- Atlantis (16)
- Pad 39-B (35)
- 76th Shuttle Mission
- 3rd MIR Docking
- 16th Flight OV-104
- EAFB Landing
- 1st Launch and Landing using new MCC
- Kevin P. Chilton (3), Commander
- Richard A. Searfoss (2), Pilot
- Shannon W. Lucid (5), Mission Specialist
- Linda M. Godwin (3), Mission Specialist
- Michael R. Clifford (3), Mission Specialist
- Ronald M. Sega (2), Mission Specialist
- Shannon W. Lucid will remain on
- OPF -- 11/20/95
- VAB -- 2/19/96
- PAD -- 2/28/96
erence KSC Shuttle Status 2/29/1996)
- CTDT - 3/5/96
- FRR -- 3/11/96
- S/MM-03, SPACEHAB-SM, SAREX-II,MEEP(PPMD, ODC, POSA-I, POSA-II),
TRIS (GAS),WNE, KidSat
The primary mission objective will be the third docking between
the Space Shuttle Atlantis and the
Russian Space Station Mir. It
will include a crew transfer, an extravehicular activity (EVA),
logistics operations and scientific research.
Rendezvous and docking with Mir is scheduled to occur on flight
day three using the same approach as previously used during
Docking will occur between the
Orbiter Docking System in the forward
area of Atlantis' payload
bay and the Docking Module installed during
STS-74 on Mir's Kristall module docking port.
The mission will also feature a SPACEHAB module, middeck
experiments, a Get Away Special (GAS) canister and a 6-hour EVA.
Over 1,900 pounds (862 kilograms) of equipment are being transfered
from Atlantis to
Mir including a gyrodyne, transformer, batteries,
food, water, film and clothing.
Planned Experiments include the
Mir Electric Field Characterization
(MEFC) experiment, numerious European Space Agency's
life sciences experiments, the Queen's University Experiment in Liquid
Diffusion (QUELD) experiment, the Optizone Liquid Phase Sintering
Experiment (OLIPSE) and a Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Get Away
Special (GAS) payload
Trapped Ions in Space (TRIS) experiment.
will measure low-energy particle radiation in the inner magnetosphere.
Another experiment conducted on Mir during
STS-76 will be the
Mir Wireless Network Experiment
(WNE) which was launched on
November 1995. It will test the first wireless client-server network
in the space environment.
The mission will also include KidSat, a prototype of
cameras and instruments that allows students in grades Kindergarden to
Grade 12 (K-12) to see and direct the capture of pictures from space.
Mission Specialists Godwin and
Clifford are also scheduled to perform a
six-hour spacewalk on flight day six. They will attach four
experiments, known collectively as the
Mir Environmental Effects
Payload MEEP, onto handrails located on the
Mir Docking Module.
These experiments include the Polished Plate Micrometeoriod Debris
(PPMD) experiment, the Orbital Debris Collector (ODC) experiment, and
the Passive Optical Samples (POSA) I and II experiments.
- Launch March 22, 1996 at 3:13:04 a.m. EST. Launch Window was 7 min.
- The countdown began at the
T-43 hour mark at 2 a.m. Monday, March 18, 1996.
was conducted from Firing Room 1 of the
Launch Control Center
(LCC) and included 30 hours and 33 minutes of build-in holds.
The launch countdown proceeded
smoothly and launch occured exactly on time at the start of the
available window. During
the only problem noted was a small
leak of hydraulic fluid from the
hydraulic system powered by
APU # 3.
STS-76 MCC Status Report # 1)
- Post flight inspections of the
mobile launcher platform
Pad 39-B revealed a 63 foot long crack on one of the
MLP steel plates
running from the north end of the left-hand flamehole to the north end
of the MLP surface.
Cracks are sometimes found and easily repaired on
the MLPs following launch operations. No impact to later scheduled
launches is expected. MLP-3 will next be used for Mission
- On 3/20/96, the
Rotating Service Structure
(RSS) at Launch Pad-39B was
rolled back and
external tank fueling operations were set to begin for a
launch at 3:34am EST 3/21/96. However, there were high winds and rough
seas in the launch area which would violate
RTLS constraints at the
Shuttle Landing Facility. Weather forecasts showed only a 20% chance of
The shuttle mission management team decided at 6:45pm
to delay the launch 24 hours
with a new T-0 at 3:12 a.m. EST on 3/22/96.
