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STS-60 was the first mission of the US/Russian Shuttle-Mir Program, which carried Sergei K. Krikalev, the first Russian cosmonaut to fly aboard a Space Shuttle. The mission used Space Shuttle Discovery, which lifted off from Launch Pad 39A on 3 February 1994 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The mission carried the Wake Shield Facility experiment and a SPACEHAB module into orbit, and carried out a live bi-directional audio and downlink link-up with the cosmonauts aboard the Russian space station Mir.
Discovery is launched on STS-60
|Mission duration||8 days, 7 hours, 9 minutes, 22 seconds|
|Distance travelled||5,535,667 kilometers (3,439,704 mi)|
|Spacecraft||Space Shuttle Discovery|
|Landing mass||97,448 kilograms (214,836 lb)|
|Payload mass||10,231 kilograms (22,555 lb)|
|Members||Charles F. Bolden, Jr.|
Kenneth S. Reightler, Jr.
N. Jan Davis
Ronald M. Sega
Franklin R. Chang-Diaz
Sergei K. Krikalev
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||3 February 1994, 12:10:00UTC|
|Launch site||Kennedy LC-39A|
|End of mission|
|Landing date||11 February 1994, 19:19:22UTC|
|Landing site||Kennedy SLF Runway 15|
|Perigee altitude||348 kilometres (216 mi)|
|Apogee altitude||351 kilometres (218 mi)|
Clockwise from bottom left: Reightler, Chang-Diaz, Sega, Krikalev, Davis, Bolden
|Commander||Charles F. Bolden, Jr.|
Fourth and last spaceflight
|Pilot||Kenneth S. Reightler, Jr.|
Second and last spaceflight
|Mission Specialist 1||N. Jan Davis|
|Mission Specialist 2||Ronald M. Sega|
|Mission Specialist 3||Franklin R. Chang-Diaz|
|Mission Specialist 4||Sergei K. Krikalev, RKA|
After External Tank separation and main engine cutoff, a 2.5 min OMS burn was initiated at 7:52 am EST that circularized Discovery’s orbit from a 40 by 190 nautical mile (74 by 352 kilometres (219 mi)) orbit to 190 by 190 nautical miles (353 by 352 kilometres (219 mi)). Shortly after liftoff, pilot Kenneth S. Reightler Jr. experienced problems with his portable headset. The problem was traced to the Headset Interface Unit (HIU) and that unit was swapped with a flight spare. The payload bay doors were opened and around 8:45 am EST the crew was given a go for on-orbit operations.
Shortly after reaching orbit, the STS-60 crew began checking Discovery’s systems and activating the commercially developed SPACEHAB laboratory module and several of its experiments. The crew also activated one group of the payload bay Getaway Special experiments.
SPACEHAB module experiments that were activated included the Organic Separations payload, which is designed to investigate cell separation techniques for possible pharmaceutical and biotechnology processing, and the Equipment for Controlled Liquid Phase Sintering Experiment package, a furnace designed to explore the possibilities of creating stronger, lighter and more durable metals for use in bearings, cutting tools and electronics. SPACEHAB middeck experiments that were activated included Immune-1, which will look at the immune systems of rats in orbit, and the Commercial Protein Crystal Growth package, which is attempting to grow large, well- ordered protein crystals so that their structures can be more easily studied. The crew sleep period then began at 6:10 pm EST.
At 6:30 am EST on 5 February 1994 Discovery inadvertently flew through a cloud of wastewater ice crystals. Flight controllers determined that approximately one tablespoon of wastewater leaked out of a waste dump nozzle.
The Wake Shield Facility deployment operation was canceled on Saturday. This delay was the result of several factors, including radio interference and an inability to read the Wake Shield's status lights when the orbiter's payload bay is in full sunlight. Deployment originally was scheduled for 10 am CST, but after grappling the free-flyer and lifting it out of the cargo bay and into the pre-deploy position, crew members and investigators on the ground were unable to tell whether power and transmitter status lights were giving the proper indications. After determining that the problem was not a systems failure, but difficulty in reading the status lights, the crew and flight controllers prepared for another release attempt. Interference between the radio transmitter on the Wake Shield Facility and the receiver on its payload bay carrier resulted in a one-day delay.
