STS-2 (2)

Pad 39-A (14)
2nd Shuttle mission
2nd Flight OV-102
1st Flight of
Shortened mission


Joseph H. Engle (1), Commander
Richard H. Truly (1), Pilot

Backup Crew:

Thomas K. Mattingly (1), Commander
Henry W. Hartsfield (0), Jr., Pilot


04/29/81 - Move to OPF-1
08/10/81 - Move to VAB-3
08/31/81 - Move to PAD-39A (21 days)
11/12/81 - Launch
11/14/81 - Landing
11/25/81 - Return to KSC (11 days)



Mission Objectives:

Click here for Additional Info on STS-2

Demonstrate safe re-launch and safe return of the orbiter and crew. Verify the combined performance of the entire shuttle vehicle - orbiter, solid rocket boosters and external tank.

Payloads included the Orbital Flight Test Pallet consisting of the Measurement of Air Pollution from Satellite (MAPS) experiment, the Shuttle Multispectral Infrared Radiometer (SMIRR) experiment, the Shuttle Imaging Radar (SIR-A) experiment, the Features Identification and Location Experiment (FILE) and the Ocean Color Experimetn (OCE). Also included was the 11,048 lb Development Flight Instrumentation (DFI) pallet, the Aerodynamic Coefficient Identification Package (ACIP), the Induced Environment Contamination Monitor (IECM) and the 5,395 lb Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications Pallet (OSTA-1).


November 12, 1981, 10:09:59 a.m. EST. Launch on Oct. 9 was rescheduled when nitrogen tetroxide spill occurred during loading of forward reaction control system (RCS). Launch Nov. 4 delayed and then scrubbed when countdown computer called for hold in countdown due to apparent low reading on fuel cell oxygen tank pressures. During hold, high oil pressures discovered in two of three auxiliary power units (APUs) that operate hydraulic system. APU gear boxes flushed and filters replaced, forcing launch reschedule Launch Nov. 12 delayed two hours, 40 minutes to replace multiplexer/demultiplexer and additional nine minutes, 59 seconds to review systems status. Modifications to launch platform to overcome solid rocket booster overpressure problem were effective.

Modifications of the water sound suppression system at the pad to absorb the solid rocket booster overpressure wave during launch were effective -- no tiles were lost and only 12 were damaged. Launch Weight: 320,708 lbs


Altitude: 157nm
Inclination: 38.0 degrees
Orbits: 37
Duration: Two days, Six hours, 13 minutes, 12 seconds
Distance: 1,074,757 miles


SRB: BI-002
ET : 3/SWT-2
MLP: 1
SSME-1: SN-2007
SSME-2: SN-2006
SSME-3: SN-2005


November 14, 1981, 1:23:11 p.m. PST, Runway 23, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Rollout distance: 7,711 feet. Rollout time: 50 seconds. Mission shortened by approximately three days due to number one fuel cell failure. Orbiter returned to KSC Nov. 25, 1981. Landing Weight: 204,262 lbs.

Mission Highlights:

Planned five day mission cut nearly three days due to failure of one of three fuel cells that produce electricity and drinking water, but 90 percent of mission objectives achieved, including first time remote manipulator system tests. Mission scientists satisfied with data from Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications-1 (OSTA-1) Earth observation experiments mounted on Spacelab pallet in payload bay.

The flight marked the first time a manned space vehicle had been reflown with a second crew: Joseph H. Engle, commander, and Richard H. Truly, pilot. It again carried the DFI package, as well as the OSTA-l payload -- named for the NASA Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications -- which consisted of a number of remote sensing instruments mounted on a Spacelab pallet in the payload bay. These instruments, including the Shuttle Imaging Radar-A (SIR-1), successfully carried out remote sensing of Earth resources, environmental quality, ocean and weather conditions. In addition, the Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System (RMS) arm was successfully operated in all its various operating modes for the first time.

Mission Index Last Mission STS-1 Next Mission STS-3

Click here to return to the SPACE EDUCATORS' HANDBOOK HOME PAGE.