|Shuttle Orbiter - Shuttle Orbiter side view|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 1,859 bytes. 402 x 158 pixels.
Atlantis, the forth orbiter to become operational at Kennedy Space Center, was named after the primary research vessel for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts from 1930 to 1966. Empty Weight was 151,315 lbs at rollout and 171,000 lbs with main engines installed.
Craft.Crew Size: 7. Design Life: 9 days. Orbital Storage: 30.00 days. Total Length: 37.2 m. Maximum Diameter: 23.8 m. Total Habitable Volume: 71.50 m3. Total Mass: 104,328 kg. Total Payload: 24,990 kg. Total Propellants: 21,600 kg. Total RCS Impulse: 954,000.00 kgf-sec. Primary Engine Thrust: 24,213 kgf. Main Engine Propellants: N2O4/MMH. Main Engine Isp: 316 sec. Total spacecraft delta v: 700 m/s. Electric system: 14.00 total average kW. Electric System: 3,100.00 total kWh. Electrical System: Fuel Cells.
Upgrades and Features
Atlantis benefited from lessons learned in the construction and testing of Enterprise, Columbia and Challenger. At rollout, its weight was some 6,974 pounds less than Columbia. The Experience gained during the Orbiter assembly process also enabled Atlantis to be completed with a 49.5 percent reduction in man hours (compared to Columbia). Much of this decrease can be attributed to the greater use of thermal protection blankets on the upper orbiter body instead of tiles. During the construction of Discovery and Atlantis, NASA opted to have the various contractors manufacture a set of 'structural spares' to facilitate the repair of an Orbiter if one was damaged during an accident. This contract was valued at $389 million and consisted of a spare aft-fuselage, mid-fuselage, forward fuselage halves, vertical tail and rudder, wings, elevons and a body flap. These spares were later assembled into the orbiter Endeavour. Atlantis was shipped to California to undergo upgrades and modifications. These modifications include a drag chute, new plumbing lines that configure the orbiter for extended duration, more than 800 new heat protection tiles and blankets and new insulation for the main landing gear doors, structural mods to the Atlantis airframe. Altogether, 165 modifications were made to Atlantis over the 20 months it spent in Palmdale, California.
|STS-51-J - Liftoff of first flight of Atlantis and the STS 51-J mission|
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01/29/79 Contract Award
03/03/80 Start structural assembly of Crew Module
11/23/81 Start structural assembly of aft-fuselage
06/13/83 Wings arrive at Palmdale from Grumman
12/02/83 Start of Final Assembly
04/10/84 Completed Final Assembly
03/06/85 Rollout from Palmdale
04/03/85 Overland transport from Palmdale to Edwards
04/09/85 Delivery to Kennedy Space Center
09/05/85 Flight Readiness Firing
10/03/85 First Flight (51-J)
Manned five crew. Atlantis (first flight); deployed USA 11, USA 12. Reusable space transportation system.
Orbits of Earth: 63. Landed at: Runway 23 dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, . Touchdown miss distance: 754.00 m. Landing Rollout: 2,455.00 m. Payloads: Classified DoD Mission - Record altitude (as of 5/93). Additional Details: STS-51-J.
|STS-51-J - Landing of the Shuttle Atlantis and the end of the STS 51-J mission|
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Released from STS 61B 11/30/85; shuttle autopilot software test target. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C).
Began EASE/ACCESS (Assembly of Structures / Assembly Concept for Construction of Erectable Space Structures) structural assembly experiments.
Completed EASE/ACCESS (Assembly of Structures / Assembly Concept for Construction of Erectable Space Structures) structural assembly experiments.
|STS-51-J - Landing of the Shuttle Atlantis and the end of the STS 51-J mission|
Credit: NASA. 31,174 bytes. 399 x 399 pixels.
Planned shuttle mission for deployment of Hubble space telescope. Cancelled after Challenger disaster.
Planned shuttle mission for deployment of commercial communications satellites. Would have launched the first American journalist in space from Launch Complex 39B. Cancelled after Challenger disaster.
Planned shuttle mission for deployment of commercial communications satellites. Cancelled after Challenger disaster.
Planned shuttle mission. Cancelled after Challenger disaster.
|STS-27 - STS-27 Atlantis, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 104, liftoff|
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Planned SLS-2 shuttle mission. Cancelled after Challenger disaster.
