Crew notes

Prior to the Challenger disaster, this mission was slated to launch in March 1986 as STS-61-E. Jon McBride
Jon McBride
Jon Andrew McBride is retired United States naval officer and a former NASA astronaut.-Biography:Jon McBride was born August 14, 1943, in Charleston, West Virginia, but considers Beckley, West Virginia, to be his hometown...

 was originally assigned to command this mission, which would have been his second spaceflight. He chose to retire from NASA in May 1989 and was replaced as mission commander by Vance Brand. In addition, Richard N. Richards
Richard N. Richards
Richard Noel "Dick" Richards is an American aviator, retired US Navy officer, and a former NASA astronaut. He flew aboard four Space Shuttle missions in the 1980s and 1990s.-Military career:...

 (as pilot) and David Leestma
David Leestma
David Cornell Leestma is a former American astronaut.-Personal data:Born May 6, 1949, in Muskegon, Michigan. Married to the former Patti K. Opp of Dallas, Texas. They have six children. He enjoys golfing, tennis, aviation, and fishing. His parents, Dr. and Mrs. Harold F. Leestma, reside in Palm...

 (as mission specialist), were replaced by Guy Gardner
Guy Gardner (astronaut)
Guy Spence Gardner is a United States Air Force officer and a former astronaut. He holds the rank of Colonel. He flew as pilot on two Space Shuttle missions, STS-27 and STS-35. He is currently the President of the Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades.-Background and education:Gardner was...

 and Mike Lounge respectively. 59-year-old Brand was the oldest astronaut to fly into space until Story Musgrave
Story Musgrave
Franklin Story Musgrave is an American physician and a retired NASA astronaut. He is currently a public speaker and consultant to both Disney's Imagineering group and Applied Minds in California.-Personal life:...

, 61 on STS-80
-Mission parameters:* Mass: payload* Perigee: * Apogee: * Inclination: 28.5°* Period: 91.5 min-Mission highlights:* The mission deployed two satellites and successfully recovered them after they had performed their tasks....

 in 1996, and U.S. Senator John Glenn
John Glenn
John Herschel Glenn, Jr. is a former United States Marine Corps pilot, astronaut, and United States senator who was the first American to orbit the Earth and the third American in space. Glenn was a Marine Corps fighter pilot before joining NASA's Mercury program as a member of NASA's original...

, 77 when he flew on STS-95
STS-95 was a Space Shuttle Discovery mission launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on 29 October 1998. It was the 25th flight of Discovery and the 92nd mission flown since the start of the Space Shuttle program in April 1981. It was a highly publicized mission due to former Project Mercury...

 in 1998.

Mission parameters

  • Mass
    Mass can be defined as a quantitive measure of the resistance an object has to change in its velocity.In physics, mass commonly refers to any of the following three properties of matter, which have been shown experimentally to be equivalent:...

    • Orbiter Liftoff: 121344 kilograms (267,517.7 lb)
    • Orbiter Landing: 102462 kilograms (225,890 lb)
    • Payload: 12095 kilograms (26,664.9 lb)
  • Perigee
    Perigee is the point at which an object makes its closest approach to the Earth.. Often the term is used in a broader sense to define the point in an orbit where the orbiting body is closest to the body it orbits. The opposite is the apogee, the farthest or highest point.The Greek prefix "peri"...

    352 kilometres (218.7 mi)
  • Apogee: 362 kilometres (224.9 mi)
  • Inclination
    Inclination in general is the angle between a reference plane and another plane or axis of direction.-Orbits:The inclination is one of the six orbital parameters describing the shape and orientation of a celestial orbit...

  • Period
    Orbital period
    The orbital period is the time taken for a given object to make one complete orbit about another object.When mentioned without further qualification in astronomy this refers to the sidereal period of an astronomical object, which is calculated with respect to the stars.There are several kinds of...

    91.7 min

Preparations and launch

The much-delayed Astro-1 had originally been manifested to fly on what would have been the next shuttle mission after Challenger's ill-fated STS-51L as STS-61E in March 1986. The mission was remanifested as STS-35 during the long stand-down after the accident with the addition of the Broad-Band X-Ray Telescope (BBXRT-01), and the original Astro-1 payload was brought out of storage and recertified for flight. Columbia rolled out to Pad 39A in late April 1990 for a scheduled launch date of 16 May. Following the Flight Readiness Review (FRR), announcement of a firm launch date was delayed to change out a faulty freon coolant loop proportional valve in orbiter's coolant system. At the subsequent Delta FRR, the date was set for 30 May. Launch on 30 May was scrubbed during tanking due to minor hydrogen leak in tail service mast on mobile launcher platform and major leak in external tank/orbiter quick disconnect assembly. Hydrogen was also detected in orbiter's aft compartment believed to be associated with a leak involving the 17-inch umbilical assembly.

Leakage at the 17-inch umbilical was confirmed by a mini-tanking test on 6 June. It could not be repaired at the pad and the vehicle was rolled back to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) 12 June, was demated, and transferred to the Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF). Changeout of the orbiter-side 17-inch umbilical assembly was made with one borrowed from the yet-to-arrive Shuttle Endeavour; the external tank was then fitted with new umbilical hardware. The ASTRO-1 payload was reserviced regularly and remained in Columbia’s cargo bay during orbiter repairs and reprocessing.

