STS-67 (68)

Endeavour (8)
Pad 39-A (53)
68th Shuttle Mission
8th Flight OV-105
10th Night Launch
1st Launch new AF Range Control Center
Longest Mission to date
EAFB Landing (44)


Stephen S. Oswald (3), Commander
William G. Gregory (1), Pilot
Tamara E. Jernigan (3) , Payload Commander
John M. Grunsfeld (1), Mission Specialist
Wendy B. Lawrence (1), Mission Specialist
Ronald A. Parise (2), Payload Specialist
Samuel T. Durrance (2), Payload Specialist

Scott D. Vangen (0), Alternate Payload Specialist


OPF -- 10/21/94
VAB -- 02/03/95
PAD -- 02/08/95
01/05/95 - Interface Verification Test
01/11/95 - End-to-End Communications Test
02/03/95 - Rollover to VAB
02/13/95 - Launch Readiness Review
02/08/95 - Rollout to LC-39A
02/14/95 - Start Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test
02/15/95 - Flight Readiness Review (10:00am)
02/15/95 - Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test T-0 (11:00am)
02/20/95 - Close AFT Engine Compartment
02/21/95 - Ordanance Installation
02/24/95 - Close Payload Bay Doors
02/26/95 - Crew Arrives at KSC (10:45pm)
02/27/95 - Begin STS-67 Launch Countdown (2:00am)



Mission Objectives:

Astro-2 is the second dedicated Spacelab mission to conduct astronomical observations in the ultraviolet spectral regions. It consists of three unique instruments - the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT), the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UIT) and the Wisconsin Ultraviolet Photo-Polarimeter Experiment (WUPPE). These experiments will select targets from a list of over 600 and observe objects ranging from some inside the solar system to individual stars, nebulae, supernova remnants, galaxies and active extragalactic objects. This data will supplement data collected on the Astro-1 mission flown on STS-35 in December 1990 aboard Columbia.

Because most ultraviolet radiation is absorbed by Earth's atmosphere, it cannot be studied from the ground. The far and extreme ultraviolet region of the spectrum was largely unexplored before Astro-1, but knowledge of all wavelengths is essential to obtain an accurate picture of the universe. Astro-2 will have almost twice the duration of its predecessor, and a launch at a different time of year allows the telescopes to view different portions of the sky. The mission promises to fill in large gaps in astronomers' understanding of the universe and lay the foundations for more discovery in the future.
On the Middeck, science experiments include the Protein Crystal Growth Thermal Enclosure System Vapor Diffusion Apparatus-03 experiment (PCG-TES-03), the Protein Crystal Growth Single Thermal Enclosure System-02 (PCG-STES-02), the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment-II (SAREX-II), the Middeck Active Control Experiment (MACE), the Commercial Materials Dispersion Apparatus Instrumentation Technology Associates Experiments-03 (CMIX-03) and the Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX).

The Middeck Active Control Experiment (MACE) is a space engineering research payload. It consists of a rate gyro, reaction wheels, a precision pointing payload, and a scanning and pointing payload that produces motion disturbances. The goal of the experiment is to test a closed loop control system that will compensate for motion disturbances. On orbit, Commander Stephen S. Oswald and William G. Gregory will use MACE to test about 200 different motion disturbance situations over 45 hours of testing during the mission. Information from MACE will be used to design better control systems that compensate for motion in future spacecraft.

Two Get Away Special (GAS) payloads are also on board. They are the G-387 and G-388 canisters. This experiment is sponsored by the Australian Space Office and AUSPACE ltd. The objectives are to make ultraviolet observations of deep space or nearby galaxies. These observations will be made to study the structure of galactic supernova remnants, the distribution of hot gas in the Magellanic Clouds, the hot galactic halo emission, and emission associated with galactic cooling flows and jets. The two GAS canisters are interconnected with a cable. Canister 1 has a motorized door assembly that exposes a UV telescope to space when opened. UV reflective filters on the telescopes optics determine its UV bandpass. Canister 2 contains two video recorders for data storage and batteries to provide experiment power.


Launch March 2, 1995. 1:38:34 am EST. Launch window was 2 hour 30 min.

