Contents of the STS-53PK.TXT file
STS-53 PRESS KIT
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
NINTH DEDICATED DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE MISSION
PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACTS
Office of Space Flight/Office of Space Systems Development
Mark Hess/Jim Cast/Ed Campion
Office of Space Science and Applications
Paula Cleggett-Haleim/Mike Braukus/Brian Dunbar
Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology
Drucella Andersen/Les Dorr
Office of Safety & Mission Quality/Office of Space Communications
Department of Defense
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
Maj. Dave Thurston
USAF Space and Missile Systems Center Public Affairs
Ames Research Center
Dryden Flight Research Facility
Goddard Space Flight Center
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Johnson Space Center
Kennedy Space Center
Langley Research Center
Jean Drummond Clough
Lewis Research Center
Mary Ann Peto
Marshall Space Flight Center
Stennis Space Center
Wallops Flight Facility
General Release 1
Media Services Information 3
Summary of Major Activities 5
Vehicle and Payload Weights 6
Trajectory Sequence of Events 7
Space Shuttle Abort Modes 8
Prelaunch Processing 9
CARGO BAY PAYLOADS
Glow Experiment/Cryogenic Heat Pipe Experiment (GCP) 10
Orbital Debris Radar Calibration Spheres (ODERACS) 13
Battlefield Laser Acquisition Sensor Test (BLAST) 15
Cloud Logic to Optimize Use of Defense Systems (CLOUDS) 15
Cosmic Radiation Effects and Activation Monitor (CREAM) 17
Fluid Acquisition and Resupply Experiment (FARE) 17
Hand-held, Earth-oriented, Real-time, Cooperative,
User-friendly, Location-targeting and Environmental
System (HERCULES) 21
Microcapsules in Space-1 (MIS-1) 23
Radiation Monitoring Experiment-III (RME-III) 25
Space Tissue Loss (STL) 25
Visual Function Tester-2 (VFT-2) 27
CREW BIOGRAPHIES & MISSION MANAGEMENT
STS-53 Crew Biographies 28
Mission Management for STS-53 30
DISCOVERY TO FLY CLASSIFIED DEFENSE PAYLOAD
RELEASE: 92-185 December 1992
The newly-refurbished and modified Space Shuttle Discovery is
scheduled to make its 15th orbital flight this month on a
dedicated Department of Defense (DoD) mission. The STS-53 primary
payload, designated DoD-1, is classified and represents the last
major military payload currently planned for the Shuttle fleet.
"Nine DoD primary payloads have been carried into space by
the Shuttle since 1985," said NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin.
"The fact that complex mutual objectives have been achieved by two
federal organizations, chartered with often-divergent goals, is a
wonderful and remarkable demonstration of interagency cooperation
at its best."
"STS-53 marks a milestone in our long and productive
partnership with NASA. We have enjoyed outstanding support from
the Shuttle program. Although this is the last dedicated Shuttle
payload, we look forward to continued involvement with the program
with DoD secondary payloads," added Martin C. Faga, Assistant
Secretary of the Air Force (Space).
Although no public discussion of the identity and purpose of
DoD-1 will take place due to national security concerns, a number
of secondary experiments in the cargo bay and in Discovery's cabin
will be openly conducted throughout the planned 7-day, 5-hour, 54-
Among many secondary experiments will be medical studies of
the effects of microgravity on cells from bone tissue, muscles and
blood and the release of 2-, 4- and 6-inch metal spheres into
space to test ground-based capabilities of detecting potentially
dangerous debris in low-Earth orbit.
Military examination of a human's ability to observe ground-
based phenomena from space will be carried out during the mission
as will continuous measurements of the amount and types of
radiation levels that accumulate in the crew cabin. Many of the
STS-53 medical observations will apply directly to planning for
human occupation of Space Station Freedom by the end of this
Experienced Flight Crew
Four of Discovery's five crew members have flown in space
before. Mission Commander David Walker will be making his third
flight; Pilot Robert Cabana his second; Mission Specialists Guion
Bluford and Jim Voss their fourth and second, respectively.
Mission Specialist Michael Richard Clifford will be making his
first flight. The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Army (2) are
represented by the all-military crew.
Discovery Face Lift
STS-53 will be Discovery's first mission since January 1992,
when it successfully completed the International Microgravity
Laboratory-1 flight, STS-42.
In the intervening months, the vehicle, like other members of
the fleet, has undergone extensive structural inspections,
modifications and equipment upgrades to insure its flight
worthiness and ability to technologically perform on a level equal
to that of its spaceborne peers.
- End of General Release -
MEDIA SERVICES INFORMATION
SPECIAL NOTICE: Department of Defense-1 (DoD-1), the primary
payload on mission STS-53, is classified. As a result, NASA's
normal Space Shuttle public affairs activities will be altered,
slightly, to accommodate the national security interests of the
DoD. In particular, the primary payload and activities associated
with it will not be identified or discussed before, during or
after the flight in any public forum or medium, including
briefings, printed materials or interviews. NASA Select
television and mission commentary also will be affected -- but,
again, only slightly. Specific information concerning changes in
STS-53 public affairs activities and practices will be released in
a separate document no later than one week before launch.
NASA Select Television Transmission
NASA Select television is available on Satcom F-2R,
Transponder 13, located at 72 degrees west longitude, frequency
3960.0 MHz, audio 6.8 MHz.
The schedule for television transmissions from the orbiter
and for mission briefings will be available during the mission at
Kennedy Space Center, Fla; Marshall Space Flight Center,
Huntsville, Ala.; Ames-Dryden Flight Research Facility, Edwards,
Calif.; Johnson Space Center, Houston and NASA Headquarters,
Washington, D.C. The television schedule will be updated to
reflect changes dictated by mission operations.
