STS-69 (71)

Endeavour (9)
Pad 39-A (55)
71st Shuttle Mission
102nd US Manned Mission
9th Flight OV-105
30th Shuttle EVA
10th Rollback


David M. Walker (4), Commander
Kenneth D. Cockrell (2), Pilot
James S. Voss (3), Payload Commander
James H. Newman Ph.D.(2), Mission Specialist 2
Michael L. Gernhardt (1), Mission Specialist 3


OPF -- 3/28/95
VAB -- 6/28/95
PAD -- 7/05/95


VAB -- 08/1/95
PAD -- 08/8/95


SPARTAN 201-03, WSF-2, IEH-01, CAPL-02/GBA, EDFT-02, MSX-02, STL/NIH-C-04, CGBA-03, BRIC-06, EPICS, CMIX-04, G-726

Mission Objectives:

The 11-day mission will feature the second flight of the Wake Shield Facility (WSF), a saucer-shaped satellite that will fly free of the Shuttle for several days. The WSF will grow thin films in a near perfect vacuum created by the wake of the satellite as it it moves through space. The crew also will deploy and retrieve the Spartan 201 astronomy satellite, perform a six-hour spacewalk to test assembly techniques for the International Space Station and test thermal improvements made to space suits used during space walks.

The Spartan 201 free-flyer will be making its third flight aboard the Shuttle. The Spartan 201 mission is a scientific research effort aimed at the investigation of the interaction between the Sun and its outflowing wind of charged particles. Spartan's goal is to study the outer atmosphere of the Sun and its transition into the solar wind that constantly flows past the Earth.

STS-69 will see the first flight of the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker (IEH-1), the first of five planned flights to measure and monitor long-term variations in the magnitude of absolute extreme ultraviolet (EUV) flux coming from the Sun, and to study EUV emissions from the plasma torus system around Jupiter originating from its moon Io.

Also flying aboard Endeavour will be the combined Capillary Pumped Loop-2/Gas Bridge Assembly (CAPL-2/GBA) payload. This experiment consists of the CAPL-2 Hitchhiker payload designed as an in-orbit microgravity demonstration of a cooling system planned for the Earth Observing System Program and the Thermal Energy Storage-2 payload, part of an effort to develop advanced energy generation techniques. Also a part of this payload are several Get Away Special (GAS) experiments which will investigate areas such as the interaction of spacecraft attitude and orbit control systems with spacecraft structures, fluid-filled beams as structural dampers in space and the effects of smoldering combustion in a long-term microgravity environment.

Another payload being flown with a connection to the development of the Space Station is the Electrolysis Performance Improvement Concept Study (EPICS). Supply of oxygen and hydrogen by electrolyzing water in space will play an important role in meeting NASA's needs and goals for future space missions. On-board generation of oxygen is expected to reduce the annual resupply requirement for the Space Station by approximately 12,000 pounds.

Other payloads aboard are the National Institutes of Health- Cells-4 (NIH-C4) experiment that investigates bone loss during space flight; the Biological Research in Canister-6 (BRIC-6) that studies the gravity-sensing mechanism within mammalian cells. Also flying are two commercial experiments. (CMIX-4) whose objectives include analysis of cell change in microgravity along with studies of neuro-muscular development disorders and the Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus-7 (CGBA-7). CGBA is a secondary payload that serves as an incubator and data collection point for experiments in pharmaceuticals testing and biomedicine, bioprocessing and biotechnology, agriculture and the environment.

The Thermal Energy Storage (TES-2) experiment also is part of the CAPL-2/GBA-6. The TES-2 payload is designed to provide data for understanding the long-duration behavior of thermal energy storage fluoride salts that undergo repeated melting and freezing in microgravity. The TES-2 payload is designed to study the microgravity behavior of voids in Lithium Fluoride-Calcium Fluoride eutectic, a thermal energy storage salt. Data from this experiment will validate a computer code called TESSIM, useful for the analysis of heat receivers in advanced solar dynamic power system designs.


Thursday, September 7 at 11:09:00.052 am EDT. The launch window was 2 hours 30 min. Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB's) seperation successful. At 7min 45sec SSME throttled back while Endeavour traveling at more than 4miles per sec and 640 miles downrange. SSME cutoff confirmed at 8min 30sec.

