The flight of STS-95 provoked more publicity for NASA than any other flight in years, due to the presence of ex-astronaut Senator John Glenn on the crew, which also included the first Spanish astronaut, Pedro Duque. The US Navy PANSAT student satellite was deployed on Oct 30 into a 550 km x 561 x 28.5 degree orbit. The Spartan 201 satellite was deployed from Discovery on November 1 and retrieved on November 3. Spartan 201 was on its fifth mission to observe the solar corona. The data on this mission would be used to recalibrate the SOHO satellite which recently resumed observation of the Sun following loss of control. Discovery landed at 17:03:31 GMT November 7 on Runway 33 at the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center.
NASA Press Kit - STS-95
Mission Objectives - The primary mission objectives are to successfully perform the planned operations of the four primary payloads: SPACEHAB, HOST, IEH-03, and SPARTAN-201.
Commander: Curtis L. Brown
Pilot: Steven W. Lindsey
Mission Specialist 1: Stephen K. Robinson
Mission Specialist 2: Scott E. Parazynski
Mission Specialist 3: Pedro Duque
Payload Specialist 1: Chiaki Mukai
Payload Specialist 2: John H. Glenn
Orbiter: Discovery OV103
Launch Site: Pad 39-B Kennedy Space Center
Launch Window: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Altitude: 300 nautical miles
Inclination: 28.45 degrees
Duration: 8 Days 21 Hrs. 50 Min.
Shuttle Liftoff Weight: 4,521,918 lbs.
Software Version: OI-26B
Super Light Weight Tank
Abort Landing Sites:
RTLS: Shuttle Landing Facility, KSC
TAL: Banjul, The Gambia; Ben Guerir, Morocco; Moron, Spain
AOA: Edwards Air Force Base, California
Space Shuttle Main Engines
SSME 1: #2048
SSME 2: #2043
SSME 3: #2045
Landing Date: 11/07/98
Landing Time: 11:50 AM (eastern time)
Primary Landing Site: Shuttle Landing Facility, KSC
Orbiter/Payload Weight at Landing: 227,783 lbs.
HST Orbital Systems Test Platform (HOST)
International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker (IEH-3)
Cryogenic Thermal Storage Unit (CRYOTSU)
Space Experiment Module (SEM) - 4
Getaway Special (GAS) Program
Biological Research in Canisters (BRIC)
Electronic Nose (E-NOSE)
More than thirty six years after he made history as the first American to orbit the Earth, Senator John H. Glenn, Jr. will return to space as part of a multi-national crew with the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery in late October. The flight, designated STS-95, will involve more than eighty scientific experiments investigating mysteries that span the realm from the inner universe of the human body to studies of our own Sun and its solar activity
Back on February 20, 1962, when Glenn flew in his Friendship 7 Mercury capsule, the largest mystery facing the young NASA space program was whether humans could even survive in the hostile environment of space. In the 121 space missions since Glenn’s flight during the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Shuttle programs, more than 200 Americans have flown – and thrived – in space. Glenn, who inspired many current astronauts to pursue space flight as a career, continues to inspire people of all generations as he prepares for a return to space.
The wealth of scientific data accumulated during these space flights validate apparent similarities between the effects of space flight and aging. Glenn will be a test subject for specific investigations which mimic the effect of aging, including loss of muscle mass and bone density; disrupted sleep patterns; a depressed immune system; and loss of balance.
Scientific endeavors on the STS-95 mission are not limited to furthering an understanding of the human body, but also will expand our understanding of the closest star to our planet, the Sun, and how it affects life on Earth. The Spartan 201 spacecraft will be released by the crew on the fourth day of the mission and will spend two days flying free studying heating of the solar corona and the acceleration of the solar wind that originates in the corona and how that phenomenon affects activities both in Earth-orbit and on the ground. The Sun drives our weather, and energetic eruptions on the Sun are capable of disrupting satellites, communication and power systems. The Sun also establishes the space environment in which our communications, weather, defense and human spaceflight resources operate. Upon completion of two days of solar observations, Discovery’s crew will haul the spacecraft back into the Shuttle’s cargo bay and return it to Earth.
Six astronomical instruments comprise the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker Experiment (IEH-3) which will be carried in Discovery’s payload bay. These six diverse instruments support a range of experiments including studies of stars, remnants of supernovae, and star formation. Also tucked in the payload bay is a variety of materials and equipment destined for use during the third Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission, currently scheduled for a mid-2000 launch. Referred to as HOST, the Hubble Space Telescope Optical Systems Test payload, will demonstrate that actual electronic and thermo-dynamic equipment scheduled for installation into the Telescope performs acceptably in the radiation and zero gravity environment of space.
Discovery also will carry a Spacehab module to orbit. Inside Spacehab, almost 30 smaller experiments ranging from materials science, to plant growth, to developing new techniques for delivering vital anti-tumor medications, will be conducted by the astronauts. Sponsored by NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, the European Space Agency, and the Japanese Space Agency NASDA, these studies take the best advantage of the unique environment of space to conduct these diverse studies.
The STS-95 mission will be led by 42 year old Curtis L. Brown, Jr. (Lt. Col., USAF), making his fifth space flight. Serving as Pilot will be Steven W. Lindsey (Lt. Col., USAF), 38, making his second flight. There are three astronauts serving as STS-95 mission specialists. Making his second flight is Mission Specialist-1 Stephen K. Robinson (Ph.D.), who is also the STS-95 Payload Commander and who will turn 43 a few days before launch. Serving as the Flight Engineer and Mission Specialist-2 is Dr. Scott E. Parazynski (M.D.), 37, making his third flight. European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Pedro Duque, 35, is Mission Specialsit-3 and is making his first space flight. The two STS-95 payload specialists, 46 year old Dr. Chiaki Mukai (M.D., Ph.D.) from the Japanese Space Agency (NASDA) and Senator John H. Glenn, Jr. (Col., USMC, Ret.), 77, are both making their second space flight.
Discovery is set for launch on October 29 1998, from NASAs Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39-B. The launch time is targeted for 2:00 p.m. EST at the opening of the available 2 ˝ hour launch window. The STS-95 mission is scheduled to last 8 days, 22 hours, 4 minutes. An on-time launch on October 29 and nominal mission duration would have Discovery landing back at Kennedy Space Center at the end of a more than 3 ˝ million mile journey on November 7 just after 12 noon Eastern.
STS-95 will be the 25th flight of Discovery and the 92nd mission flown since the start of the Space Shuttle program in April 1981.