Television schedules also may be obtained by calling COMSTOR
713/483-5817. COMSTOR is a computer database service requiring
the use of a telephone modem. A voice recording of the television
schedule is updated daily at noon Eastern Time.
Status reports on countdown and mission progress, on-orbit
activities and landing operations will be produced by the
appropriate NASA newscenter.
A mission press briefing schedule will be issued prior to
launch. During the mission, change-of-shift briefings by a flight
director will occur at least once per day. The updated NASA
Select television schedule will indicate when mission briefings
STS-53 QUICK LOOK
Launch Date and Site: Dec. 2, 1992
Kennedy Space Center, Fla. -- Pad 39A
Launch Window: 6:59 a.m. EST
Orbiter: Discovery's 15th Flight
Orbit/Inclination: 200 x 200 nm / 57 degrees (DOD-1)
175 x 176 nm / 57 degrees (ODERACS
Landing Time/Date: 12:53 p.m. EST, Dec. 9
Primary Landing Site: Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Abort Landing Sites: Return To Launch Site Abort: Kennedy
Trans-Atlantic Abort Landing: Zaragoza,
Spain -- Prime
Ben Guerir, Morocco -- Alternate
Moron, Spain -- Alternate
Abort-Once-Around: Edwards AFB, Calif. -- Prime
KSC/White Sands, N.M. -- Alternates
Crew: David Walker - Commander
Robert Cabana - Pilot
Guion Bluford - MS1
Michael Clifford - MS2
James Voss - MS3
Cargo Bay Payloads: Department of Defense-1 (DOD-1)
Glow Experiment/Cryogenic Heat Pipe
Orbital Debris Radar Calibration Spheres
Middeck Payloads: Battlefield Laser Acquisition Sensor
Clouds Logic to Optimize Use of Defense
Cosmic Radiation Effects and Activation
Fluid Acquisition and Resupply
Hand-held, Earth-oriented, Real-time
Cooperative, User-friendly, Location-
targeting and Environmental System
Microcapsules in Space (MIS)
Radiation Monitoring Equipment-III
Space Tissue Loss (STL)
Visual Function Tester-2 (VFT-2)
Ultraviolet Plume Instrument
STS-53 SUMMARY TIMELINE
Flight Day One
Primary payload activities
Flight Day Two
Flight Day Three
Flight Day Four
Flight Day Five
Flight Day Six
Flight Day Seven
Flight Control Systems checkout
Flight Day Eight
STS-53 VEHICLE AND PAYLOAD WEIGHTS
Orbiter (Discovery) Empty and three SSMEs 173,596
Department of Defense-1 and Support Equipment (DOD-1) 23,215
Glow/Cryogenic Heat Pipe Experiment (GCP) 1,542
Orbital Debris Radar Calibration Spheres (ODERACS) 747
Battlefield Laser Acquisition Sensor (BLAST) 125
Fluid Acquisition and Resupply Experiment (FARE) 243
Microcapsules in Space Experiment MIS) 140
Total Vehicle at Solid Rocket Booster Ignition 4,506,246
Orbiter Landing Weight 193,045
STS-53 TRAJECTORY SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
EVENT Elapsed Time Velocity Mach Altitude
(d/h:m:s) (fps) (feet)
Maneuver 00/00:00:10 188 .17 799
Maneuver 00/00:00:19 428 .38 3,653
Percent) 00/00:00:31 741 .67 9,914
(Max Q) 00/00:00:53 1,210 1.16 28,605
Percent) 00/00:01:04 1,514 1.54 41,289
Separation 00/00:02:04 4,151 3.79 154,703
(MECO) 00/00:08:36 25,032 22.0 373,332
Zero Thrust 00/00:08:42 25,057 21.55 377,730
OMS-2 Burn 00/00:36:57
Apogee, Perigee at MECO: 198 x 11 nautical miles
Apogee, Perigee after OMS-2: 201 x 200 nautical miles
SPACE SHUTTLE ABORT MODES
Space Shuttle launch abort philosophy aims toward safe and
intact recovery of the flight crew, orbiter and its payload.
Abort modes include:
* Abort-To-Orbit (ATO) -- Partial loss of main engine thrust
late enough to permit reaching a minimal 105-nautical mile orbit
with orbital maneuvering system engines.
* Abort-Once-Around (AOA) -- Earlier main engine shutdown
with the capability to allow one orbit around before landing at
either Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., White Sands Space Harbor,
N.M., or the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at the Kennedy Space
* Trans-Atlantic Abort Landing (TAL) -- Loss of one or more
main engines midway through powered flight would force a landing
at either Zaragoza, Spain; Ben Guerir, Morocco; or Moron, Spain.
* Return-To-Launch-Site (RTLS) -- Early shutdown of one or
more engines, and without enough energy to reach Zaragoza, would
result in a pitch around and thrust back toward KSC until within
gliding distance of the Shuttle Landing Facility.
STS-53 contingency landing sites are Edwards Air Force Base,
the Kennedy Space Center, White Sands Space Harbor, Zaragoza, Ben
Guerir and Moron.
STS-53 PRELAUNCH PROCESSING
The orbiter Discovery spent much of the past year in the
Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF) undergoing extensive
improvements and modifications.
Following its most recent mission, STS-42 in January 1992,
Discovery was ferried from its landing site at Edwards Air Force
Base to Kennedy Space Center on Feb. 16 and rolled into OPF bay 2.
