STS-74 (73)

Atlantis (15)
Pad 39-A (56)
73rd Shuttle Mission
15th Flight OV-104
27th KSC landing
2nd Mir Docking


Kenneth D. Cameron (3), Commander
James D. Halsell (2), Pilot
Jerry L. Ross (5), Mission Specialist
William S. McArthur Jr (2), Mission Specialist
Chris A. Hadfield (1), Mission Specialist


OPF -- 07/07/95
VAB -- 10/03/95
PAD -- 10/12/95
TCDT -- 10/17/95


Payload/Mir Download -Trek Experiment

Mission Objectives:

The STS-74 mission is the second of seven planned Space Shuttle-Mir link-ups between 1995 and 1997, including rendezvous and docking and crew transfers, which will pave the way toward assembly of the International Space Station beginning in November 1997. Major objectives include docking with the Mir space station and delivery of a Russian docking module and 2 solar arrays.

This mission marks the first time astronauts from the European Space Agency, Canada, Russia and the U.S will be in space on the same complex at one time -- a prime example of nations that will be represented on the international Space Station.

Atlantis will carry the Russian-built Docking Module, which has multi-mission androgynous docking mechanisms at top and bottom. During the flight to Mir, the crew will use the Orbiter's Remote Manipulator System robot arm to hoist the Docking Module from the payload bay and berth its bottom androgynous unit atop Atlantis' Orbiter Docking System. Atlantis will then dock to Kristall using the Docking Module's top androgynous unit. After three days, Atlantis will undock from the Docking Module's bottom androgynous unit and leave the Docking Module permanently docked to Kristall, where it will provide clearance between the Shuttle and Mir's solar arrays during subsequent dockings.

Atlantis will deliver water, supplies, and equipment, including two new solar arrays -- one Russian and one jointly-developed -- to upgrade the Mir. It will return to Earth experiment samples, equipment for repair and analysis and products manufactured on the station.

Also flying aboard Atlantis is the GPP payload consisting of two experiments -- the GPP experiment and the Photogrammetric Appendage Structural Dynamics Experiment (PASDE). The payload is managed by Goddard Space Flight Center's Special Payloads Division.

The GPP will study the Earth's thermosphere, ionosphere and mesosphere energetics and dynamics using broadband spectroscopy. GPP also will study spacecraft interactions with the atmosphere by observing Shuttle and Mir glow, Shuttle engine firings, water dumps and fuel cell purges.

Three PASDE cannisters, located throughout the cargo bay, will photogrammetrically record structural response data of the Mir solar arrays during the docked phase of the mission. These data will be analyzed on the ground to verify the use of photogrammetric techniques to characterize the structural dynamics of the array, thus demonstrating that this technology can result in cost and risk reduction for the International Space Station on-orbit structural verification.

Atlantis will also carry back to earth the University of California at Berkeley Trek Experiment which has been in orbit onboard Mir for the past four years.


Launch November 12, 1995 at 7:30:43.071 A.M. EST. Launch Window was 10 min 09 sec but Atlantis lifted off at the begining of the window. There were no unscheduled holds. Winds at liftoff were from approximately 289 degrees at 6.7 knots; the ambient temperature was 50 degrees F, the barometric pressure was 30.06in Hg; and the relative humidity was 82%. Transatlantic Abort Landing (TAL) sites were Zaragoza, Spain for primary and Moron, Spain and Ben Guerir, Morocco as alternates. White Room close out completed at 6:18am EST. At 7:12am EST the mission management team was polled and all stations were "go for launch" except SRO. Weather constraint, cloud ceiling below 6000ft for RTLS abort. Range cleared for launch at 7:20am EST. Main Engines cutoff at 7:39am EST.

Launch attempt on November 11, 1995 at 7:56am EST was scrubbed due to poor weather at the Transatlantic Abort (TAL) Site. A scrub due to a TAL site has only occured once before on 1/9/86 for Columbia's launch attempt on mission STS-61C. The mission management team decided to enter a 24 hour scrub turnaround and attempt a launch on 11/12/95. Launch Window was 6 min 57 and the countdown had begun on schedule. The crew was onboard when the scrub was called at the T-minus 5 minute mark at approximately 7:51am EST.
On 11/09/95, Pad 39-A was cleared to load the onboard cryogenic tanks with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen reactants. Reactant loading has been completed. The reactants will provide electricity for the orbiter and crew while in space and drinking water as a by-product during their 8-day mission.

On 11/07/95, Engineers have determined no additional work is required to verify the readiness for flight of the STS-74 solid rocket boosters in light of extremely small cracks found on hold-down posts attached to other boosters that flew earlier this year. Previous inspections on the boosters at the pad indicate no cracking is present. Mission managers will be fully briefed on the matter at the scheduled management team meeting to be held at KSC on Thursday.

On 9/05/95, Main engine (SSME) installation was completed in OPF Bay 2 and the Russian MIR-2 Docking Module closeout operations were completed in the Operations and Checkout Building.
On 8/25/95, three thrusters on the right hand OMS pod were replaced in the OPF


Altitude: 213 nm
Inclination: 51.6 degrees
Orbits: 128
Duration: 8 days, 4 hours, 31 minutes, 42 seconds
Distance: 3.4 million miles


SRB: BI-076
SRM: 360T051A (left), 360T051B (right)
ET : SN-74
SSME-1: SN-2012
SSME-2: SN-2026
SSME-3: SN-2032


KSC November 20, 1995 at 12:01:27 pm EST on Runway 33. Deorbit burn was done on orbit 128 at approximately 11:00am EST. Dual sonic booms heard in the KSC Industrial area at 11:58:30am EST. Main Landing Gear touched down at the KSC Shuttle Landing Facility at a Mission Elapsed Time of 8 days 4 hours 20 minutes and 44 seconds (12:01:27 EST). Nose Gear touched down at 8 days 4 hours 30 min 54 seconds (12:01:37 EST) and wheels stopped at an MET of 8 days 4 hours 31 min 42 sec (12:02:24 EST). Weather was acceptable for landing.

A second opportunity existed but wasn't necessary for a KSC landing at 1:37pm EST with a deorbit burn at 12:36p.m. on orbit 129.

Mission Highlights:

Due to the furlough of US government workers from 11/14/95 to 11/19/95, mission Status reports during those dates are not currently available.

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