- Discovery (23)
- Pad 39-A (63)
- 86th Shuttle Mission
- 23rd Flight OV-103
- KSC Landing (39)
- Curtis L. Brown, Jr (4), Mission Commander
- Kent V. Rominger (3), Pilot
- N. Jan Davis (3), Mission Specialist
- Robert L.
Curbeam, Jr. (1), Mission Specialist
- Stephen K. Robinson (1), Mission Specialist
- Bjarni Tryggvason (1),
(CSA) Payload Specialist
- Note: Jeffrey S. Ashby (1),
Pilot was previously assigned
- as pilot of STS-85.
- OPF-2 -- 02/21/97
- VAB -- 07/07/97
- PAD -- 07/14/97
- TCDT -- 07/22/97
- FRR -- 07/24/97
- Countdown - 08/04/97
(DARA), MFD, TAS-01, SEM, CFE, SOLCON, CVX, SLA-02, ISIR,
ACIS, MIM, MAHRSI, GAS(G-572,G-745), BDS-03, MSX-08, SSCE-07, SWUIS-01,
SIMPLEX-01, PCG-STES-05, BRIC-10, MIDES
The deployment and retrieval of a satellite designed to study
Earth's middle atmosphere along with a test of potential International
Space Station hardware will highlight NASA's sixth Shuttle mission of
1997. The prime payload for the flight, the Cryogenic Infrared
Spectrometers and Telescopes for the Atmosphere-Shuttle Pallet
Satellite-2 (CRISTA-SPAS-2) is making its second flight on the Space
Shuttle (previous flight
STS-66 in 1994) and is the fourth mission in
a cooperative venture between the German Space Agency
(DARA) and NASA.
During the flight,
Davis will use
Discovery's robot arm to deploy
the CRISTA-SPAS payload for about 9 days of free-flight. CRISTA-SPAS
consists of three telescopes and four spectrometers that will measure
trace gases and dynamics of the Earth's middle atmosphere.
will operate the robot arm for CRISTA-SPAS retrieval. The Shuttle
Pallet Satellite (SPAS) on which the scientific instruments are
mounted is a self-contained platform that provides power, command,
control and communication with
Discovery during free-flight.
Two other instruments mounted on the SPAS also will study the
Earth's atmosphere. The Middle Atmosphere High Resolution Spectrograph
Instrument (MAHRSI) will measure hydroxyl and nitric oxide by sensing
UV radiation emitted and scattered by the atmosphere, while the
Surface Effects Sample Monitor (SESAM) is a passive carrier for
state-of-the-art optical surfaces to study the impact of the
atomic oxygen and the space environment on materials and services.
The crew also will support the Manipulator Flight Demonstration
(MFD) experiment being sponsored by NASDA, the Japanese Space
Agency. MFD consists of three separate experiments located on a
support truss in the payload bay. The primary objective is to
demonstrate the newly designed dexterous robot arm in the space
environment, before installing on the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM)
of the International Space Station.
Several Hitchhiker payloads, including the
Technology Applications and Science Payload
International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker
(SEH), and the
Ultraviolet Spectrograph Telescope for Astronomical Research
will be housed in Discovery's payload
bay, operating independently
of crew support during the flight.
The Microgravity Vibration Isolation Mount
will be operated by Canadian Space Agency astronaut
The MIM experiment is a small double-locker size device designed to
isolate International Space Station payloads and experiments from
disturbances created by thruster firings or crew activity. MIM will
be operated for 30 hours with real-time data transmission
to investigators on the ground.
Another experiment onboard
STS-85 is the Southwest Ultraviolet Imaging System
(SWUIS-01) from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI)
along with scientific collaborators from JPL, APL, and the University
of Maryland. SWUIS (pronounced, "swiss") is a wide-field UV imager to
which will be used to observe comet Hale-Bopp. It is based around an
18-cm Maksutov UV telescope and a UV-sensitive, Xybion
image-intensified CCD camera that frames at video rates (30 Hz). Each
SWUIS observation period will last approximately 3 hours, and should
garner 10^5 images in up to 7 filter bandpasses. SWUIS will be
operated from a 2-axis mount inside the Shuttle mid-deck cockpit, and
looks out of the Shuttle through a quartz window. SWUIS can be pointed
anywhere in a 4.5 deg cone around the centerline of the comet. Mission
specialists will set up and operate the instrument.
