In addition to his main fields of science and engineering, he worked for 2-1/2 years as a house manager in an experimental community residence for de-institutionalizing chronic mental patients, and was heavily involved as an instructor/advisor with a rehabilitation program for hispanic drug abusers in Massachusetts.
Dr. Chang-Díaz was instrumental in implementing closer ties between the astronaut corps and the scientific community. In January 1987, he started the Astronaut Science Colloquium Program and later helped form the Astronaut Science Support Group, which he directed until January 1989.
STS 61-C (January 12-18, 1986) which launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on the Space Shuttle Columbia. STS 61-C was a 6-day flight during which Dr. Chang-Díaz participated in the deployment of the SATCOM KU satellite, conducted experiments in astrophysics, and operated the materials processing laboratory MSL-2. Following 96 orbits of the Earth, Columbia and her crew made a successful night landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Mission duration was 146 hours, 3 minutes, 51 seconds.
On STS-34 (October 18-23, 1989), the crew aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis successfully deployed the Galileo spacecraft on its journey to explore Jupiter, operated the Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Instrument (SSBUV) to map atmospheric ozone, and performed numerous secondary experiments involving radiation measurements, polymer morphology, lightning research, microgravity effects on plants, and a student experiment on ice crystal growth in space. STS-34 launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Mission duration was 119 hours and 41 minutes and was accomplished in 79 orbits of the Earth.
STS-46 (July 31-August 8, 1992), was an 8-day mission during which crew members deployed the European Retrievable Carrier (EURECA) satellite, and conducted the first Tethered Satellite System (TSS) test flight. Mission duration was 191 hours, 16 minutes, 7 seconds. Space Shuttle Atlantis and her crew launched and landed at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, after completing 126 orbits of the Earth in 3.35 million miles.
STS-60 (February 3-11, 1994), was the first flight of the Wake Shield Facility (WSF-1), the second flight of the Space Habitation Module-2 (Spacehab-2), and the first joint U.S./Russian Space Shuttle mission on which a Russian Cosmonaut was a crew member. During the 8-day flight, the crew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery conducted a wide variety of biological materials science, earth observation, and life science experiments. STS-60 launched and landed at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The mission achieved 130 orbits of Earth in 3,439,705 miles.
STS-75 (February 22 to March 9, 1996), was a 15-day mission with principal payloads being the reflight of the Tethered Satellite System (TSS) and the third flight of the United States Microgravity Payload (USMP-3). The TSS successfully demonstrated the ability of tethers to produce electricity. The TSS experiment produced a wealth of new information on the electrodynamics of tethers and plasma physics before the tether broke at 19.7 km, just shy of the 20.7 km goal. The crew also worked around the clock performing combustion experiments and research related to USMP-3 microgravity investigations used to improve production of medicines, metal alloys, and semiconductors. The mission was completed in 252 orbits covering 6.5 million miles in 377 hours and 40 minutes.
Manned seven crew. Launched Satcom K1. Payloads: Deploy SATCOM (RCA-Satellite Communi-cations) Ku-1 with Payload Assist Module (PAM)-D II. Materials Science Laboratory, Comet Halley Active Monitoring Experiment (CHAMP), Hitchhiker (HH) Goddard (G)-1, thirteen getaway specials (GAS), student experiment, Initial Blood Storage Equipment (lBSE), Characterization of Space Motion Sickness (SMS).
Manned five crew. Deployed Galileo .Payloads: Deploy IUS with Galileo spacecraft. Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SSBUV), Polymer Morphology (PM) experiments, IMAX camera project, Mesoscale Lightning Experiment (MLE), Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) experiment, Growth Hormone Concentration and Distribution (GHCD) in Plants experiment, Sensor Technology Experiment (STEX), SSIP Student Experiment (SE) 82-15, Ice Crystals Experiment. First flight at this inclination.
Manned seven crew. Deployed Eureca-1; failed to deploy Italian tether probe TSS-1. Payloads: Tethered Satellite System (TSS)-1; European Retrievable Carrier (EURECA)-1L; Evaluation of Oxygen Integration with Materials (EOlM)-lll/ Thermal Energy Management Processes (TEMP)-2A; Consortium for Materials Development In Space Complex Autonomous Payloads (CONCAP)-ll and Ill; IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC); Limited Duration Space Environment Candidate Materials Exposure (LDCE); Pituitary Growth Hormone Cell Function (PHCF); Ultravio-let Plume Instrument (UVPl).
Deployed ODERACS A-F, Bremsat, carried Wake Shield Facility. Payloads: Wake Shield Facility (WSF) 1 and SPACEHAB 02. Getaway special bridge assembly experiments: Capillary Pumped Loop (CAPL), Orbital Debris Radar Calibration Spheres (ODERACS), University of Bremen Satellite (BREMSAT), G-514, G-071, and G-536. Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) II; Auroral Photography Experiment (APE-B).
Carried TSS-1R tether satellite; satellite tether broke during deployment, making TSS-1R an unintentional free flyer
Payloads: Tethered Satellite System (TSS) Reflight (1R); Orbital Acceleration Research Experiment (OARE) (part of United States Microgravity Payload 3); USMP-3; Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG) 09, Block IV; Middeck Glovebox Experiment (MGBX) (part of USMP-3). During the deployment of TSS, the tether broke and the satellite was lost.
The final shuttle-Mir mission, STS-91 recovered NASA astronaut Andy Thomas from the Mir station and took Russian space chief and ex-cosmonaut Valeri Ryumin to Mir for an inspection tour of the ageing station. This was the first test of the super lightweight Aluminium-Lithium alloy external tank, designed to increase shuttle payload to the Mir / International Space Station orbit by 4,000 kg. At 22:15 GMT Discovery entered an initial 74 x 324 km x 51.6 deg orbit, with the OMS-2 burn three quarters of an hour later circulising the chase orbit. Discovery docked with the SO module on Mir at 17:00 GMT on June 4. NASA equipment was retrieved from the station, and Discovery undocked at 16:01 GMT on June 8, and landed on Runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center at 18:00 GMT on June 12.