian Experiment (CUE), featuring a collection of 10 plant space biology experiments in the middeck; and several Hitchhiker payloads in the payload bay. Orbiter performance was nominal throughout the mission.


    More at: STS-87.

    Family: Manned spaceflight. People: Chawla, Doi, Kadenyuk, Kregel, Lindsey, Scott, Winston. Country: USA. Spacecraft: Columbia. Projects: STS. Launch Sites: Cape Canaveral. Agency: NASA, NASA Houston.
    Photo Gallery

    STS-87STS-87
    Credit: www.spacefacts.de



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