- Launch August 7, 1997 10:41:00.069 am EDT. Launch window is 1 hour,
39 minutes (1 Launch COLA due to Mir overhead between 10:53am -
- On Thursday, 8/7/97 at 6:00am, the countdown was at a two hour
planned hold at the T-minus 3 hour mark. Weather forcasters predicted
a 60% chance of favorable weather.
Discovery was fully fueled and a
go was given to wake the flight crew. Crew breakfast began at 6:18am,
followed by a weather briefing, suitup at 6:46am and then departure
for Pad 39A at 7:26am EDT. The coundown came out of the hold at
7:21am EDT. By 8:30am EDT, the crew were all strapped into their
launch seats and communication checks were performed. The hatch was
closed by 9:18am EDT and leak checks complete by 9:30am EDT. At 9:28
am EDT, RSO reported a no go due to ground fog leading to a visability
of less than 5 miles but predicted that the fog would burn off as
the sun rises. The countdown clock picked up at 9:38am at the T-minus 44 minute mark.
The white room crew reported to OTC that the white room was secure.
EDT, the count entered the automatic hold at the T-minus 20 minute mark.
At 10:09am EDT, SRO reported to NTD that Range Safety cleared the
Launch Commit Criteria (LCC)
Violation and gave a go to launch. The
countdown picked up at 10:11am EDT and held at the planned hold at the
T-minus 9 minute mark. At 10:28am EDT, the NASA Test Director
conducted a final poll of the launch team in the firing room and the
Launch Director Jim Harrington conducted a final poll of the
mission management team.
There were no constraints to launch and the
count came out of the T-minus 9 minute mark at 10:32am EDT. Liftoff
occured at 10:41am EDT.
- On Tuesday, 8/5/97, The orbiter's mid-body umbilical unit was
demated and retracted into the
Fixed Service Structure. Preparations
were underway to retract the
Rotating Service Structure
to the launch
position at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Loading of the
with cryogenic propellants began at about 1:50 a.m. on Thursday
crew arrived at KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility
at about 5 p.m. 8/5/97 and took opportunities to complete a few
familiarization activities. Commander
Curtis Brown and Pilot Kent
SLF approaches in the Shuttle Training Aircraft
this morning as well.
compartment close-outs concluded on Saturday 8/2/97
with installation of the
aft access doors.
External tank purge
activities were also completed on Saturday. The launch countdown for
STS-85 began 8/4/97 at 3 p.m. Loading of cryogenic fuels into the
power reactant storage distribution system began at 7:30 a.m. 8/5/97.
Discovery's pyrotechnic initiator controllers began at 4
p.m. on Tuesday. Servicing of the CRISTA-SPAS payload continued and
final payload bay door closure was 5 a.m. 8/5/97.
- On Wednesday, 7/30/97, Space suit installation and check-out were
aft compartment close-outs
continue through the
weekend. Ordnance installation was delayed due to work on the
orbiter's connections to a ground coolant unit. The connections are
being replaced to ensure that no further freon leakage occurs.
Replacement of Mass Memory Unit
No. 1 is in work and reload is also
slated. Because of the damaged oxidizer drain line found on
Columbia, inspections of
Discovery's oxidizer drain line are being
performed as well.
- On Tuesday, 7/22/97, the
Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test
(TCDT) began in the
Launch Control Center and at Pad 39A. The payload
Interface Verification Test (IVT) was successfully concluded and
preparations were underway for servicing the CRISTA-SPAS with
cryogenic helium next week. Preparations continue for loading
hypergolic propellants aboard the Space Shuttle on Thursday.
- The Shuttle helium signature test was successfully concluded over
the weekend and the payload interface verification testing was
performed on monday, 7/21/97. Preparations continue for loading
hypergolic propellants on Thursday. The
astronauts arrived at KSC
Sunday evening for the
Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT)
starting 8 a.m. EST Tuesday 7/22/97 and concluding 11 a.m. Wednesday.
The crew will be on the flight deck for the last three hours of the
test as is customary. The TCDT is an electrical test of the Space
Shuttle vehicle and a procedural exercise for the launch team and
- On Friday, 7/18/97, the payload Interface Verification Test (IVT)
and the Shuttle helium signature test were conducted and preparations
continued for loading of hypergolic propellants. The crew is scheduled to
arrive at KSC Sunday evening for the
Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test
(TCDT) July 22-23.