Wake Shield deployment was also cancelled on Sunday, 6 February 1994 during its orbit 53 opportunity at 12:25 pm WSF and flight controllers worked on problems with the Pitch and Roll sensors on WSF's Attitude, Direction and Control system. Astronaut N. Jan Davis moved the wrist joint on the Remote Manipulator System (RMS) arm to try to point WSF's Horizon Sensor into the Sun in an attempt to warm up the sensor's electronics package. The last deployment opportunity for Sunday was a 50-minute window beginning at 2:23 EST on orbit 54 but WSF was not ready. It was left mounted on the RMS during the crew sleep period while ground controllers considered their options. On its perch at the end of the RMS over night, WSF was able to grow 2 Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) thin films. The next deployment opportunity on 7 February 1994 would have been during orbit 67 but payload controllers and flight controllers determined that there would be insufficient time to safely develop contingency procedures in the event that WSF was unable to maintain stable attitude control without the use of its Horizon Sensor. It was decided that for the remainder of the mission, all WSF operations would take place at the end of the RMS and there would be no WSF free-flying operations on the mission.
On 7 February 1994, work had been progressing in the SPACEHAB module on a number of experiments. These included the Three-Dimensional Microgravity Accelerometer (3-DMA) experiment, Astroculture Experiment (ASC-3), Bioserve Pilot Lab (BPL), Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus Experiment (CGBA), Commercial Protein Crystal Growth Experiment (CPCG), Controlled Liquid Phase Sintering (ECLiPSE-Hab), Immune Response Studies Experiment (IMMUNE-01), Organic Separation Experiment (ORSEP), Space Experiment Facility (SEF), Penn State Biomodule (PSB) and the Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS) Experiment. Sergei K. Krikalev had been operating the SAMS experiment.
At 7:38 am EST on 2/8 February 1994, Good Morning America performed a live bi-directional audio and downlink video hookup between astronauts on board Discovery and 3 Cosmonauts on board the Soviet Space Station Mir'. Discovery was over the Pacific ocean and Mir was over the southern United States. Afterwards, work progressed with SPACEHAB module and middeck experiments while Wake Shield continued operations at the end of the Remote Manipulator System. A slight problem developed with the status indicators on the 3-DMA experiment and the crew downlinked video to aid in troubleshooting. The astronauts ended Flight Day 6 at 7:10 pm EST.
Flight Day 7 (9 February 1994) began at 3:20 am EST. ODERACS operations were scheduled for 9:55 am EST during Orbit 97 and BREMSAT deploy was scheduled for 2:50 pm EST. The WSF experiment was brought to an end and a telemetry problem with the facility prevented the growth of the 6th and final thin film on board WSF. Five other thin films were grown throughout the mission before Wake Shield was berthed. WSF closeout was completed by 8:10 am EST.
At 7:58 am EST, Commander Charles F. Bolden reported to the ground that one of the Thermal Protection System (TPS) blankets around Discovery’s forward RCS thruster below Commander Bolden's cabin window was slightly peeled back. N. Jan Davis was directed to halt her power down and stowage of the Remote Manipulator System (RMS) arm and use the arm to perform a camera survey of the front left side of the orbiter. At 2:20 pm EST, the BREMSAT momentum wheel was spun up and BREMSAT was ejected into space at 2:23 pm EST at the rate of 3.3 ft/s (1 m/s).
On Flight Day 8 (10 February 1994), the astronauts performed a number of operations to prepare Discovery for its trip home. These included Hot-Fire tests of all 44 Reaction Control Systems jets, Flight control system checkout, SAREX stow, CPCG Stow, ASC-3 Deactivation, ORSEP Deactivation, stowage of all non-essential cabin items and Ku-Band antenna stow.
Flight Day 9 (11 February 1994) operations included the powerup of all critical orbiter entry systems (Group B powerup), SAMS deactivation, CAPL Deactivation and De-Orbit preps. Ground controllers gave Discovery a go to start SPACEHAB deactivation at 8:00 am EST and this was complete by 8:20 am EST. Landing was at KSC runway 15 at 2:18:41 pm EST.