Manned five crew. Deployed a classified payload. Orbits of Earth: 68. Landed at: Runway 17 dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, . Landing Speed: 359 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 447.00 m. Landing Rollout: 2,171.00 m. Payloads: DoD Mission. Additional Details: STS-27.
|STS-27 - STS-27 Atlantis, OV-104, crewmembers repair 3/4 inch video reel on middeck|
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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. Additional Details: STS-34.
|STS-30 - STS-30 Atlantis, OV-104, lifts off from KSC LC Pad 39B|
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Manned five crew. Deployed a classified payload. Landed at: Runway 23 dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, . Landing Speed: 368 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 494.00 m. Landing Rollout: 2,407.00 m. Payloads: DoD Mission - Record altitude (through 5/93). Additional Details: STS-36.
|STS-30 - STS-30 Magellan spacecraft & IUS deployment from Atlantis' payload bay (PLB)|
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Manned five crew. Unscheduled EVA to manually deploy the Gamma-Ray Observatory's high-gain antenna, which failed to deploy upon ground command. Payloads: Gamma-Ray Observatory (GRO), Crew/ Equipment Translation Aids (part of Extravehicular Activity Development Flight Experiment), Ascent Particle Monitor (APM), Bioserve Instrumentation Technology Associates Materials Dispersion Apparatus (BlMDA), Protein Crystal Growth (PCG)-Block Il, Space Station Heatpipe Advanced Radiator Element (SHARE)-ll, Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX)-ll, Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME)-lIl, Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) Calibration Test. Additional Details: STS-37.
|STS-30 - STS-30 Magellan spacecraft & IUS deployment from Atlantis' payload bay (PLB)|
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Manually deployed Gamma-Ray Observatory's high-gain antenna.
Tested CETA (Crew / Equipment Translation Aids - rail with cart for moving astronauts around exterior of International Space Station).
Manned five crew. Deployed TDRS 5 satellite. Payloads: Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)-E/lnertial Upper Stage (lUS), Space Station Heatpipe Advanced Radiator Element (SHARE)-ll, Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SSBUV) instrument 03, Optical Communications Through the Shuttle Window (OCTW), Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) Calibration Test, Auroral Photography Experiment (APE)-B, Bioserve-lnstrumentation Technology Associates Materials Dispersion Apparatus (BlMDA)-02, Investigations Into Polymer Membrane Processing (IPMP)-03, Protein Crystal Growth Ill Block Il, Space Acceleration Measure-ment System (SAMS), Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE)-02, Tank Pressure Control Experiment (TPCE). Additional Details: STS-43.
|STS-30 - STS-30 Atlantis, OV-104, glides toward landing at EAFB, California|
Credit: NASA. 31,567 bytes. 608 x 455 pixels.
Manned six crew. Deployed Defense Support Program satellite. Payloads: Defense Support Program satellite/ Inertial Upper Stage, Interim Operational Contamination Monitor, Terra Scout, Military Man in Space, Shuttle Activation Monitor, Cosmic Radiation Effects and Activation Monitor, Radiation Monitoring Equipment Ill, Air Force Maui Optical Site Calibration Test, Ultraviolet Plume Instrument, Visual Function Tester 1. Additional Details: STS-44.
|STS-34 - STS-34 Atlantis, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 104, lifts off from KSC LC Pad 39B|
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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). Additional Details: STS-46.
|STS-36 - STS-36 Atlantis, OV-104, rollout is framed in a VAB door opening at KSC|
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Carried Atlas-3 laboratory; deployed and retrieved CRISTA-SPAS. Payloads: Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science (ATLAS) 3, Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescopes for the Atmo-sphere (CRISTA)-Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS) 1, Experiment of the Sun for Complement-ing the ATLAS Payload for Education (ESCAPE) II, Inter-Mars Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter (ITEPC), Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SSBUV) A, Physiological and Anatomical Rodent Experiment (PARE/NIH-R), Protein Crystal Growth (PCG-TES and PCG-STES), Space Tissue Loss (STL/NIH-C-A), Shuttle Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS), Heat Pipe Performance (HPP). Additional Details: STS-66.
|STS-36 - Aerial view of STS-36 Atlantis, OV-104, at KSC LC Pad 39A with T-38A inflight|
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Mir Expedition EO-19. Transferred Budarin, Solovyov to Mir, returned Soyuz TM-21 crew to Earth. After undocking from Mir on July 4, Atlantis spent several days on orbit, carrying out medical research work with the Spacelab-Mir module in the cargo bay. Payloads: Shuttle/Mir Mission 1, Spacelab-Mir, IMAX camera, Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX). Additional Details: STS-71.
