- Columbia (23)
- Pad 39-A (62)
- 85th Shuttle Mission
- 23nd Flight OV-102
- KSC Landing (38)
- James D. Halsell (4), Mission Commander
- Susan L. Still (2), Pilot
- Janice E. Voss (4), Payload Commander
- Donald A. Thomas (4), Mission Specialist
- Michael L. Gernhardt (3), Mission Specialist
- Roger Crouch (2), Payload Specialist
- Greg Linteris (2), Payload Specialist
- Flow A -
- OPF-1 -- 12/07/96
- TCDT -- 03/13/97
- Launch -- 04/04/97
- Flow B -
- OPF-1 -- 04/09/97
- VAB -- 06/04/97
- PAD -- 06/11/97 (Estimated)
- TCDT --
This is a reflight of the
STS-83 Microgravity Science Laboratory
MSL was originally launched on April 4, 1997
at 2:20pm EST and was intended to be on orbit
for 15 days, 16 hours.
The mission was cut short due to a problem with Fuel Cell #2 and
Columbia landed on 4/8/97 after 3 days 23 hours.
is a collection of microgravity experiments housed inside
a European Spacelab Long Module (LM).
It builds on the cooperative and
scientific foundation of the International Microgravity Laboratory missions
IML-2 on STS-65),
the United States Microgravity Laboratory
missions (USML-1 on
STS-50 and USML-2 on
(Spacelab-J on STS-47), the
Life and Microgravity Science Mission
and the German Spacelab missions
(D-1 on STS 61-A and D-2 on
MSL features 19 materials science investigations in 4 major
facilities. These facilities are the Large Isothermal Furnace, the
EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to the Space Station
Rack, the Electromagnetic Containerless Processing Facility
and the Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures
(CSLM) facility, the
Droplet Combustion Experiment
(DCE) and the Combustion Module-1 Facility.
Additional technology experiments will also be performed in
the Middeck Glovebox
(MGBX) developed by the Marshall Space Flight Center
(MSFC) and the High-Packed Digital Television (HI-PAC DTV)
system will be used to provide multi-channel real-time analog science
The Large Isothermal Furnace was developed by the Japanese Space Agency
(NASDA) for the STS-47
Spacelab-J mission and was also flown on
STS-65 IML-2 mission. It will house
the Measurement of Diffusion Coefficient by Shear Cell Method Experiment,
the Diffusion of Liquid Metals and Alloys Experiment,
the Diffusion in Liquid Led-Tin-Telluride Experiment,
the Impurity Diffusion in Ionic Melts Experiment,
the Liquid Phase Sintering II Experiment (LIF), and
the Diffusion Processes in Molten Semiconductors Experiment
The Combustion Module-1 Laminar Soot Processes Experiment
and the Structure of
Flame Balls at Low Lewis-number Experiment
The Droplet Combustion Experiment
(DCE) is designed to investigate the
fundamental combustion aspects of single, isolated droplets under different
pressures and ambient oxygen concentrations for a range of droplet sizes
varying between 2 and 5mm. The DCE apparatus is integrated into a single
width MSL Spacelab rack in the cargo bay.
The EXPRESS rack replaces a
Spacelab Double rack and special hardware
will provide the same structural and resource connections the rack will
have on the Space Station. It will house the Physics of Hard Spheres
experiment and the Astro/PGBA Experiment.
The Electromagnetic Containerless Processing
Facility (TEMPUS) is used
for the Experiments on Nucleation in Different Flow Regimes,
Thermophysical Properities of Advanced Materials in the Undercooled
Liquid State Experiment, Measurements of the Surface Tension of Liquid
and Undercooled Metallic Alloys by Oscillating Drop Technique
Experiment, Alloy Undercooling Experiments, the Study of the
Morphological Stability of Growing Dendrites by Comparative Dendrite
Velocity Measuremetns on Pure Ni and Dilute Ni-C Alloy in the
and Space Laboratory Experiment, the Undercooled Melts of Alloys with
Polytetrahedral Short-Range Order Experiment, the Thermal Expansion of
Glass Forming Metallic Alloys in the Undercooled State Experiment, the
AC Calorimetry and Thermophysical Properties of Bulk Glass-Forming
Metallic Liquids experiment and the Measurement of Surface Tension and
Viscosity of Undercooled Liquid Metals experiment.
