STS-88 (93)

Endeavour (13)
Pad 39-A (67)
93rd Shuttle Mission
13th Flight OV-105
1st USA Space Station Assembly Flight
KSC Landing (47)
Night Landing (10)


Robert D. Cabana (4), Mission Commander
Frederick W. Sturckow (1), Pilot
Nancy J. Currie (3), Mission Specialist
Jerry L. Ross (6), Mission Specialist
James H. Newman (3), Ph.D, Mission Specialist
Sergei K. Krikalev (4), Mission Specialist (Russia)


VAB -- 10/15/98
PAD -- 10/21/98


Space Station Assembly Flight 2A (ISS-01-2A) / Unity Module (Node 1, PMA1/2), ICBC, SAC-A, MightySat-1, SEM-07, GAS (G-093)

Mission Objectives:

The seven-day mission will be highlighted by the mating of the U.S.-built Node 1 station element to the Functional Energy Block (FGB) which will already be in orbit, and two spacewalks to connect power and data transmission cables between the Node and the FGB. The FGB, built by Boeing and the Russian Space Agency, is scheduled for launch on a Russian Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakstan in November 1997. Node 1 was originally scheduled for Launch December 4, 1997 but was rescheduled for launch in July of 1998.

Node 1 will be the first Space Station hardware delivered by the Space Shuttle. It has two Pressurized Mating Adapters (PMA), one attached to either end. One PMA is permanently mated to the FGB and the other used for orbiter dockings and crew access to the station. Node 1 also will contain an International Standard Payload Rack used to support on-orbit activities once activated after the fifth Shuttle/Station assembly flight.

To begin the assembly sequence, the crew will conduct a series of rendezvous maneuvers similar to those conducted on other Shuttle missions to reach the orbiting FGB. On the way, Currie will use the Shuttle's robot arm to place Node 1 atop the Orbiter Docking System. Cabana will complete the rendezvous by flying Endeavour to within 35 feet of the FGB, allowing Currie to capture the FGB with the robot arm and place it on the Node's Pressurized Mating Adapter.

Once the two elements are docked, Ross and Newman will conduct two scheduled spacewalks to connect power and data cables between the Node, PMAs and the FGB. The day following the spacewalks, Endeavour will undock from the two components, completing the first Space Station assembly mission.

Other payloads on the STS-88 mission will be the IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC), the Argentinean Scientific Applications Satellite-S (SAC-A), the MightySat 1 Hitchhiker payload, the Space Experiment Module (SEM-07) and Getaway Special G-093 sponsored by the University of Michigan.


December 4, 1998 3:35:34 a.m. EST (8:35:34 GMT). 5-10 minute launch window.

On Thursday, December 4, 1998 the launch countdown continued on schedule with only a slight delay in the tart of tanking. The crew departed the Operations and Checkout Building shortly after midnight and proceeded to Pad 39-A. The hatch was closed and locked for flight at approximately 1:10 am EST. At 2:29am EST the countdown clock came out of the hold at the T-minus 20 minute mark beginning the terminal portion of the launch countdown. At 2:41am EST the countdown clock entered a 45 minute hold at the T-minus 9 minute mark. During this time the shuttle launch director conducted a poll of the launch team and all systems were ready for flight. At 3:33am the Orbiter Access Arm was retracted and the command was given to the crew to close and lock their visors. Liftoff occured exactly ontime at 3:35:34am EST (8:34am GMT).

On Wednesday, December 3, 1998 the launch attempt for a 3:58am EST launch was scrubbed at the T-minus 19 second mark after a smooth countdown. After arriving at the pad, the crew proceeded to the 195ft level where one by one, they ingressed into the orbiter. The hatch was closed at 01:56 am EST. At 3:42am EST, in a poll of the launch team by NTD during the T-minus 9 minute mark, all systems were go for launch except a constraint due to RTLS weather. A go was given to come out of the hold as scheduled and countdown to the T-minus 5 minute mark.

At 3:49am EST, a go was given for RTLS weather and the countdown clock proceeded thru the optional hold at the T-minus 5 minute mark. The Orbiter Access Arm (OAA) was retracted at 3:51am EST at T-minus 7 minutes. At T-minus 4 minutes 24 seconds a master alarm in the crew cabin was noted and the countdown clock automatically stopped the clock at a built in hold at the T-minus 4 minute mark. The alarm was due to pressure on Hydraulic System #1 temporarily registering below 2800 psi during its startup transition from low to high.

The launch countdown was then held at the T-31 second mark to further assess the situation. Shuttle system engineers attempted to quickly completed an assessment of the suspect hydraulic system and eventually gave an initial "go" to resume the countdown. With only seconds to respond, launch controllers were unable to resume the countdown clock in time to launch within the allotted remaining indow, which was limited due to liquid oxygen (Lox) drain-back constraints. Managers are discussing the 24-hour launch turn-around plans and are expected to make a final determination later this morning.

On Wednesday, December 2, 1998 Endeavour's inertial measurement units were activated and film installed in numerous cameras on the launch pad. The orbiter's communications systems were activated at 2:30 a.m. and safety personnel conducted debris walk downs. Flight crew equipment late stow began at 6 a.m. and the Rotating Service Structure (RSS) was moved to the park position at around 8 a.m. EST. Loading the external tank with about 500,000 gallons of cryogenic propellants began at about 6:40 p.m and completed by 9:30pm EST..