Columbia rolled out to Pad A for the second time 9 August to support a 1 September launch date. Two days before launch, the avionics box on the BBXRT portion of the ASTRO-1 payload malfunctioned and had to be changed out and retested. Launch was rescheduled for 6 September. During tanking, high concentrations of hydrogen was again detected in the orbiter's aft compartment, forcing another postponement. NASA managers concluded that Columbia had experienced separate hydrogen leaks from beginning: one of the umbilical assembly (now replaced) and one or more in the aft compartment which had resurfaced. Suspicion focused on the package of three hydrogen recirculation pumps in aft compartment. These were replaced and retested. A damaged Teflon cover seal in the main engine number three hydrogen prevalve was replaced. Launch was rescheduled for 18 September. The fuel leak in aft compartment resurfaced during tanking and the launch was scrubbed again. The STS-35 mission was put on hold until problem resolved by a special tiger team assigned by the Space Shuttle director.

Columbia was transferred to Pad B on 8 October to make room for Atlantis on Mission STS-38
-Mission parameters:*Mass:**Payload: Magnum ELINT satellite ~ **Booster: IUS upper stage ~ **Total: ~ *Perigee: *Apogee: *Inclination: 28.5°*Period: 87.5 min-Preparations and Launch:...

. Tropical storm Klaus forced another rollback to the VAB on 9 October. The vehicle transferred to Pad B again 14 October. Another mini-tanking test was conducted 30 October, using special sensors and video cameras and employing a see-through Plexiglas aft compartment door. No excessive hydrogen was leakage detected. With the problem resolved, the flight had only to wait for the completion of STS-38, imparting another four-week delay. A scheduled launch date of 30 November was moved several days due to concerns that observations of astronomical targets would be adversely affected. Liftoff 2 December was delayed 21 minutes to allow Air Force range time to observe low-level clouds that might impede the tracking of Shuttle ascent. Liftoff finally occurred 2 December 1990, 1:49:01AM EST, the ninth night launch in shuttle history and the second for Columbia. A nominal ascent to orbit followed. This was one of the most delayed launches of the space shuttle program
Space Shuttle program
NASA's Space Shuttle program, officially called Space Transportation System , was the United States government's manned launch vehicle program from 1981 to 2011...


Mission highlights

The primary payload of mission STS-35 was ASTRO-1, the fifth flight of the Spacelab
Spacelab was a reusable laboratory used on certain spaceflights flown by the Space Shuttle. The laboratory consisted of multiple components, including a pressurized module, an unpressurized carrier and other related hardware housed in the Shuttle's cargo bay...

 system and the second with the Igloo and pallet train configuration. The primary objectives were round-the-clock observations of the celestial sphere in ultraviolet and X-ray spectral wavelengths with the ASTRO-1 observatory, consisting of four telescopes: Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope
Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope
The Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope was a space telescope designed to make spectroscopic observations in the far-ultraviolet region of the electromagnetic spectrum...

 (HUT); Wisconsin Ultraviolet Photo-Polarimeter Experiment (WUPPE); Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UIT), mounted on the Instrument Pointing System (IPS). The Instrument Pointing System consisted of a three-axis gimbal system mounted on a gimbal support structure connected to a Spacelab pallet at one end and the aft end of the payload at the other, a payload clamping system for support of the mounted experiment during launch and landing and a control system based on the inertial reference of a three-axis gyro package and operated by a gimbal-mounted microcomputer.The Broad Band X-Ray
X-radiation is a form of electromagnetic radiation. X-rays have a wavelength in the range of 0.01 to 10 nanometers, corresponding to frequencies in the range 30 petahertz to 30 exahertz and energies in the range 120 eV to 120 keV. They are shorter in wavelength than UV rays and longer than gamma...

A telescope is an instrument that aids in the observation of remote objects by collecting electromagnetic radiation . The first known practical telescopes were invented in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 1600s , using glass lenses...

 (BBXRT) and its Two-Axis Pointing System (TAPS) rounded out the instrument complement in the aft payload bay.

The crew split into shifts after reaching orbit, with Gardner, Parker, and Parise comprising the Red Team; the Blue team consisted of Hoffman, Durrance, and Lounge. Commander Vance Brand was unassigned to either team and helped coordinate mission activities. The telescopes were powered up and raised from their stowed position by the Red Team 11 hours into the flight. Observations began under the Blue Team 16 hours into the mission after the instruments were checked out. In a typical Astro-1 ultraviolet observation, the flight crew member on duty maneuvered the Shuttle to point the cargo
bay in the general direction of the astronomical object to be observed. The mission specialist commanded the
pointing system to aim the telescopes toward the target. They also locked on to guide stars to help the pointing system
remain stable despite orbiter thruster firings. The payload specialist set up each instrument for the upcoming
observation, identified the celestial target on the guide television and provided the necessary pointing corrections
for placing the object precisely in the telescope's field of view. He then started the instrument observation sequences
and monitored the data being recorded. Because the many observations created a heavy workload, the payload
and mission specialists worked together to perform these complicated operations and evaluate the quality of
observations. Each observation took between 10 minutes to a little over an hour.