There will also be experiments on measuring microgravity. They
include the Space Acceleration Measurement System
the Microgravity Measurement Assembly
the Quasi-Steady Acceleration Measurement System and
the Orbital Acceleration Research Experiment
The Middeck Glovebox
(MGBX) facility will support the Bubble and
Drop Nonlinear Dynamics (BDND) Experiment, the Study of the Fundamental
Operation of a Capillary-driven Heat Transfer
(CHT) Device in Microgravity
Experiment, the Internal Flows in a Free Drop (IFFD) experiment and
the Fiber Supported Droplet Combustion experiment
- Launch July 1, 1997 2:02:02 pm EST.
Launch window was 2 hours 30 min.
- On July 1, 1997 at 10:30am, the
astronauts departed the O&C building
for Launch Pad 39-A and arrived at 10:48am.
USAF Weather forcasters
and meteorologists with the Spaceflight Meteorology Group(SMG) at the
Johnson Space Center in Houston closely tracked KSC's weather.
- The crew
checks were performed at 12:17pm EST and the
white room was given the go for to leave the flight deck and prepare
for hatch closure. Countdown clock picked up at
T-20 minute mark and
counting at 13:20pm EST and the close out crew departed LC-39A. At
13:31 the countdown clock entered the hold at the T-9 minute mark.
The only concern was a
launch commit criteria
weather due to a patch of bad weather to the southwest. The
mission management team decided to extend
the hold at the T-9 minute mark
to give time for the Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) to take a closer
look at the weather systems. At 12:52:07 all teams were given a go for
launch and the count came out of the T-5 minute mark at 13:53:00. The
gaseous Oxygen vent hood was retracted at T-2 minutes 57 seconds and
counting. The crew was given the go to close and lock visors and T-0
occured at 14:02:02 EDT.
separation at 2 min 15 seconds and 31
miles downrange. SSME
cutoff at 14:10:44 EDT.
ET separation at
- Previously, on Monday, 6/30/97, hoping to preempt expected afternoon
thunderstorms, NASA managers had decided to move in the launch time
for Columbia by 47 minutes.
The 2 1/2 hour launch window was at
2:37pm EST but was rescheduled to open at 1:50 p.m. The decision to
launch early removed one end of mission daylight landing opportunity
at Edwards Air Force Base, CA, but
still allowed two daylight landing
opportunities at KSC. The
Service Structure was retracted to
the launch position at about 8:30 p.m. and loading of the
with cryogenic propellants began at about 4:47 a.m. on July 1, 1997.
- Loading of the
external tank with cryogenic propellants is scheduled
to begin at about 5:45 a.m. Tuesday. The astronauts will depart the
crew quarters for the launch pad at 11:17 a.m. and begin boarding
Columbia about a half hour later. The hatch will be closed and sealed
at 1:07 p.m., leading to launch at 2:37 p.m. Air Force weather
forecasters are currently indicating a 90 percent probability of
weather prohibiting launch of
Columbia on July 1. The concern is for
thunderstorms and associated rain, wind and lightning. Given the
possibility of severe weather during Tuesday's launch attempt,
managers may elect to postpone the opening of the launch window by up
to two hours. If this option is selected, the decision will be reached
by late Monday afternoon.
- On Sunday, the launch pad was closed for a checkout of the firing
chain and the Space Shuttle onboard ordnance systems. This was
followed by the loading of cryogenic reactants into the onboard fuel
cell storage tanks located beneath the payload bay. The fuel cells
generate power for
Columbia and the Microgravity Science Laboratory
during the 16-day mission. The reactant loading started on schedule at
11 a.m. and because of the extended duration of the mission, it took
approximately 12 hours to complete instead of the usual eight hours.