After the International Microgravity Laboratory was removed
from the orbiter's payload bay on Feb. 23, work began to remove
other significant pieces of flight hardware such as the Forward
Reaction Control System, both Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS)
pods, the three main engines, and the body flap.
During its 6-month modification period, 78 modifications were
conducted on the vehicle. The most significant included the
addition of a drag chute, the capability for redundant nose wheel
steering, improved auxiliary power units and making improvements
to the vehicle's avionics packages. Also, wing strut inspections
were conducted and the freon service loop was reserviced.
In late July, the three main engines were installed on
Discovery. Engine 2024 is in the number 1 position, engine 2012
is in the number 2 position and engine 2017 is in the number 3
A standard 43-hour launch countdown is scheduled to begin 3
days prior to liftoff. About 9 hours before launch, the external
tank will be filled with a half million gallons of liquid oxygen
and liquid hydrogen propellants. Approximately 3 hours before
launch, the crew will depart their quarters at KSC, be driven to
the pad and take their assigned seats in the crew compartment.
Discovery's end-of-mission landing is planned at Kennedy
Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility.
Discovery's next mission, STS-56, is an 8-day flight
featuring the ATLAS-2 payload. Launch is scheduled for early next
Department of Defense-1 (DoD-1) is the primary cargo bay
payload for mission STS-53. The identity and purpose of DoD-1 are
SECONDARY CARGO BAY PAYLOADS
Shuttle Glow/Cryogenic Heat Pipe Experiment (GCP)
Shuttle Glow (GLO)
The Shuttle Glow (GLO) experiment is sponsored by the
Geophysics Directorate of the Air Force's Phillips Laboratory,
Albuquerque, N.M. GLO is being integrated and flown on STS-53
under the direction of the Department of Defense's Space Test
Program. GLO will use the Arizona Imaging Spectrograph (AIS) to
investigate Shuttle/environment interactions such as atomic oxygen
surface glow on the orbiter's tail and other surfaces and wake
phenomena. The AIS will observe the orbiter's orbital maneuvering
system pods, OMS and reaction control system jet firings, waste
water dumps and flash evaporative cooler system operations.
The AIS has cameras and spectrographs to record in the
ultraviolet, visible and infrared bands. The AIS is almost
identical to the Infrared Background Signature Survey instrument
which flew on STS-39. The AIS is mounted in the cargo bay to a
hitchhiker small plate.
In operation, the crew powers on the experiment. Johnson
Space Center enables payload commanding from the "remote" payload
operations control center (POCC) at Goddard Space Flight Center
(GSFC), Greenbelt, Md. GSFC sends the "hitchhiker" configuration
commands and enables the experimenters to send commands to
configure the AIS (exposure time, number of detectors to use).
The crew performs any required action (jet firing, water dump,
etc.), and the observations are made. The data is downlinked to
the POCC so viewing by the experimenters is near real-time.
Cryogenic Heat Pipe Experiment (CRYOHP)
The Cryogenic Heat Pipe (CRYOHP) experiment is a joint
Department of Defense/NASA experiment to test advanced technology
that will make it easier to reject excess heat from infrared
sensors, instruments and space vehicles.
Electronics, mechanical systems and people all generate heat
aboard a spacecraft. Unless the heat is rejected into space,
sensors, instruments and systems will overheat and fail or return
A heat pipe is a simple, highly dependable way to reject
heat. It is a closed vessel containing a fluid, with no moving
mechanical parts. Instead, it uses the natural phenomena of
liquids absorbing heat to evaporate and release that heat when
In a typical system, waste heat from the sensor or instrument
evaporates the liquid at one end of the heat pipe and the vapor
condenses and releases heat to space at the other end. Capillary
action moves the fluid back to the evaporator end.
The prime goal of the Cryogenic Heat Pipe experiment is to
prove that cryogenic (very low temperature) heat pipes can
reliably start up and operate at -351 to minus 198 degrees F
(minus 213 to minus 128 degrees C). Supercold liquid oxygen
serves as the working fluid in CRYOHP instead of the water,
ammonia or Freon used by most heat pipe concepts.
CRYOHP flies in a Hitchhiker canister mounted on the right
side wall of DiscoveryUs payload bay. The canister houses two
heat pipe designs, one made by TRW, Torrance, Calif., and the
other by Hughes Aircraft Co. Electron Dynamics Division,
Huntington Beach, Calif. It also contains five Stirling cryogenic
coolers to maintain cold temperatures, power and electronic
control boxes and an upper end plate that lets heat escape to
Discovery's crew will turn CRYOHP on about 8.5 hours after
liftoff. Eight sets of tests will be run alternating between the
two heat pipes, starting with the TRW design. The runs will last
from 7.5 and 27 hours for each concept. The Payload Operations
Control Center at NASAUs Goddard Space Flight Center will send all
commands to CRYOHP and receive all telemetry during the STS-53
Co-investigators for the Cryogenic Heat Pipe experiment are
Roy McIntosh of Goddard Space Flight Center and Jerry Beam of the
U.S. Air Force Wright Aeronautical Laboratories, Dayton, Ohio.
NASA's Hitchhiker project was created in early 1984 to
provide a quick reaction and low cost capability for flying small
payloads in the Shuttle payload bay. This is done with a short
turn-around time -- from manifest to flight takes an average of 18
months. Hitchhikers are intended for customers whose space
activity requires power, data or command services.
Hitchhiker payloads are entitled to special "handling" in the
orbiter that other small payloads, like the Get Away Specials, do
not receive. This special handling includes tapping into the
Shuttle for power and astronaut services such as requiring
specific Shuttle attitudes or maneuvers. The orbiter crew moves
the Shuttle when necessary to the position needed for the
Hitchhiker experiment, provided it does not interfere with the
needs of the primary payloads.