|STS-36 - STS-36 Atlantis, OV-104, lifts off from KSC LC Pad 39A into darkness|
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Shuttle-Mir Mission 3. Docked with the Mir space station 24 March 1996; Shannon Lucid was left on Mir for an extended stay. First American EVA on Mir. Payloads: SPACEHAB/Mir 03; KidSat; Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) II, Configuration M; RME 1304óMir/ Environmental Effects Payload (MEEP); orbiter docking system RME 1315; Trapped Ions in Space Experiment (TRIS); Extravehicular Activity Development Flight Test (EDFT) 04. Additional Details: STS-76.
|STS-36 - STS-36 Commander Creighton skis on the middeck of Atlantis, OV-104|
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On September 19 Atlantis docked with the Russian Mir space station. Aboard Atlantis in the payload bay were the Orbiter Docking System, the modified Long Tunnel, and the Spacehab Double Module, containing supplies for the Mir. Astronaut John Blaha relieved Shannon Lucid as NASA resident on the complex. Atlantis undocked from the Mir complex on September 23 at 23:33 GMT. Valeriy Korzun, Aleksandr Kaleri and John Blaha remain on Mir. On September 26 Atlantis closed its payload bay doors, and at 11:06 GMT fired its OMS engines for a three minute long deorbit burn. After entry interface at 11:42 GMT the spaceship flew across Canada and the US for a landing at the Kennedy Space Center's Runway 15 at 12:13 GMT. Additional Details: STS-79.
|STS-36 - STS-36 Atlantis, OV-104, glides above EAFB Runway 23 prior to landing|
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After a night launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis, the Shuttle docked with Mir at 03:55 GMT on January 14. STS-81 transferred 2,715 kg of equipment to and from the Mir, the largest transfer of items to that date. During the docked phase, 640 kg of water, 515 kg of U.S. science equipment, 1,000 kg of Russian logistics, and 120 kg of miscellaneous material were transferred to Mir. Returned to Earth aboard Atlantis were 570 kg of U.S. science material, 405 kg of Russian logistics and 98 kg of miscellaneous material. At 02:16 GMT January 19, Atlantis separated from Mir after picking up John Blaha, who had arrived aboard STS-79 on September 19, 1996, and dropping off Jerry Linenger, who was to stay aboard Mir for over four months. The Shuttle backed off along the -RBAR (i.e. toward the Earth) to a distance of 140 m before beginning a flyaround at 02:31 GMT. Most of the flyaround was at a distance from Mir of 170 m. The first 'orbit' around Mir was complete at 03:15, and the second was completed at 04:02 GMT. Then the Orbiter fired its jets to drift away from the orbit of Mir. NASA's first Shuttle mission of 1997 came to a close with a landing at the Kennedy Space Center at 14:22 GMT on January 22 (after the first opportunity was waved off due to cloud cover at the Cape). Additional Details: STS-81.
|STS-38 - STS-38 Atlantis, OV-104, lifting off from KSC LC Pad during night launch|
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Atlantis blasted off on a night launch to Mir, docking with the station on May 17 at 02:33 GMT. Jerry Linenger, who had begun his stay on Mir in mid-January aboard STS-81, would return aboard STS-84. Michael Foale would be left at the station for his stint as the American crew member of Mir. The crew transfered to Mir 466 kg of water, 383 kg of U.S. science equipment, 1,251 kg of Russian equipment and supplies, and 178 kg of miscellaneous material. Returned to Earth aboard Atlantis were 406 kg of U.S. science material, 531 kg of Russian logistics material, 14 kg of ESA material and 171 kg of miscellaneous material. Atlantis undocked from Mir at 01:04 GMT on May 22. After passing up its first landing opportunity due to clouds over the landing site, the Shuttle fired its OMS engines on the deorbit burn at 12:33 GMT on May 24. Atlantis landed at 13:27 GMT at Kennedy Space Center's runway 33. Additional Details: STS-84.
|STS-38 - STS-38 Atlantis, OV-104, lifts off from KSC LC Pad during night launch|
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Atlantis was launched on a mission to the Russian Mir space station. The TI rendevous terminal initiation burn was carried out at 17:32 GMT on September 27, and Atlantis docked with the SO (Docking Module) on the Mir complex at 19:58 GMT. The crew exchange was completed on September 28, with David Wolf replacing Michael Foale on the Mir crew. On October 1 cosmonaut Titov and astronaut Parazynski conducted a spacewalk from the Shuttle payload bay while Atlantis was docked to Mir. They retrieved four MEEP (Mir Environmental Effects Payload ) exposure packages from Mir's SO module and installed the Spektr solar array cap. The MEEP experiments had been attached to the Docking Module by astronauts Linda Godwin and Rich Clifford during Shuttle mission STS-76 in March 1996. In addition to retrieving the MEEP, Parazynski and Titov were to continue an evaluation of the Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER), a small jet-backpack designed for use as a type of life jacket during station assembly.