- On Saturday, 6/28/97, the countdown for the launch of Space Shuttle
Columbia and the reflight of the Microgravity Science Laboratory began
on schedule today at 3 p.m. EDT. The
astronauts arrived at the
Shuttle Landing Facility in their T-38 jet trainers at 12:25 p.m.
- On Wednesday, 6/25/97, at the launch pad, ordnance installation was
completed and testing of the pyrotechnic initiator controllers was
underway. Work to close-out
aft compartment picked-up
and continues through Friday. Installation of the fabricated
"pyro can" assemblies at the orbiter's
external tank attach points
Launch countdown preparations also continue with hypergolic
propellant pressurization in work.
- On Friday, 6/20/97, loading of storable hypergolic propellants
Columbia continued. Tile installation work on the forward
reaction control system was completed, with all 36 tiles bonded to the
vehicle. Bond verification checks will begin after the loading of
hypergolic propellants. In
compartment, work to install
the fabricated "pyro can" assemblies at the orbiter's
attach points concludes Saturday.
- On Thursday, 6/19/97, following the
STS-94 Flight Readiness Review,
NASA managers announced July 1 as the official launch date for
Columbia's reflight of the Microgravity Science Laboratory-1 mission.
- On Tuesday, 6/17/97, work to connect the orbiter's mid-body
umbilical unit, used to load cryogenic reactants aboard the
was completed and tile work on the forward
reaction control system
continued. Of the 36 tiles slated for replacement at the pad, 28 had
been installed. The helium signature leak test was in work and
loading of the storable hypergolic propellants aboard
scheduled for Thursday. Repair work to wiring in avionics bay No. 4
continues through Wednesday.
- On Friday, 6/13/97 The main engine flight readiness test was successfully
completed. Work continued to replace 36
Thermal Protection System tiles
Reaction Control System. Shuttle technicians
raised the concern of possible cracked tiles during routine inspections
of the FRCS. Evaluations of the FRCS tiles on the entire Shuttle
fleet helped engineers decide to replace the tiles with stronger ones.
Preparations began for the hypergolic
loading and repair work to
wiring in avionics bay No. 4 resumed.
- On Tuesday, 6/10/97, in the
Columbia is mated to the external
tank and mating close-outs were in work. Rework on spliced wires in
the Shuttle's avionics bay were underway and electrical evaluations of
a controller check-out unit for
auxiliary power unit No. 2 were also
in work. NASA's plan to eventually use a super lightweight external
fuel tank requires modification to an orbiter's tail service mast.
Columbia's tail service mast underwent retraction tests over the
weekend to assist engineers in that effort. Over the weekend,
additional thermal protection tiles were removed from the orbiter's
reaction control system.
More than 30 suspect tiles have been
removed because of cracks seen during recent inspections. Evaluations
of the FRCS tiles on the other orbiters have resulted in the removal
of several tiles from orbiters
Atlantis. Stronger tiles
will replace those that were removed from each
orbiter and the
Columbia's tile replacement work will be done at the pad.
Managers are working on a plan to complete the tile work in time for
the July 1 launch date.
- On Monday, 6/2/97,
payload bay doors were closed for
flight and the following day technician wrapped up close-out work in
aft compartment and performed
some tile work on nose of
the vehicle. Preparations were in work for the orbiter's move to the
Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) targeted for 6/4/97
at about 11
a.m. The external tank and
solid rocket boosters await
high bay 1 for a hard mate to be completed on Thursday, 6/5/97. Once
in the VAB, wiring work will
continue in the Shuttle's avionics bay 4
and electrical check-outs of an
auxiliary power unit will pick-up.
- On 5/29/97, inspections of
Reaction Control System
cracks in several thermal protective tiles in that
vicinity. Work to replace those tiles will be performed at the pad and
have no impact on the roll out schedule. Due to additional wiring
Columbia's cargo bay,
close-outs continue in the orbiter's
mid-body. The spacelab
transfer tunnel is now scheduled for installation
Friday 5/30/97 and
Columbia's roll to the
Vehicle Assembly Building
will likely occur on June 5.