On Tuesday, December 1, 1998 Shuttle Endeavour's payload bay closeouts were complete and the doors are closed for flight. The orbiter's backup flight systems have been tested and load tests on the Shuttle's data processing system are complete. Loading of cryogenic reactants into Endeavour's power reactant storage and distribution system concluded early this afternoon. The orbiter midbody umbilical unit was demated and retracted into the Fixed Service Structure at Pad 39A. The orbiter's navigation system self tests and main engine final preparations were also completed. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 12/01/1998)

On Monday, November 30, 1998, the crew arrived at the Kennedy Space Center around midnight EST and the launch countdown began on schedule at 7 a.m. in KSC Firing Room 3. Workers finished final payload bay closeouts and the payload bay doors were closed for flight. Air Force weather forecasters are indicating a 60 percent chance that weather could prohibit launch on Dec. 3. The threat of low cloud ceilings and showers are the primary concern.

On Monday, November 23, 1998, Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) managers gathered at KSC for the Flight Readiness Review (FRR). After reviewing Space Shuttle system and ISS topics, managers announced Dec. 3 as the official STS-88 launch date.

On Friday, November 6, 1998, at Launch Pad 39A, the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT) concluded at about 11 a.m. Crew members successfully conducted a launch day dress rehearsal complete with an orbiter crew compartment ingress and simulated main engine cut-off at T-5 seconds. The crew then practiced emergency egress procedures assisted by the KSC close-out crew. The crew departs KSC today at about 2:15 p.m. headed for their homes in Houston, TX. Orbiter inertial measurement unit calibration occurs today and preparations for payload interface verification testing are in work. The Unity connecting module will be installed in the orbiter's cargo

On Thursday, 11/5/98 At Launch Pad 39A, Endeavour's helium signature leak tests and secondary payload tests are complete. Gaseous nitrogen servicing of the orbiter's water spray boiler No. 3 and main engine testing occur this week. The STS-88 flight crew is at KSC to participate in the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test. Crew members are being briefed on orbiter and payload activities, practicing emergency escape procedures and conducting a full dress rehearsal of launch day activities on Friday. The countdown test culminates with a simulated main engine cutoff at 11 a.m. tomorrow. The Unity connecting module will be installed in orbiter's cargo bay Nov. 13.

On Wednesday, October 21, 1998, Shuttle Endeavour is now hard down on Launch Pad 39A. The Shuttle began its 3.4-mile trip from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to the pad at about 2:18 a.m. today. Launch pad validations are under way and tonight workers will conduct a planned hot fire of Endeavour's auxiliary power units No. 1 and No. 3. The Rotating Service Structure will be extended around the vehicle early Thursday morning and main engine flight readiness testing follows later in the day. The Unity Connecting Module payload arrives at the pad Monday for installation in the pad's payload changeout room.

On Thursday, 10/15/98 Endeavour was mounted on the orbiter transfer vehicle yesterday and began first motion to the Vehicle Assembly Building at 6:18 a.m. today. The orbiter is currently located in the VAB transfer aisle and will be mated to the STS-88 external tank and solid rocket boosters in VAB high bay 3 later today. The Shuttle Interface Test will be conducted through Monday and the entire Shuttle stack will roll out to Launch Pad 39A on Wednesday beginning at 7 a.m.

On Monday, 7/6/98, Endeavour's forward multiplexer demultiplexer and its dedicated signal conditioner are being replaced. Corrosion repair on the main engine heat shield attach points continues. Technicians are working to replace a pyrotechnic electrical harness on the orbiter's fire protection system. Testing of Endeavour's power reactant storage and distribution system is scheduled this week.

On Monday, 6/22/98, Endeavour's water spray boiler checks were complete. Connection of the right hand OMS pod oxidizer transfer lines were complete and the fuel transfer lines will be connected later this week. Main engine heat shield attach point rework begins this week and today workers will conduct checks of the fuel cell No. 3 water relief panel.

Node 1 arrived atKennedy Space Center.(KSC) Shuttle Landing Facility aboard an Air Force C-5 air cargo plane on Monday, June 23 at 12:15 a.m. The node will be offloaded from the aircraft at 6 p.m. that evening and transported to the Space Station Processing Facility (SSPF).


Altitude: 173 nm.
Inclination: 51.6
Orbits: 185
Duration: 11 days, 19 hours, 18 minutes, 47 seconds.
Distance: 4.7 million miles


ET : SN-97
SSME-1: SN-2043**A (HPOTP 8021, HPFTP 6014)
SSME-2: SN-2044**A (HPOTP 8014, HPFTP 4116)
SSME-3: SN-2045**A (HPOTP 8023, HPFTP 6015)


December 15, 1998, KSC 10:53 pm EST

At 9:23pm EST the crew of Endeavour was given a "go" for the deorbit burn and the burn occurred on time at 9:48 pm EST. The shuttle was originally scheduled to land on the Shuttle Landing Facility's (SLF) Runway 33, but the decision was made at about 9:00 pm in switch to Runway 15 (North to South). The weather was excellent for landing with few clouds in the area. Sonic booms were heard in the area at 10:50pm EST as Endevour dropped below the speed of sound. At 35,000ft while traveling at 570 mph, the crew performed a 245 degree turn along the Heading Alignment Circle (HAC) to align Endeavour with Runway 15. Winds were from 320 degrees at 5-10mph. Main gear touchdown occured at 10:53:29 pm EST at a mission elapsed time (MET) of 11 days, 19 hours 17 min 55 seconds. Nose Wheel Touchdown occured at at 10:53:38 pm EST (11 days, 19 hours, 18 minutes,4 seconds) and wheel stop at 10:54:21pm EST. (11 days, 19 hours, 18 minutes 47 seconds).

The landing is the 47th landing at Kennedy Space Center. and the 18th consecutive KSC landing. It is also the 10th night landing in the history of the shuttle program, and the 5th KSC night landing.

Mission Highlights:

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