Hitchhikers are manifested to fly with primary payloads that
either have similar requirements or that will not be affected by
the changes in Shuttle position necessary to the Hitchhiker
Orbital Debris Radar Calibration System (ODERACS)
The Orbital Debris Radar Calibration System (ODERACS)
experiment will release six calibration spheres from Discovery.
The spheres -- two 6-inches in diameter, two 4-inches in diameter
and two 2-inches in diameter -- will be placed in a 175 nautical-
mile-high (377 kilometer) orbit when they are ejected from the
Shuttle's cargo bay.
The primary objective of the ODERACS experiment is to provide
a source for fine-tuning of the Haystack Radar, located in
Tyngsboro, Mass., and operated by the Lincoln Laboratory at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the Air Force. NASA
uses information from the radar as part of the inputs gathered to
measure the amount of debris in Earth orbit. The Haystack radar
can observe objects as small as 1 centimeter in diameter at ranges
greater than 620 nautical miles (1,000 kilometers).
The six spheres are planned to be ejected from Discovery on
its 31st orbit and will be tracked by a number of radar
facilities, including the Haystack Radar as well as several
telescopes. Facilities around the world that will track the
spheres include Millstone Radar, Kwajalein Radar, the Eglin Radar
in Florida and the FGAN radar in Germany. Optical facilities that
will track the spheres include the worldwide GEODDS telescope
network, the NASA/Johnson Space Center telescope in Houston and
the Super-RADOT telescope facility in the South Pacific.
The spheres will help these facilities and others to better
characterize their instruments by allowing them to home in on
objects whose size, composition, reflectivity and electromagnetic
scattering properties are well known.
The four-inch spheres' useful life is about 70 days and they
will reenter the atmosphere after approximately 120 days. The 2-
inch and 6-inch spheres have a useful life of about 45 days and
will reenter after approximately 65 days. When they reenter the
atmosphere, the spheres will be destroyed before they reach the
STS-53 Mission Specialist Michael Clifford will control the
operation of the ODERACS Ejection System using a hand-held encoder
to send commands to the Shuttle's Autonomous Payload Control
System. Clifford will verify the ejection of all six spheres.
Video and radar coverage will determine the actual ejection time
and velocity. The velocity data will be used to update the
computers that will calculate the spheres' locations to assist the
telescope and radar systems in initially locating them.
The ODERACS Ejection System is contained in a standard 5-
cubic-foot cylindrical canister, called a Get-Away Special
container. The ejection system has four subsystem elements
consisting of release pins, ejection springs, electrical batteries
and motor and structural support.
The calibration spheres themselves are made to precise
specifications. The 2-inch spheres are made of solid stainless
steel and weigh 1.17 lbs (0.532 kg); the 4-inch spheres, also
solid stainless steel, weigh 9.36 lbs (4.256 kg); and the 6-inch
spheres, made of solid aluminum, weigh 11 lbs (5 kg).
SECONDARY IN-CABIN PAYLOADS, EXPERIMENTS
Battlefield Laser Acquisition Sensor Test (BLAST)
The Battlefield Laser Acquisition Sensor Test (BLAST) is an
Army space project jointly sponsored by the Army Space Command,
Colorado Springs, the Army Space Technology Research Office,
Adelphi, Md., and the Night Vision Electro Optics Directorate, Ft.
The experiment is designed to demonstrate the technology
associated with using a spaceborne laser receiver to detect laser
energy from ground-based test locations. BLAST is being
integrated and flown on the Space Shuttle under the direction of
the Department of Defense's Space Test Program.
BLAST is making its first flight. It will demonstrate the
Army's ability to uplink Global Positioning System data through a
laser medium. The test primarily will involve the use of two
fixed optical tracking facilities located at the Air Force Maui
Optical Site in Hawaii and the Air Force Malabar Test Facility in
Palm Bay, Fla. Additionally, portable tracking sites will be set
up at various DoD field locations.
A low power visible laser mounted on a gimbaled tracking
system will track the Shuttle, based on the most recent NASA
orbiter location information. The optical signal from the
tracking facilities is captured by an on-board laser receiver
mounted in the Shuttle flight deck overhead window. The optical
signal is processed and displayed to the flight crew real-time and
recorded for post mission analysis. Data obtained will be used to
develop DoD sensor technology.
Cloud Logic to Optimize Use of Defense Systems (CLOUDS)
The objective of CLOUDS, a Military-Man-In-Space experiment,
is to quantify the variation in apparent cloud cover as a function
of the angle at which clouds are viewed from orbit.
The equipment used is a standard Nikon 35mm camera. A crew
member simply points the camera at scenes of interest and
continually photographs the scene as the orbiter passes over and
away from the scene. The scenes of interest are identified by
meteorologists on the ground and relayed to the Shuttle crew.
Each mission has a specific meteorological or cloud feature of
interest which will be emphasized. This mission will emphasize
severe weather, to include thunderstorms and tropical storms.
Data from the CLOUDS experiment will be stored in a high
resolution data base for use by the meteorological community and
various Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP)
initiatives. The DMSP system program office will use the data in
the development and evaluation of future electro-optical sensors
through the generation of standard scenes for model evaluation and
the study of high incidence angle effects.
CLOUDS has flown on various Shuttle missions since 1984 and is
being integrated and flown on the Space Shuttle under the
direction of the Department of Defense's Space Test Program.
Cosmic Radiation Effects and Activation Monitor (CREAM)
The CREAM experiment is designed to collect data on cosmic
ray energy loss spectra, neutron fluxes and induced radioactivity.