- In the VAB,
orbiter/external tank interface leak checks concluded on
Friday, 7/11/97. Functional testing of the liquid oxygen 17-inch
disconnect were completed and the Shuttle Interface Test wrapped up.
Discovery is slated to roll out to Pad 39A on Monday, 7/14/97
beginning at about 2 a.m. At pad 39A, the CRISTA-SPAS payload was
moved to the payload ground handling mechanism. It will be installed
into the orbiter.
- On 6/25/97, potable water servicing was complete and a 24-hour decay
check was in work. Tile replacement work continued on
forward reaction control system.
Close-outs of Discovery's
compartment continues through Thursday and preparations were underway
for payload bay door closure. In the Vehicle Assembly Building,
ordnance installation on the solid rocket booster holddown posts was
- On 6/10/97, heat shield installation continues through Tuesday and
mid-body close-outs continue on schedule. Repair work on the lower
portion of Discovery's rudder speed
brake are continuing through
Tuesday. Tile inspections resulted in the removal of 7 suspect tiles
on the FRCS.
- On 3/25/97,
Space Shuttle Main Engines
(SSME) No. 1 and 3 have been removed
and Engine No. 2 will be removed. The forward
Reaction Control System
functional checks continue today. Work to remove and replace fuel cell
No. 2 will begin 3/27/97.
- On 3/5/97, deservicing of
Discovery's hypergolic system began. This
hazardous operation to remove residuals from the Reaction Control
System (RCS) keeps the bay
closed to non-essential personnel and other
work through most of the day. An
orbiter navigational aid activation
test is scheduled for 3/6/97 and
hydraulic system inspections will
- The launch was originally scheduled for July 17, 1997 at 10:06am but
was slipped to early August so that
Columbia could refly the
MSL-1 mission that was cut short due to a fuel cell problem.
- Altitude: 160nm
- Inclination: 57
- Orbits: 189
- Duration: 11 days, 20 hours, 28 minutes, 07 seconds.
- Distance: 4.7 million miles
- SRB: BI-088
- ET : SN-86
- MLP :
- SSME-1: SN-2041
- SSME-2: SN-2040
- SSME-3: SN-2042
- KSC August 19, 1997. 7:07:59 am EDT. Runway 33.
Main Wheel Touchdown at 7:07:59 am EDT. (MET 11days 20hr 26min 59sec)
Nose Wheel Touchdown at 7:08:09 am EDT. (MET 11days 20hr 27min 09sec)
Wheel Stop at EDT 7:09:07 (MET 11days 20hr 28min 07sec).
- At 5:44 a.m. EDT, commander
Curtis L. Brown, Jr was given the go to
take Discovery out of orbit with a 2 minute 14 second
deorbit burn of its
twin Orbital Maneuvering System
The burn occured on orbit
189 at 6:08am EDT while
Discovery was over the Pacific Ocean.
Interface occured at 6:37am. KSC's
1st opportunity landing track took
Discovery over the Yucatan
peninsula and then over the Gulf of Mexico.
At 7:00am EDT, with 8 minutes to touchdown,
Discovery was 135nm from
the Shuttle Landing Facility, traveling
at an altitude of 18000ft and
3,300mph. At 5 min to touchdown,
Discovery was at 58,000ft and 10nm west
of KSC. Sonic booms were heard at KSC at 7:06am, 3 min from touchdown
while Discoverey was being flown around the final Heading Alignment Circle
(HAC) at 38,000ft and dropping below 500mph. At 2 minutes to touchdown,
Discovery was southeast of the SLF, traveling
230mph setting up on final
approach to Runway 33. At 1 minute 20 seconds to touchdown,
was at 13,000ft. At 300ft, Pilot
Kent Rominger dropped the landing gear
Brown pitched the nose up. Touchdown occured at 8/19/97
at 7:07a.m. EDT.
mission was scheduled to end Monday August 18, 1997
with landing scheduled at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at
about 6:14 a.m. central time but the landing attempt for was waived
off due to low fog in the area of the
Shuttle Landing Facility.
Forecasters had predicted favorable weather for landing and . Flight
controllers only targeted a single Florida landing opportunity on
Monday and did not consider opportunities for landing at
Edwards Air Force Base, CA.
Last Mission STS-94
Next Mission STS-86
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