- The Payload interface verification tests were completed 3/12/96 and
the payload bay doors
closed for fight. The Flight Readiness Review
and the mission management team
selected March 21, 1996 as the official
SPACEHAB single module has been installed into the payload bay and
connected to the tunnel adapter. The Space Shuttle main engine flight
readiness test was conducted 3/1/96. The Helium signature test was done
on 3/4/96. The STS-76
crew arrived at KSC 3/3/96 at about 8 p.m. for the
Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT) with a simulated engine
cut-off at 11am 3/6/96.
- On 11/27/95, Post flight access was being established.
bay doors were opened in preparation for removing the
System data analysis is complete with no issues or concerns.
- Altitude: 160 nm
- Inclination: 51.6 degrees
- Orbits: 145 (estimated)
- Duration: 9 days, 5 hours, 16 minutes, 48 seconds.
- Distance: 3.8 million miles (estimated)
- SRB: BI-79
- ET : SN-77
- MLP : 3
- SSME-1: SN-2035
- SSME-2: SN-2109
- SSME-3: SN-2019
- Edwards AFB March 31, 1996 at 8:28:57 a.m. EST. Runway 22.
Conditions at EAFB were clear and calm with no weather concerns.
Landing was 11min before daylight at 5:29am local time which
under flight rules is considered a daylight landing. The
fired at 7:24 a.m EST. Atlantis
executed a 275degree left overhead
turn into the landing strip and twin sonic booms were heard at Edwards
3min before landing. Main Gear Touchdown at 9 days 5 hours 15 min 53 sec
or 8:28:57 EST. Nose gear touchdown at a MET of 9 days 5 hrs 15 min 4 sec
or 8:29:08 EST and wheels stop at 9 days 5 hours 16 min 48 sec or 8:29:52 EST.
- Time critical science experiments were removed while
on the runway and the orbiter
was towed from the runway at 5:35pm EST.
Towing was completed by 7:23pm EST.
Residual cryogenic reactants were offloaded and technicians entered the
aft main engine compartment to inspect the
- The decision to aim Atlantis
toward the one-day-early landing in
Florida was made by shuttle managers on 3/28/96. KSC was the only
landing site considered for Saturday, 3/30/96 however the landing
opportunities were waived off due to trends of clouds forming to the
south of the Shuttle Landing Facility.
KSC landings on Sunday
3/31/96 would have required a
on orbit 143 at 5:57am EST
or 7:33am EST and led to landings at either 7:00am EST or 8:29am EST.
The KSC landings were waived off due to weather.
- Three landing opportunities existed for a Sunday landing at Edwards
Air Force Base on orbits 144, 145 and 146. The three Edwards
opportunities were: an orbit 144
deorbit burn at 7:25 a.m. EST with a
8:29 a.m. EST landing; an orbit 145
deorbit at 9:02 EST a.m. landing
at 10:06 EST; and an orbit 146 engine firing at 10:38 EST a.m. landing
at 11:42 a.m.
- Weather conditions Sunday at KSC were a concern. Early morning ground
fog, scattered clouds at 1000 ft and thunderstorms within 30 miles of
the landing strip. Weather at Edwards Air Force Base was predicted to
be acceptable on Sunday. A total of five opportunities were present
for a Sunday landing, two to KSC and three to Edwards.
- After the landing opportunity on Saturday was waived off, the crew
was given the go to open
payload bay doors. Latches 5 thru
8 on the doors released (starboard side) but latches 9-12 on the
starbord side not release. The latching system consists of 16
bulkhead latches (eight
aft and eight forward)
and 16 payload bay door
centerline latches. Astronaut Linda Godwin
inspected the latches thru
the payload bay door windows and the SPACEHAB windows and reported
that the latches appeared to be open. The
astronauts manually commanded the latches to open and the
payload bay doors
opened as expected.
- On 4/6/96, the
Atlantis, bolted atop the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft
(SCA), aborted its departure from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. after
being airborne for only 15 min. The orbiter/SCA departed
EAFB at 4:55 EST
en route back to Kennedy Space Center, but about 5 minutes after departure,
the flight crew of the SCA observed a fire warning indicator light for
engine No. 3, the right inboard engine. Pilots Gordon Fullerton and Tom
McMurtry shut down the engine and returned to Edwards on the remaining
three engines without further incident. The engine was replaced and
the SCA carrying Atlantis arrived at KSC on 4/12/96
Last Mission STS-75
Next Mission STS-77
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