Carried United States Microgravity Laboratory. First extended-duration mission. Payloads: United States Microgravity Laboratory (USML)-1; Orbital Acceleration Research Experiment (OARE); Investigations Into Polymer Membrane Processing (IPMP), Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX)-ll; Ultraviolet Plume Instrument (UVPl) .
Orbits of Earth: 221. Distance traveled: 9,266,602 km. Orbiter Liftoff Mass: 116,693 kg. Orbiter Mass at Landing: 103,474 kg. Payload to Orbit: 11,153 kg. Payload Returned: 11,153 kg. Landed at: Runway 33 at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Landing Speed: 387 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 716 m. Landing Rollout: 3,253 m.
Mission Name: STS-50 (48)
Pad 39-A (46)
48th Shuttle mission
12th Flight of OV-102
KSC Landing (10)
Richard N. Richards (3), Commander
Kenneth D. Bowersox (1), Pilot
Bonnie J. Dunbar (3), Payload Commander
Ellen S. Baker (2), Mission Specialist 2
Carl J. Meade (2), Mission Specialist 3
Lawrence J. DeLucas (1), Payload Specialist 1
Eugene H. Trinh (1), Payload Specialist 2
OPF-3 - 2/10/92
VAB - 5/29/92
PAD - 6/3/92
June 25, 1992, 12:12:23 p.m. EDT. Launch delayed 5 minutes due to weather concerns. Launch Weight: 257,265 lbs.
Inclination: 28.45 degrees
Duration: 13 days, 19 hours, 3O minutes, O4 seconds.
Distance: 5,758,000 miles
ET : 45/LWT-38
MLP : 3
July 9, 1992, 7:43 a.m. EDT, Runway 33, Kennedy Space Center, Fla., Rollout distance: 1O,2OO feet. Rollout time: 59 seconds. Drag chute used. Landing diverted to KSC because of bad weather at the primary landing site at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Marked 1Oth Space Shuttle landing at KSC and first for the orbiter COLUMBIA. Mission duration eclipsed all previous U.S. manned space flights except the three flights to the Skylab Space Station in 1973 and 1974. Landing Weight: 228,127 lbs.
Primary payload was the United States Microgravity Laboratory-I (USML-1), a manned Spacelab module with connecting tunnel to the orbiter crew compartment. USML-l was a national effort to advance microgravity research in a broad number of disciplines. The 13-day mission, the first Extended Duration Orbiter flight and the longest Space Shuttle mission to date, also provided new information on the effects of long-term human stay in space. Experiments conducted were: Crystal Growth Furnace (CGF), Drop Physics Module (DPM), Surface Tension Driven Convection Experiment (STDCE), Zeolite Crystal Growth (ZCG), Protein Crystal Growth (PCG), Glovebox Facility (GBX), Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS), Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (GBA), Astroculture-1 (ASC), Extended Duration Orbiter Medical Project (EDOMP), and Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE).
Secondary experiments included Investigation in Polymer Membrane Processing (IPMP), Shuttle amateur Radio Experiment II (SAREX-II), and Ultraviolet Plume Instrument (UVPI). References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 7 .