- On 5/23/97, ammonia servicing was complete. Heat shield installation
continues through the night and the
Water Spray Boiler servicing is in
work. While working close-outs in
Columbia's mid-body, technicians
noted cracks in two fuse holders that are part of the orbiter's power
distribution system. As a result, work to repair a power distribution
assembly and replacement of a power controller assembly will begin
this weekend. The additional work in the mid-body will likely delay
the installation of the
Spacelab transfer tunnel until next week.
Managers are assessing what impact if any the additional work will
have on remaining OPF milestones.
No impact to the overall pad
schedule is expected.
- On 5/20/97, heat shield installation continued as well as work to
connect Auxiliary Power Unit
(APU) fuel lines. Over the weekend,
technicians noted a frayed pyrotechnic cable in the orbiter's cargo
bay. Work continues in the orbiter's midbody to repair a frayed
pyrotechnic cable. The
Spacelab transfer tunnel will be installed on
Friday. Payload technicians are troubleshooting a remote acquisition
- On 4/25/97, On Friday, Shuttle managers officially announced that
Columbia would refly the shortened
mission in early July. For
planning purposes, the reflight mission was internally called
but now has the official designation
STS-94. Replacement of two
reaction control system (FRCS) was
completed. Electrical hook-up work continues on the FRCS in the
Hypergol Maintenance Facility. The FRCS should return to the
early May to be reinstalled on the
orbiter. Postflight work on
auxiliary power units
continues through Tuesday, 4/29/97.
Spacelab reservicing activities also continue.
- On 4/25/97, thruster replacement work continued on
forward Reaction Control System
(RCS) in the Hypergol Maintenace Facility.
The forward RCS should return to the
OPF in early May to be reinstalled
on the orbiter.
Postflight work on Columbia's
Auxiliary Power Units
(APU's) continues through Tuesday.
Spacelab reservicing activities also
booster stacking operations continue in the
Vehicle Assembly Building. Right forward center segment mating
activities are in work today.
- On 4/17/97, fuel cell No. 1 leak checks will conducted. Preparations
continue for main engine removal on Friday 4/18/97 and Saturday
reaction control system functional tests were
completed 4/16/97 and FRCS removal is scheduled for 4/18/97. Removal
of the Spacelab tunnel
is in work and Spacelab reservicing will begin.
In the VAB, the booster segments originally intended
for use on STS-85
are being stacked for use on
STS-83R. Work to mate the left forward
center segment to the left
aft center segment is scheduled for 4/17/97.
The left forward segment should arrive in the
VAB as well.
- Altitude: 184 statute miles
- Inclination: 28.45
- Orbits: 251
- Duration: 15 days, 16 hours, 46 minutes, seconds.
- Distance: 6.2 million miles
- ET :
- MLP : MLP-1
- SSME-1: SN-2037
- SSME-2: SN-2034
- SSME-3: SN-2033
- KSC 7/17/1997 6:47am EDT. Shuttle Landing Facility
Runway 33. Main
Gear Touchdown: 15days 16hours 44min 34sec (6:46:34am EDT), Nose Wheel
Touchdown: 15days 16hours 44min 45sec (6:46:45am EDT). Wheel Stop:
15days 16hours 45min 29sec (6:47:29am EDT).
- A go was given for the
deorbit burn at 5:38am EST
on orbit 250 with
on orbit 251.
The 3min 1sec burn at 05:43 provided a delta
change in velocity of 298.7 ft/sec.
This burn placed Columbia in a
163x12nm orbit and allowed the vehicle to drop out of orbit 4,300
miles from landing site. Weather at the landing strip had a visibility
of 8 miles 2 knot winds with a temperature of 72 degrees and 98 percent
- Weather was expected to be favorable for both landing opportunities,
although the first still had a slight chance
of some pre-dawn ground fog
developing that would not dissipate in time of the decision to land. As the
sun heats the atmosphere, the ground fog dissipates rather quickly
presenting more favorable weather. Had a second opportunity been needed,
landing would have been at 8:22 a.m. EST.
Columbia's next mission is
Last Mission STS-84
Next Mission STS-85
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