Atlantis undocked from Mir at 17:28 GMT on October 3 and conducted a flyaround focused on the damaged Spektr Module to determine the location of the puncture in its hull. The Mir crew pumped air into the Spektr Module using a pressure regulator valve, and the Shuttle crew observed evidence that, as expected, the leak seemed to be located at the base of the damaged solar panel. Final separation of Atlantis from Mir took place around 20:28 GMT. After two landing attempts were waved off on October 5 due to heavy cloud cover, the crew fired the engines to deorbit at 20:47 GMT on October 6 and landed at Kennedy Space Center at 21:55. Additional Details: STS-86.
Objective of mission STS-101 was repair, resupply and construction tasks aboard the international space station. This was the first launch with new electronic cockpit displays and other upgrades. The solid boosters separated at 10:13 GMT and the main engines cutoff at 10:19 GMT. The external tank, ET-102 then separated, with both orbiter and ET-102 in a 52 x 320 km initial orbit. At 10:54 GMT the OMS engines fired to raise perigee to 159 x 329 km x at 51.6 deg. Atlantis docked with the International Space Station's PMA-2 docking adapter on the Unity node at 04:31 GMT on May 21. At that time the ISS was in a 332 x 341 km orbit.
On May 22 mission specialists Jeff Williams and James carried out external maintenance work on the ISS.
On May 23 at 00:03 GMT the Atlantis crew opened the first hatch to PMA-2 and entered the Station. The crew replaced a set of batteries in Zarya, installed fans and ducting to improve airflow, and delivered supplies and equipment. Three hour-long orbit raising burns on May 24 and 25 by the RCS engines on Atlantis raised the station to a 372 x 380 km x 51.6 deg orbit.
The STS-101 crew left the station on May 26, closing the PMA-2 hatch at 08:08 GMT and undocking at 23:03 GMT. Atlantis performed a 180 degree flyaround of the station and departed the vicinity around 23:44 GMT.
Atlantis closed its payload bay doors around 02:30 GMT on May 29 and fired the OMS engines for deorbit at 05:12 GMT. The vehicle landed on RW15 at Kennedy Space Center at 06:20 GMT. Atlantis was to be turned around for the next ISS shuttle flight, STS-106.
Left in orbit was the renovated International Space Station, equipped with an upgraded electrical system, new fans, filters, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and communications gear. Additional Details: STS-101.
Atlantis was launched from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39B. Solid rocket boosters RSRM-75 and external tank ET-103 were used to loft the orbiter into space. The inital orbit of 72 x 328 km x 51.6 deg was circularised by the Shuttle's OMS engines at apogee.
Atlantis docked with the PMA-2 adapter on the International Space Station at 05:51 GMT on September 10. The orbiter's small RCS engines were used to gently reboost the station's orbit several times.
Astronauts Lu and Malenchenko made a spacewalk on September 11 beginning at 04:47 GMT. They rode the RMS arm up to Zvezda and began installing cables, reaching a distance of 30 meters from the airlock when installing Zvezda's magnetometer. Total EVA duration was 6 hours 21 minutes.
During their 12-day flight, the astronauts spent a week docked to the International Space Station during which they worked as movers, cleaners, plumbers, electricians and cable installers. In all, they spent 7 days, 21 hours and 54 minutes docked to the International Space Station, outfitting the new Zvezda module for the arrival of the Expedition One crew later this fall.
The Shuttle undocked from ISS at 03:44 GMT on September 18 and made two circuits of the station each lasting half an orbit, before separating finally at 05:34 GMT. The payload bay doors were closed at 04:14 GMT on September 20 and at 06:50 GMT the OMS engines ignited for a three minute burn lowering the orbit from 374 x 386 km x 51.6 deg to 22 x 380 km x 51.6 deg. After entry interface at 07:25 GMT, the orbiter glided to a landing on runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center with main gear touchdown at 07:56:48 GMT for a mission duration of 283 hr 11min. Additional Details: STS-106.