The data will be collected by active and passive monitors
placed at specific locations throughout the Orbiter's cabin.
CREAM data will be obtained from the same locations used to gather
data for the Radiation Monitoring Equipment-III experiment in an
attempt to correlate data between the two.
The active monitor to obtain real-time spectral data, while
the passive monitors will obtain data during the entire mission to
be analyzed after the flight.
The flight hardware has the active cosmic ray monitor, a
passive sodium iodide detector and up to five passive detector
packages. All hardware fits in one locker on Discovery's middeck.
Once in orbit, the payload will be unstowed and operated by
the crew. A crew member will be available at regular intervals to
monitor the experiment and to relocate the active detector. The
CREAM flight is sponsored by the Department of Defense, and the
experiment is provided by the United Kingdom Defense Research
Agency at Farnborough, England. CREAM is being integrated and
flown on the Space Shuttle under the direction of the DoD's Space
The experiment has already flown successfully on Missions 44
and 48 and has given important results on the buildup of secondary
radiation with increased shielding as well as identifying a new
region of trapped radiation over the South Atlantic.
Fluid Acquisition and Resupply Equipment (FARE)
The Fluid Acquisition and Resupply Experiment (FARE) will
investigate the dynamics of fluid transfer in microgravity.
In space, fluid in a container does not readily settle on the
bottom or leave a pocket of gas on top as it does on Earth. The
orientation of liquids in weightlessness is highly unpredictable
because the fluid may locate in any area within the container and
may encapsulate large bubbles of gas. To replenish on-board
fluids and prolong the life of space vehicles such as Space
Station Freedom, satellites and extended duration orbiters,
methods for transferring vapor-free propellants and other liquids
must be developed.
Housed in four middeck lockers, FARE is designed to
demonstrate the effectiveness of a device to alleviate the
problems associated with vapor-free liquid transfer. The device
exploits the surface tension of the liquid to control its position
within the tank.
The basic flight hardware consists of a 12.5 inches (30.48
cm) spherical supply tank and a 12.5 inches (30.48 cm) spherical
receiver tank made of transparent acrylic. Additional items
include liquid transfer lines, two pressurized air bottles, a
calibrated cylinder and associated valves, lines, fittings,
pressure gauges and a flowmeter display unit.
The experiment is essentially self-contained, with the
exception of a water-fill port, air-fill port and an overboard
vent connected to the orbiter waste management system.
Mission specialists will conduct this experiment eight times
during the flight, using a sequence of manual valve operations.
Air from the pressurized bottles will force fluid from the supply
tank to the receiver tank and back to the supply tank eight times
during the 8-hour operation. The receiver tank contains baffles
to control fluid motions during the transfer and a fine mesh
screen to filter vapor out of the liquid. An overboard vent will
remove the vapor from the receiver tank as the fluid level rises.
The FARE control panel, containing four pressure gauges and
one temperature control gauge, will be used by the crew to monitor
and control the experiment. Camcorder video tapes and 35-mm
photographs will be made during the transfer process. The crew
also will have the option of using air-to-ground communication to
consult with the principal investigator.
The test fluid used for this experiment is water with iodine
used as a disinfectant; blue food coloring allowing better
visibility of the liquid movement; a wetting solution, known as
Triton X-100, to give the fluid the consistency of a propellant
and an anti-foaming emulsion agent to prevent bubbles from forming
in the receiver tank.
Post-mission analysis of FARE will include evaluation of the
experiment equipment, as well as review of camcorder video tapes
and 35-mm photographs. Because there will be no real-time data
downlink during this experiment, study and analysis of test data
will not be conducted until after the mission.
Historically, problems dealing with fluid transfer have been
dealt with by using collapsible supply tanks to move liquid
without any pressurant gas or vapor surface. These systems are
heavier, more complex, more expensive and more prone to leakage
during the transfer process than conventional methods of liquid
containment, such as the FARE equipment.
During this mission, FARE, managed by NASA's Marshall Space
Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., will use basic equipment
developed by Martin Marietta for a previous experiment called the
Storable Fluid Management Demonstration (SFMD), which flew on STS-
51C in 1985. SFMD tested a different configuration of the fluid
management device in the receiver tank than what is being tested
on FARE. At Marshall, Susan L. Driscoll is Principal Investigator
Hand-held, Earth-oriented, Real-time, Cooperative, User- friendly,
Location-targeting and Environmental System (HERCULES)
Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Wash., D.C., scientists have
developed a new system that will allow a Shuttle astronaut in
space to point a camera at an interesting feature on Earth, record
the image and determine the latitude and longitude of the feature.
Called HERCULES, the system is attached to a modified Nikon
camera and employs a geolocation process which determines in real-
time the latitude and longitude of points on Earth within 2
HERCULES will provide a valuable Earth observation system for
military, environmental, oceanographic and meteorological
applications. STS-53 is the first flight of HERCULES. It is
scheduled to fly again aboard STS-56 in April 1993. HERCULES is
being integrated and flown on the Space Shuttle under the
direction of the Department of Defense's Space Test Program.
The project is a joint Navy, Army and NASA effort.
Scientists at NRL's Naval Center for Space Technology developed
the HERCULES Attitude Processor (HAP) and the alignment,
geolocation and human interface software to perform the
geolocation. The other components in the system are a NASA-built
Electronic Still Camera (ESC), a modified Nikon F-4 and Honeywell
On board the Shuttle, the astronaut will start the system by
pointing the camera, with the attached gyro, at two known stars to
obtain a bearing. The astronaut then "shoots" images by pointing
the camera at the Earth and snapping the shutter.
The camera communicates with HAP, which processes the data
from the gyro and determines its absolute orientation in space.
Then, the HAP passes this pointing information to the NRL software
running on a NASA-modified GRID portable computer. The computer
then determines the longitude and latitude of the image.
The geolocation information is sent back to the camera by the
HAP, where it is appended to the image data. The astronaut can
view the image on the Shuttle and downlink it to Earth. The image
and geolocation data also are stored in the ESC system for post-
The system is a significant improvement over its predecessor
called L-cubed. Under the L-cubed system, the astronauts had to
take multiple images of the same target while simultaneously
keeping the edge of the Earth in view, which limited image
With HERCULES, the astronaut only needs to look at the point
of interest, allowing the use of many different camera lenses. In
the daytime, the system uses any Nikon-compatible lens. At night,
it operates with an image intensifier developed by the Army's
Night Vision Laboratory. At any magnification, images with no
distinguishing demographical features can be captured and
geolocated. HERCULES captures images digitally, which allows
computer analysis and data dissemination, an improvement over the
film-based L-cubed system.
NRL scientists already are exploring enhancements to
HERCULES. Incorporating Global Positioning System (GPS) hardware
into HERCULES would provide a geolocation accuracy better than 1
nautical mile, and adding a gimbal system would allow the system
to automatically track points on Earth.
Microencapsulation In Space (MIS)
Microencapsulation in Space (MIS) will make its maiden flight
on board Space Shuttle Discovery. Recently completed by the
Controlled Release Division at Southern Research Institute, it is
the objective of this Army project to increase the knowledge of
microencapsulated drug technology. Sponsored by the U.S. Army
Institute of Dental Research (USAIDR), U.S. Army Medical Research
and Development Command and partially funded by the U.S. Army
Laboratory Command, the experiment will fly several times over the
next few years.
MIS is being integrated and flown on the Space Shuttle under
the direction of the Department of Defense's Space Test Program.
In the first flight, Shuttle astronauts will perform two
experiments incorporated in MIS to produce time-release antibiotic
microcapsules. The antibiotic, ampicillin, will be
microencapsulated with a biodegradable polymer. Scientists at
Southern Research Institute and the U.S. Army have reason to
believe that microcapsules made in weightlessness will have
properties vastly superior to microcapsules made on Earth.
Southern Research Institute scientists Dr. Thomas R. Tice,
Principal Investigator, and Dr. Richard J. Holl, Program Manager,
were responsible for the conception, design and construction of
MIS. Dr. Jean A. Setterstrom of USAIDR, who obtained sponsorship
and funding by first proposing the experiment to the Army, is the
Microcapsules are tiny spheres typically 50 to 100
micrometers in diameter. For comparison, human hair is about 100
micrometers thick, and human blood cells are about 7 micrometers
Although microencapsulation was initially used to develop
products such as carbonless copy paper and scratch and sniff
products, it is now used for innovative pharmaceutical products
and high-performance chemical products (smart materials). The use
of micro-encapsulated pharmaceutical products has touched us all,
ranging from taste-masked pediatric formulations, once- or twice-
a-day oral formulations and once-a-month injectable formulations.
These microcapsule products greatly improve therapeutic
success. There is no doubt that time-release, drug-delivery
technology will provide new approaches for innovative
pharmaceutical products of the future.
Scientists expect that the basic and applied knowledge gained
from MIS will lead to better pharmaceutical products made on Earth
as well as in space. The results of the MIS experiment could lead
to new and exciting pharmaceutical manufacturing opportunities on
Space Station Freedom.
Radiation Monitoring Equipment-III (RME-III)
RME-III is an instrument which measures the exposure to
ionizing radiation on the Space Shuttle. It displays the dose
rate and total accumulated radiation dose to the astronaut
operator. Simultaneously the device registers the number of
radiation interactions and dose accumulated at 10 second intervals
and stores the data in an internal memory for follow-up analysis
upon return to Earth.
The radiation detector used in the instrument is a spatial
ionization chamber called a tissue equivalent proportional counter
(TEPC). The device effectively simulates a target size of a few
microns of tissue, the dimensions of a typical human cell. For
this reason, TEPC-based instruments such as the RME-III are called
RME stands for Radiation Monitoring Equipment, the name given
to prototype dosimeter instruments flown on the Space Shuttle
prior to STS-26. The RME-III has successfully flown on 12 Space
Shuttle missions since STS-26.
RME is being integrated and flown on this mission under the
direction of the Defense Department's Space Test Program. It has
been flown in conjunction with other radiation experiments, such
as the CREAM (Cosmic Radiation Effects and Activation Monitor) and
SAM (Shuttle Activation Monitor). It is anticipated that RME will
be flown on several future Space Shuttle missions.
The data obtained from the RME-III is archived and is being
used to update and refine models of the space radiation
environment in low Earth orbit. This will assist space mission
planners to more accurately assess risk and safety factors in
future long- term space missions, such as Space Station Freedom.
Next generation instruments similar to the RME-III will be
flown on Space Station Freedom and on future manned and unmanned
missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond. RME-III also is being used
to measure radiation exposure in high altitude aircraft such as
Space Tissue Loss (STL)
The Department of Space Biosciences at the Walter Reed Army
Institute of Research (WRAIR) in Washington, D.C., will see the
second flight of its Space Tissue Loss (STL) model hardware aboard
Space Shuttle Discovery. STL is being integrated and flown on the
Shuttle under the direction of the Defense Department's Space Test
The STL module was developed to help scientists and Army
medical practitioners understand more about the effects of space
flight on fragile life systems, including the immune system,
muscle and bone. When gravity is removed or reduced as in space
travel, life systems degrade at a remarkable rate, very much like
a rapid aging process or what occurs after severe trauma or
WRAIR and NASA's Life Sciences Division have entered into a
joint project to study these effects in space. As part of the
project, researchers will place a cell culture device, designed by
Army scientists at WRAIR in a middeck payload locker on the
Shuttle. The device will allow Walter Reed and NASA researchers
to study cells from bone tissue, skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle,
endothelial and white blood cells under various conditions.
Testing will include the effect of different stimulants, hormones
and drugs on cells in the microgravity environment.
The STL study will help scientists understand more about how
white cells respond to antigens from infectious agents and tumors.
It also will show how space flight can cause the tremendous loss
of calcium and minerals from bones and find ways to prevent or
minimize bone failure in space and on Earth.
Findings from tests of muscle disintegration could yield more
information about similar muscle failure that occurs in forms of
Muscular Dystrophy, the loss of muscle mass after severe injury,
prolonged bed rest and aging.
Dr. George Kearney, research scientist at Walter Reed Army
Institute of Research is the Principal Investigator. Colonel Bill
Wiesmann, M.D., Director of the Division of Surgery, WRAIR, is the
Program Manager. Tom Cannon, Department of Space Biosciences,
WRAIR, is the Project Manager. They are supported by
collaborative partners at WRAIR, the Armed Forces Institute of
Pathology, NASA's Ames Research Center, University of Louisville
Medical School, and a Defense Department's Space Test Program team
of personnel from the Air Force, The Aerospace Corporation and
Visual Function Tester - Model II (VFT-2)
Since 1984, Air Force scientists of the Armstrong Laboratory
at Wright- Patterson AFB, Ohio, have been conducting a series of
vision performance experiments on the Space Shuttle to assess the
effect of microgravity on visual function.
The second test device now being used is the Visual Function
Tester - Model II (VFT-2), which measures the sensitivity of the
eye to image contrast at threshold. The device is small, hand-
held, battery-powered and presents three types of image patterns
to the eye. This is the sixth in a series of flights with this
Two of the astronauts on STS-53 will participate in the
experiment. They receive training in the use of VFT-2 and will
take the test twice prior to space flight to establish their
baseline performance, use VFT-2 daily while in orbit, at landing
and two times post-flight. The primary purpose of these vision
experiments is to determine if any change in vision occurs while
in space and if so, are the changes clinically significant and how
quickly the individual recovers.
Dr. Lee Task, research physicist, and Dr. (Lt. Col.) Mel
O'Neal, research optometrist, of the Human Engineering Division,
are the principal investigators for the VFT-2. They are assisted
by personnel from the Air Force and Rockwell International located
at the Johnson Space Center, Houston. This payload is a
Department of Defense Space Test Program secondary experiment.
STS-53 CREW BIOGRAPHIES
David M. Walker, 48, Capt., USN, will command STS-53.
Selected as an astronaut in January 1978, Walker considers Eustis,
Fla., his hometown and will be making his third space flight.
Walker graduated from Eustis High School in 1962 and
received a bachelor's degree from the Naval Academy in 1966.
After being designated a naval aviator in 1967, he was assigned to
the aircraft carriers USS Enterprise and USS America flying F-4
Phantom aircraft. In 1971, he graduated from the Air Force
Aerospace Research Pilot school and was assigned as a test pilot
at the Naval Air Test Center. Walker has logged more than 5,500
His first Shuttle flight was as Pilot of STS-51A in November
1984. He next flew as Commander of STS-30 in May 1989. He has
logged a total of 289 hours in space.
Robert D. Cabana, 43, Col., USMC, will be Pilot. Selected
as an astronaut in June 1985, Cabana considers Minneapolis his
hometown and will be making his second space flight.
Cabana graduated from Washburn High School in Minneapolis in
1967 and received a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the
Naval Academy in 1971. He completed Naval Flight Officer training
in 1972 and served as an A-6 bombardier/navigator with the Marine
Air Wings in Cherry Point, N.C., and Iwakuni, Japan. In 1976, he
was designated a naval aviator and was assigned as an A-6 Intruder
pilot at Cherry Point. He graduated from the Naval Test Pilot
School in 1981 and was assigned to the Naval Air Test Center.
Cabana has logged more than 4,100 hours in 32 different aircraft.
Cabana's first Shuttle flight was as Pilot of STS-41 in
October 1990. He has logged 98 hours in space.
Guion S. Bluford, Jr., 50, Col., USAF, will be Mission
Specialist 1 (MS1). Selected as an astronaut in August 1979,
Bluford considers Philadelphia his hometown and will be making his
fourth space flight.
Bluford graduated from Overbrook Senior High School in
Philadelphia in 1960; received a bachelor's degree in aerospace
engineering from Penn State in 1964; received a master's in
aerospace engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology
in 1974; received a doctorate in aerospace engineering with a
minor in laser physics from the Air Force Institute of Technology
in 1978 and received a master in business administration from the
University of Houston in Clear Lake in 1987.
Bluford first flew as a mission specialist on STS-8 in
September 1983. His next flight was as a mission specialist on
STS-61A in November 1985. His third flight was as a mission
specialist on STS-39 in April 1991. He has logged more than 513
hours in space.
James S. Voss, 43, Lt. Col., USA, will be Mission Specialist
2 (MS2). Selected as an astronaut in June 1987, Voss considers
Opelika, Ala., his hometown and will be making his second space
Voss graduated from Opelika High School; received a
bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from Auburn University
in 1972 and received a master's in aerospace engineering from the
University of Colorado in 1974.
Voss began working at the Johnson Space Center in 1984,
supporting Shuttle and payload testing at the Kennedy Space Center
as a Vehicle Integration Test Engineer until his selection as an
astronaut. His first Shuttle flight was STS-44 in November 1991.
Voss has logged 166 hours in space.
Michael Richard Clifford, 40, Lt. Col., USA, will be Mission
Specialist 3 (MS3). Selected as an astronaut in January 1990,
Clifford considers Ogden, Utah, his hometown and will be making
his first space flight.
Clifford graduated from Ben Lomond High School in Ogden in
1970; received a bachelor's degree from U.S. Military Academy at
West Point in 1974 and received a master's degree in aerospace
engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1982.
After graduation from West Point, Clifford was commissioned
in the U.S. Army and assigned with the 10th Calvary in Fort
Carson, Colo., for 2 years before entering the Army Aviation
School in 1976. He was designated an Army aviator in 1976 and
assigned with the Attack Troop, 2nd Armored Calvary in Nuremberg,
West Germany. After completing his master's, he was assigned as
an instructor and assistant professor at West Point in 1982. In
1986, he graduated from the Naval Test Pilot School. Clifford has
logged more than 2,700 flying hours in fixed and rotary-wing
He was assigned to NASA by the military in 1987 and worked
at the Johnson Space Center as a Shuttle vehicle integration
engineer until his selection as an astronaut.
MISSION MANAGEMENT FOR STS-53
NASA HEADQUARTERS, WASHINGTON, D.C.
Office of Space Flight
Jeremiah W. Pearson III - Associate Administrator
Bryan O'Connor - Deputy Associate Administrator
Tom Utsman - Space Shuttle Program Director
Leonard Nicholson - Space Shuttle Program Manager (located at JSC)
Brewster Shaw - Deputy Space Shuttle Program Manager (Located at
Office of Space Science and Applications
Dr. Lennard Fisk - Associate Administrator
Al Diaz - Deputy Associate Administrtor
Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology
Richard H. Petersen - Associate Administrator
Gregory M. Reck - Director for Space Technology
Jack Levine - Manager, Space Experiments Office
Arthur R. Lee - Program Manager, Cryogenic Heat Pipe
Office of Safety and Mission Quality
Col. Federick Gregory - Associate Administrator
Dr. Charles Pellerin, Jr. - Deputy Associate Administrator
Richard Perry - Director, Programs Assurance
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE PAYLOAD MANAGEMENT
Key Management Participants
Brigadier General Donald R. Walker, USAF, Director, Office of
Space Systems, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force
Deputy Mission Director
Colonel Robert Ballard, USAF, Program Manager, Space Test and
Transportation Systems, HQ, Space and Missile Systems Center,
Los Angeles AFB, Calif.
Assistant Deputy Mission Director
Lt. Colonel James McLeroy, USAF, Executive Director, Operating
Location AW (HQ Space and Missile Systems Center), at Johnson
Space Center, Houston
Mission Director Action Officer
Major Butch Domino, USAF, JSC/OL-AW
Secondary Payload Managers (JSC/OL-AW):
Captain John Hennessey, USAF
Captain Richard Martinez, USAF
Captain Reid Maier, USAF
Captain David Goldstein, USAF
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA.
Robert L. Crippen - Director
James A. "Gene" Thomas - Deputy Director
Jay F. Honeycutt - Director, Shuttle Management and Operations
Robert B. Sieck - Launch Director
David A. King - Discovery Flow Director
J. Robert Lang - Director, Vehicle Engineering
Al J. Parrish - Director of Safety Reliability and Quality
John T. Conway - Director, Payload Management and Operations
P. Thomas Breakfield - Director, Shuttle Payload Operations
Joanne H. Morgan - Director, Payload Project Management
Ralph Schuiling - STS-53 Payload Processing Manager
MARSHALL SPACE FLIGHT CENTER, HUNTSVILLE, ALA.
Thomas J. Lee - Director
Dr. J. Wayne Littles - Deputy Director
Harry G. Craft - Manager, Payload Projects Office
Alexander A. McCool - Manager, Shuttle Projects Office
Dr. George McDonough - Director, Science and Engineering
James H., Ehl - Director, Safety and Mission Assurance
Otto Goetz - Manager, Space Shuttle Main Engine Project
Victor Keith Henson - Manager, Redesigned Solid Rocket Motor
Cary H. Rutland - Manager, Solid Rocket Booster Project
Parker Counts - Manager, External Tank Project
JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, HOUSTON
Aaron Cohen - Director
Paul J. Weitz - Acting Director
Daniel Germany - Manager, Orbiter and GFE Projects
Dr. Steven Hawley - Acting Director, Flight Crew Operations
Eugene F. Kranz - Director, Mission Operations
Henry O. Pohl - Director, Engineering
Charles S. Harlan - Director, Safety, Reliability and Quality
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, BAY ST. LOUIS, MISS.
Roy S. Estess - Director
Gerald Smith - Deputy Director
J. Harry Guin - Director, Propulsion Test Operations
AMES RESEARCH CENTER, MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF.
Dr. Dale L. Compton - Director
Victor L. Peterson - Deputy Director
Dr. Joseph C. Sharp - Director, Space Research
AMES-DRYDEN FLIGHT RESEARCH FACILITY, EDWARDS, CALIF.
Kenneth J. Szalai - Director
T. G. Ayers - Deputy Director
James R. Phelps - Chief, Shuttle Support Office
GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER, GREENBELT, MD.
Dr. John M. Klineberg - Director
Peter T. Burr - Deputy Director
Vernon J. Weyers - Director, Flight Projects Directorate