At 9:09pm EST, the only launch constraints were weather related with a 40% chance for launch. At 9:11pm the astronauts had their breakfast in the astronaut quarters on the 3rd floor of the Operations and Checkout building . Commander Stephen S. Oswald and William G. Gregory were given a final weather briefing while the rest of the crew suited up. At 10:22pm, the STS-67 crew left for Pad 39-A and arrived at 10:42pm. By 11:58pm the crew was all loaded and communications air-to-ground voice checks were completed. By 12:50am on 3/2/95, the door to Endeavour's mid-deck was sealed and a go was given to clear the white room.

There were 4 minor problems tracked during the count. The first problem occured early in the count. An experimental configuration of communications system caused a timing glitch that was quickly corrected. This configuration enables the orbiter to use the TDRSS during ascent in lew of the Bermuda Tracking station. The goal was to get a communications lock via TDRSS in 7 seconds instead of a normal 40 seconds and if successful, this will improved safety and may eventually reduce the need for the Bermuda Tracking station. The second problem was a minor leak in the LH2 storage system on Pad 39-A. This leak will be investigated when crews visit the pad after launch. The third minor problem occured when Endeavours Fuel Cells showed a degradation in Fuel cell efficency. This was traced to a Helium contamination during EDO pallet fill. A purge of the line fixed the problem.

At 1:26am a poll of the launch team identified all teams but one were go for launch. The final problem was an indication that the B-supply secondary heater of the Flash Evaporator System was approaching a redline condition. This system is normally shutoff just before launch. At 1:29am the primary FES was brought online and the clock was picked up with a plan to count down to the T-5 min mark. The FES was verified as good and the count only suffered a 1 min delay with this problem. APU prestart was complete at 1:32am. APU start completed at 1:34am. Launch occured at 1:38am EST.

Good SRB Seperations. Negative Return called at 1:42am EST, all 3 SSME's performed well. At T+6min Endeavour was at 367,000ft altitude and 335nm downrange. At T+7min Endeavour was at 359,000ft and 354nm downrange, traveling at 11,200mph. At T+8:30, (1:47am EST) the Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSME) cutoff as planned with Endeavour traveling at 16,700mph, 800nm downrange. External Tank seperation confirmed at 1:48am EST.

Earlier during the STS-67 mission flow, on 02/21/95, a failed shuttle Mass Memory Unit #1 was removed from Endeavour and replaced with one from Discovery . On 02/23/95, troubleshooting was done on a minor leak in Endeavours Flash Evaporator System ( FES) Freon coolant loop. The system was overpressurized and it was determined the leak posed no impact to launch.


Altitude: 187 nm
Inclination: 28.45 degrees
Orbits: 262
Duration: 16 days, 15 hours, 08 minutes, 48 seconds.
Distance: 6.9 million miles


SRB: BI-071
SRM: 360W/L043
ET : SN-69
MLP : 1
SSME-1: SN-2012
SSME-2: SN-2033
SSME-3: SN-2031


Dryden Flight Research Center,EAFB, March 18, 1995 at 4:47 p.m. EST Runway 22.

At 1:05pm EST the port Payload Bay Door was closed with the remaining door closed and latched by 1:08pm EST. At 3:35pm EST, Endeavour was given a go for deorbit burn with the start of the 517ft/sec burn occuring at approximately 3:40pm EST. Endeavour went subsonic at 46,000ft. Main gear touchdown at MET (16/15:8:47), nose wheel touchdown at (16/15:9:01) and wheels stop at MET (16/15:9:46sec).

On Friday, March 17, 1995 at 8 a.m. CST, STS-67 MCC Status Report # 30 reports: Endeavour had 3 scheduled KSC landing opportunities for Friday 3/17/95 (1:53pm CST on orbit 246, 3:30pm CST on orbit 247 and 5:07pm on orbit 248) but they have been waived off due to bad weather at the Kennedy Space Center. NASA managers elected not to call up landing support at the backup landing site at Edwards Air Force Base in California for Friday and would keep the astronauts aloft for an extra day in the event weather prevents a landing in Florida.

For Saturday, backup landing support at Edwards has been activated and there were 6 landing opportunities for March 18, 1995. KSC landing at 2:18pm CST on orbit 261, Edwards landing at 3:47pm CST on orbit 262 and another KSC opportunity at 3:55pm CST. Two other Edwards landings and one KSC landing opportunities exist later in the day.

Mission Highlights:

On Thursday, March 2, 1995 at 2:18am CST (MET 1hr 39min), the payload bay doors were opened and the crew was given a go for orbit operations.

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