STS-72 (74)

Endeavour (10)
Pad 39-B (35)
74th Shuttle Mission
10th Flight OV-105
Night Launch
KSC Landing(28)
Night Landing (8)


Brian Duffy (3), Commander
Brent W. Jett (1), Pilot
Leroy Chiao (2), Mission Specialist
Daniel T. Barry (1), Mission Specialist
Winston E. Scott (1), Mission Specialist
Koichi Wakata (1), Mission Specialist




Mission Objectives:

The primary objective of the STS-72 mission is to capture and return to Earth a Japanese microgravity research spacecraft known as Space Flyer Unit (SFU). The 7,885lbs SFU spacecraft was launched by Japan's National Space Development Agency (NASDA) from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan at 8:01 UT on March 18, 1995 aboard a Japanese H-II rocket (HII-3).

The STS-72 mission will also deploy (for about 50 hours) and then retrieve the Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology Flyer (OAST-Flyer) spacecraft. OAST-Flyer is the seventh in a series of missions aboard reuseable free-flying Spartan carriers. It consists of four experiments: Return Flux Experiment (REFLEX), Global Positioning System Attitude Determination and Control Experiment (GADACS), Solar Exposure to Laser Ordnance Device (SELODE) and the University of Maryland Spartan Packet Radio Experiment (SPRE).

Other experiments onboard STS-72 include the Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Experiment (SSBUV-8) (previously flown on STS-34, STS-41, STS-43,
STS-45, STS-56, STS-62 and STS-66), EDFT-03, Shuttle Laser Altimeter Payload (SLA-01/GAS(5)), VDA-2, National Institutes of Health NIH-R3 Experiment, Space Tissue Loss Experiment (STL/NIH-C), Pool Boiling Experiment (PBE) (hardware previously flown on STS-47, STS-57 and STS-60) and the Thermal Energy Storage (TES-2) experiment (previously flown on STS-69).

Get Away Special payloads include the United States Air Force Academy G-342 Flexible Beam Experiment (FLEXBEAM-2), Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies' G-459 - Protein Crystal Growth Experiment and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory GAS Ballast Can with Sample Return Experiment.

Endeavour's 10th flight also includes two 6.5 hour spacewalks by three astronauts to test hardware and tools that will be used in the assembly of the International Space Station starting in late 1997. EVA-1 on flight day five consists of Crewmembers Leroy Chiao (EV1) and Dan Barry (EV2) while EVA-2 on Flight Day 7 consists of Leroy Chiao (EV1) and Winston Scott (EV2).


Launch January 11, 1996 at 4:41:00.072 EST (23 min into the beginning of the window). Launch window was 49 min 30sec and extended until 5:07:30 a.m. EST. The exact length of the window was calculated based on the location of the Japanese Space Flyer Unit prior to launch. Transoceanic Abort Site (TAL) was at Ben Guerir, Morocco.

The countdown started on time at 7:30 am in Firing Room 1 of the Launch Control Complex (LCC) at the T-43 hour mark. The astronaut crew landed at the Shuttle Landing Facility at 9:30am on 1/8/96

The countdown included 25 hours and 48 minutes of built-in holds.

The countdown went smoothly with only a few minor facility or Ground Servicing Equipment (GSE) problems. Noise was noted on a UPS fan and oil bearing temperature on LOX Pump 126 ran slightly higher than expected. No corrective action was necessary. Just before the hold at the T-20 minute mark, the Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSME) were running a little cool so GN2 flow was adjusted. There were also some communications problems that caused minor launch delays, one with MILA and one with the new JSC front end processor. MILA switched to a backup system and JSC switched to the old front end processor system.


Altitude: 250 nm (288 statute miles)
Inclination: 28.45 degrees
Orbits: 142
Duration: 8 days, 22 hours, 01 minutes, 47 seconds.
Distance: 3.7 million miles


SRB: BI-077
ET : SN-75
SSME-1: SN-2028
SSME-2: SN-2039
SSME-3: SN-2036


KSC, Saturday, January 20, 1996 2:41:41 A.M. EST Runway 15 (southwest to northeast). Sonic Booms heard at KSC at 2:39 A.M. EST while Endeavour was at 26,000ft. At 16,000 ft, Endeavour was 8nm from the Shuttle Landing Facility and traveling at 400 miles per hour. At 2:41 A.M. EST, Endeavour was at 9,000ft and 5 nm. Preflare was done at 700ft altitude. Unofficial Main Gear touchdown at 2:41:41 AM EST, (MET 8 days, 22 hrs, 00 min, 41 sec). Nose wheel touchdown at 2:41:54 AM EST (MET 8 days 22 hrs 00 min 54sec) and wheels stop at 2:42:47 (MET 8 days 22 hrs 01min 47 sec). KSC Weather conditions at the time of landing were acceptable
Two landing opportunities were available for Saturday at the Kennedy Space Center for Endeavour's homecoming. The first opportunity was used which called for a firing of Endeavour's braking rockets at 12:41 a.m. Saturday and a touchdown on Runway 33 at the Shuttle Landing Facility. The second landing opportunity was not needed but would have been about one hour and a half later with a landing at 4:17 a.m. EST.

Mission Highlights:

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