Operations to load the External Tank began at 2:20am 9/7/95 and were completed at 5:15am. The crew suited up at 7:30am EDT and left the Operations and Checkout Building (O&C) t 7:58am EDT. The crew arrived at launch Pad 39-A at 8:10am EDT. The hatch was closed and sealed but failed to pass its leak check at 9:50am EDT. The crew hatch was reopened and the seals checked. Then a retest was performed. Another problem late in the count was with Water Spray Boiler # 2. The Water Spray Boilers normally pressurize to 39 PSI but unit #2 showed a pressure of 38.7 PSI. This did not violate any Launch Commit Criteria and the Mission Management Team determined the lower pressure was not a constraint to launch. Also, there was a minor problem with a "safe" talkback indicator on a safe and arm device on the Solid Rocket Booster. This problem has been seen before and is understood. It was not expected to be of any concern to the Solid Rocket Booster Recovery team.

Earlier in the launch flow, Endeavour's Fuel Cell #2 was replaced and the countdown picked up on September 4, 1995 at 4:30pm at the T-41.5 hour mark

The Mission Management Team (MMT) decided to scrub the August 31, 1995 scheduled launch of Endeavour on mission STS-69 due to a failure of one of three fuel cells aboard the vehicle. The scrub was called at 3:30am on 8/31/95 prior to tanking operations. Fuel cells provide electricity to the vehicle while in orbit. Mission rules state all three fuel cells must be up and operational prior to launch.

At the 10:30am press conference on 8/31/95, Bob Sieck estimated the countdown would pick back up on Monday with a launch late in the week. The scrub was called due to a temperature spike in the Fuel Cell #2 exit temperature. The fuel cell is located in the right side of the payload bay. Fuel cell #2 had 1700 hours of operation and cells are typically kept in service until 2400 hours of operation. A similar fuel cell problem was previously detected on orbit during the Spacelab D-1 mission STS-61A and on the launch pad during STS-6. During STS-6, the fuel cell was replaced on the pad and similar procedures will be used for STS-69.

The countdown had begun at 3pm EDT on 8/28/95. The previous launch date of 11:04am 8/31/95 was decided after NASA officials held a Flight Readiness Review to consider remaining issues in preparing Endeavour for the flight. Among the items reviewed and closed out was the issue of minor O-ring erosion seen in a joint of the Reusable Solid Rocket Motor (RSRM) nozzle during the last two Shuttle launches.

The launch was previously placed on hold pending analysis of the solid rocket booster (SRB) nozzle o-ring seals. Possible air paths in the RTV behind the RSRM Nose Inlet Assembly to Throat Assembly joint were investigated.

rollback of Endeavour on 8/1/95 to the VAB due to Hurricane ERIN. Endeavour was returned to Pad 39-A on 8/08/95 with first motion occuring at 1:55am.

Old launch date was August 5, 1995 at 10:45am with a 2 hours 30 minute launch window. Launch date was pending resolution of open items including the post flight assessment of an anomaly on one of the STS-71 solid rocket booster nozzle joints.

Rollout to Launch pad 39-A occured on 7/5/95 with first motion out of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at around 11 p.m. The Vehicle was hard down on the pad at about 4:30am on 7/6/95. Hot fire of auxiliary power units APU units 2 and 3 occured on 7/6/95.


Altitude: 190 statute miles
Inclination: 28.4 degrees
Duration: 10 days, 20 hours, 28 minutes, 55 seconds.
Distance: 4.5 million miles


SRB: BI-074
ET : SN-72
SSME-1: SN-2035
SSME-2: SN-2109
SSME-3: SN-2029


At KSC September 18, 1995 at 7:37:56am EDT. KSC Shuttle Landing Facility Runway 33 (south-east to north-west). Sonic booms at 7:35am EDT. Banking right-hand turn of 270 degrees. Main landing gear touchdown at Mission Elapsed Time of 10days 20hr 28 56sec. Nose gear touchdown at MET 10days 20hours 29min 8 sec with Wheel Stop at 10 days 20hr 29min 52 sec or 7:38:52 EDT.

Mission Highlights:

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