Issues with the pointing precision of the IPS and the sequential overheating failures of both data display units (used for pointing telescopes and operating experiments) during the mission impacted crew-aiming procedures and forced ground teams at Marshall Space Flight Center
Marshall Space Flight Center
The George C. Marshall Space Flight Center is the U.S. government's civilian rocketry and spacecraft propulsion research center. The largest center of NASA, MSFC's first mission was developing the Saturn launch vehicles for the Apollo moon program...

 (MSFC) to aim the telescopes with fine-tuning by the flight crew. BBXRT was directed from outset by ground-based operators at Goddard Space Flight Center and was not affected. The X-ray telescope required little attention from the crew. A crew member would turn on the BBXRT and the TAPS at the beginning of operations and then turn them off when the operations concluded. After the telescope was activated, researchers at Goddard could "talk" to the telescope via computer.
Before science operations begun, stored commands were loaded into the BBXRT computer system. Then, when the astronauts positioned the Shuttle in the general direction of the source, the TAPS automatically pointed the BBXRT at the object. Since the Shuttle could be oriented in only one direction at a time, X-ray observations had to be coordinated carefully with ultraviolet observations. Despite the pointing problems, the full suite of telescopes obtained 231 observations of 130 celestial objects over a combined span of 143 hours. Science teams at MSFC and Goddard estimated that 70% of the mission objectives were completed.ASTRO-1 was the first shuttle mission controlled in part from the Spacelab Mission Operations Control facility at MSFC in Huntsville
Huntsville is the name of several places:Canada*Huntsville, OntarioUnited States*Huntsville, Alabama, the largest city with this name.*Huntsville, Arkansas*Huntsville, Connecticut*Huntsville, Illinois / Huntsville Township, Schuyler County, Illinois...

, Alabama.

During the flight, the crew experienced trouble dumping waste water due to a blocked waste water line, but managed to compensate using spare containers. Problems also affected one RCC thruster and an onboard text and graphics teleprinter used for receiving flight plan updates.

Additional payloads and experiments

Conducting short-wave radio transmissions between ground-based amateur radio operators and a Shuttle-based
amateur radio operator was the basis for the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX)-II.
SAREX communicated with amateur stations in line-of-sight of the orbiter in one of four transmission modes: voice,
slow scan television (SSTV), data or (uplink only) fast scan television (FSTV).
The voice mode was operated in the attended mode while SSTV, data or FSTV could be operated in either attended or
unattended modes. During the mission, SAREX was operated by Payload Specialist Ron Parise, a licensed operator (WA4SIR),
during periods when he was not scheduled for orbiter or other payload activities. A ground-based experiment to calibrate electro-optical sensors at Air Force Maui
The island of Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands at and is the 17th largest island in the United States. Maui is part of the state of Hawaii and is the largest of Maui County's four islands, bigger than Lānai, Kahoolawe, and Molokai. In 2010, Maui had a population of 144,444,...

 Optical Site (AMOS) in Hawaii was also conducted during the mission. The Space Classroom Program: Assignment: The Stars project was carried out to spark student interest in science, math and technology. Mission Specialist Hoffman conducted the first classroom lesson taught from space on 7 December in support of this objective, covering material on the electromagnetic spectrum and the ASTRO-1 observatory. A supporting lesson was taught from the Astro-1 control center in Huntsville.


The mission was cut short by one day due to impending bad weather at the primary landing site, Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located on the border of Kern County, Los Angeles County, and San Bernardino County, California, in the Antelope Valley. It is southwest of the central business district of North Edwards, California and due east of Rosamond.It is named in...

, California. The Orbital Manueuvering System (OMS) engines were fired at 8:48 PM PST over the Indian Ocean to deorbit the spaceraft, which landed on Runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located on the border of Kern County, Los Angeles County, and San Bernardino County, California, in the Antelope Valley. It is southwest of the central business district of North Edwards, California and due east of Rosamond.It is named in...

, CA at 9:54 PM, 10 December 1990 after a mission duration of 8 days, 23 hours, and 5 minutes. This was the fourth night landing of the shuttle program. Rollout Distance: 10,447 feet (3.184 kilometres (2 mi)). Rollout Time: 58 seconds. Columbia returned to KSC on 20 December on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. Landing Weight102208 kilograms (225,330.1 lb).

See also

  • Space science
    Space science
    The term space science may mean:* The study of issues specifically related to space travel and space exploration, including space medicine.* Science performed in outer space ....

  • Space shuttle
    Space Shuttle
    The Space Shuttle was a manned orbital rocket and spacecraft system operated by NASA on 135 missions from 1981 to 2011. The system combined rocket launch, orbital spacecraft, and re-entry spaceplane with modular add-ons...

  • List of space shuttle missions
  • List of human spaceflights chronologically

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.