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astronautix.com SPAS

STS-7
STS-7
Challenger's RMS arm grasps SPAS-01 during proximity operations

Credit: NASA. 62,043 bytes. 487 x 401 pixels.


Other Designations: Shuttle Pallet Satellite). Class: Military. Type: SDI. Nation: USA. Manufacturer: MBB.

The SPAS (Shuttle Pallet Satellite) satellite was a reusable free-flying vehicle built by Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm.which could be deployed and then retrieved by the US Space Shuttle's Remote Manipulator System arm. The original SPAS, with materials processing and SDI-related sensor payloads, was used on several missions (STS-7, STS-11, STS-39). An experiment-carrying truss (USS) based on the original SPAS structure (but without the avionics and attitude control) was flown on the Spacelab D-1 and D-2 missions.


STS-7STS-7 - Full view of Challenger in space taken by the SPAS satellite

Credit: NASA. 50,372 bytes. 591 x 379 pixels.


ORFEUS-SPAS, the Orbiting and Retrievable Far and Extreme UV Spectrometer, was a German astronomical satellite. It was be deployed by the shuttle remote manipulating system arm and retrieved after six days of free flight. The main instrument was a 1 meter telescope with extreme ultraviolet (400-1150 Angstroms) and far ultraviolet (900-1250 Angstrom) spectrometers of high spectral resolution. Also carried was the Princeton Interstellar Medium Absorption Profile Spectrograph which studied the fine structure of ultraviolet absorption lines in stellar spectra caused by interstellar gas. The ORFEUS program was managed by the German space agency.

CRISTA-SPAS, equipped for observation of the earth's atmosphere, was flown on two missions.



STS-7STS-7 - Full views of Challenger in space taken by the SPAS satellite

Credit: NASA. 59,606 bytes. 612 x 466 pixels.


Specification

Total Mass: 3,230 kg.


SPAS Chronology


18 June 1983 SPAS-01 Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. Perigee: 295 km. Apogee: 300 km. Inclination: 28.5 deg.

Ten experiments mounted on Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS-01) performed research in forming metal alloys in microgravity and use of remote sensing scanner. Orbiter's small control rockets fired while SPAS-01 held by remote manipulator system to test movement on extended arm.


03 February 1984 SPAS 1A Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Shuttle.


STS-7STS-7 - Full views of Challenger in space taken by the SPAS satellite

Credit: NASA. 33,078 bytes. 600 x 436 pixels.


German-built Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS), first flown on STS-7, became first satellite refurbished and flown again. SPAS remained in payload bay due to electrical problem with Remote Manipulator System (RMS).
28 April 1991 SPAS-II Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. Perigee: 248 km. Apogee: 263 km. Inclination: 57.0 deg.

Shuttle Pallet Satellite-II (SPAS-II) experiments were carried out on this classified mission. No details on whether SPAS was released or nature of experiments.


12 September 1993 ORFEUS-SPAS Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. Mass: 3,202 kg. Perigee: 301 km. Apogee: 331 km. Inclination: 28.5 deg.

Deployed from STS-51.


03 November 1994 CRISTA-SPAS Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. Mass: 3,260 kg.

Released by STS-66 11/4/94; retrieved 11/12/95; atmospheric research.


07 August 1997 CRISTA Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. Perigee: 282 km. Apogee: 296 km. Inclination: 57.0 deg.

Recaptured August 16.



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .