STS-32 Press Kit
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Public Affairs Contacts 1
Quick Look 2
Press Release 2
General Information 4
Launch Preparations, Countdown and Liftoff 4
Space Shuttle Abort Modes 5
Major Countdown Milestones 5
Trajectory Sequence of Events 8
Vehicle and Payload Weights 9
Summary of Major Activities 9
STS-32 Payload Diagram 10
Landing and Post-Landing Operations 11
Syncom IV-F5 11
Space Flight Tracking and Data Network 26
Crew Biographies 28
NASA Program Management 30
PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACTS
NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
Mark Hess/Ed Campion 202/453-8536
Office of Space Flight
Mary Sandy 202/453-2754
Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology
Barbara Selby 202/453-2927
Office of Commercial Programs
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
Jean Drummond Clough 804/864-6122
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Lisa Malone 407/867-2468
Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas
Kyle Herring 713/483-5111
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
Jerry Berg 205/544-0034
Stennis Space Center, Bay St. Louis, Miss.
Mack Herring 601/688-3341
Ames-Dryden Research Facility, Edwards, Calif.
Nancy Lovato 805/258-8381
Goddard Spaceflight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
Jim Elliott 301/286-6256
STS-32 QUICK LOOK
Launch Date and Site: Dec. 18, 1989
Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Pad 39-A.
Launch Window: 6:46 p.m. - 7:48 p.m. EST
Orbiter: Columbia (OV-102)
Orbit: 190 nm altitude; 28.5 degrees inclination
Landing Date/Time: Dec. 28, 1989/4:21 p.m. EST
Primary Landing Site: Edwards AFB, Calif.
Abort Landing Sites:
Return to Launch Site - Kennedy Space Center
Transoceanic Abort Landing - Ben Guerir, Morocco
Abort Once Around - Edwards AFB
Daniel C. Brandenstein, Commander
James D. Wetherbee, Pilot
Bonnie J. Dunbar, Mission Specialist
Marsha S. Ivins, Mission Specialist
G. David Low, Mission Specialist
Cargo Bay Payloads:
Syncom IV-F5 (primary payload); RMS for LDEF Retrieval
Characterization of Neurospora Circadian Rhythms (CNCR)
Protein Crystal Growth (PCG)
Fluid Experiment Apparatus (FEA)
American Flight Echocardiograph (AFE)
Latitude/Longitude Locator (L3)
SYNCOM IV DEPLOY, LDEF RETRIEVAL HIGHLIGHT 10-DAY
Highlights of Space Shuttle mission STS-32, the 33rd flight of
the National Space Transportation System, will be deployment of a
Navy synchronous communications satellite (Syncom IV) and
retrieval of the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) launched
aboard Challenger on mission STS-41C in April 1984.
Syncom IV-F5 is the last in a series of five Navy satellites built
by Hughes Communications Services Inc. It is designed to provide
worldwide, high-priority communications between aircraft, ships,
submarines and land-based stations for the U.S. military services and
the Presidential Command Network. Syncom measures 15 feet long
and 13 feet in diameter.
After Syncom deployment using the "Frisbee" method, the crew
will do a Shuttle separation burn maneuver away from the satellite.
A solid rocket perigee kick motor along with several liquid apogee
motor firings will boost the satellite to geosynchronous orbit.
The LDEF, a 12-sided, open-grid structure made of aluminum
rings and longerons, is 30 feet long, 14 feet in diameter and weighs
8,000 pounds. Retrieval of the LDEF will be accomplished by the
orbiter's remote manipulator system (RMS) arm. Once the
rendezvous portion of the mission is completed, Mission Specialist
Bonnie Dunbar will grapple the LDEF with the end effector of the
RMS and maneuver LDEF into the five support trunnion latches in the
payload bay of Columbia.
The LDEF experiments range in research interest from
materials to medicine to astrophysics. All required free-flying
exposure in space without extensive electrical power, data handling
or attitude control systems. Many of the experiments are relatively
simple with some being completely passive while in orbit. The
structure was designed for reloading and reuse once returned to
Orbital data on the LDEF is provided to NASA by the North
American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Intensive C-band
radar tracking will begin approximately 72 hours before launch to
provide the accurate data required for orbiter and LDEF rendezvous.
Joining Syncom IVQand later LDEFQin the payload bay of
Columbia will be the Interim Operational Contamination Monitor
(IOCM). This is an automatic operation system for the measurement
of contamination that may be present in the payload bay for the
entire mission duration. It is designed to provide continuous
measurement of collected particulate and molecular mass at
preprogrammed collection surface temperatures.
Columbia also will carry several secondary payloads involving
material crystal growth, microgravity protein crystal growth,
lightning research, in-flight cardiovascular changes and effects of
microgravity and light on the cellular processes that determine
circadian rhythms and metabolic rates.
Commander of the mission is Daniel C. Brandenstein, Captain,
USN. James D. Wetherbee, Lieutenant Commander, USN, is pilot.
Brandenstein was pilot on mission STS-8 in August 1983 and
commander of STS-51G in June 1985. Wetherbee will be making his
first Shuttle flight.
Mission specialists are Bonnie J. Dunbar, Ph.D; Marsha S. Ivins
and G. David Low. Dunbar previously flew as a mission specialist on
STS-61A in October 1985. Ivins and Low will be making their first
Liftoff of the ninth flight of Columbia is scheduled for 6:46 p.m.
EST on December 18 from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., launch pad 39-
A, into a 190-nautical mile, 28.5 degree orbit.
A final decision on launch time will be made approximately 12
hours prior to lauch. The decision will be based on the latest
tracking data for the LDEF and allow for appropriate adjustment of
Orbiter inflight computers.
Nominal mission duration is expected to be 9 days, 21 hours 35
minutes. Deorbit is planned on orbit 158, with landing scheduled for
4:21 p.m. EST, depending on actual launch time, on December 28 at
Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
The launch window for this mission is dictated by vehicle
performance, real-time LDEF rendezvous data and the reentry track
of the external tank.
NASA Select Television Transmission
NASA Select television is available on Satcom F-2R,
Transponder 13, located at 72 degrees west longitude.
The schedule for orbiter transmissions and change-of-shift
briefings from Johnson Space Center, Houston, will be available
during the mission at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.; Marshall Space
Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.; Johnson Space Center; and NASA
Headquarters, Washington, D.C. The schedule will be updated daily.
Schedules also may be obtained by calling COMSTOR, 713/483-
5817. COMSTOR is a computer data base service requiring the use of
a telephone modem. A voice update of the TV schedule may
obtained by dialing 202/755-1788. This service is updated daily at
Special Note to Broadcasters
In the five workdays before launch, short sound bites of STS-
32 crew interviews will be available by calling 202/755-1788
between 8 a.m. and noon.
Status reports on countdown, mission progress and landing
operations will be produced by the appropriate NASA news center.
A press-briefing schedule will be issued before launch. During
the mission, flight control personnel will be on 8-hour shifts.
Change-of-shift briefings by the off-going flight director will occur at
approximately 8-hour intervals.
LAUNCH PREPARATIONS, COUNTDOWN AND LIFTOFF
Processing of Columbia for the STS-32 mission began on Aug.
21, when the spacecraft was towed to Orbiter Processing Facility
(OPF) Bay 2 after arrival from Dryden Flight Research Facility. Post-
flight deconfiguration of STS-28, Challenger's previous mission, and
inspections were conducted in the hangar.
Approximately 26 modifications have been implemented since
the STS-28 mission. One of the more significant added a fifth tank
set for the orbiter's power reactant storage and distribution system.
This will provide additional liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen,
which combine in the fuel cells to produce electricity for the Shuttle
and water as a by-product. With the addition of the fifth tank, the
mission duration has been planned for 10 days.
Improved controllers for the water spray boilers and auxiliary
power units were also installed. Other improvements were made to
the orbiter's structure and thermal protection system, mechanical
systems, propulsion system and avionics system.
Columbia was transferred from the OPF to the Vehicle
Assembly Building (VAB) on Nov. 16 for mating to the external tank
and SRBs. The assembled Space Shuttle was rolled out of the VAB
aboard its mobile launcher platform (MLP) for the 3.4-mile trip to
Launch Pad 39-A on Nov. 28. STS-32 will mark the first use of MLP-
3 in the Shuttle program and the first use of Pad A since mission 61-
C in January 1986.
The countdown for Columbia's ninth launch will pick up at T-
minus 43-hours. The launch will be conducted by a NASA-and-
industry team from Firing Room 1 in the Launch Control Center.
SPACE SHUTTLE ABORT MODES
Space Shuttle launch abort philosophy aims for safe and intact
recovery of the flight crew, the orbiter and its payload. Abort modes
% 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
Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.; White Sands Space Harbor (Northrup
Strip), N.M.; or the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at Kennedy Space
% Trans-Atlantic Abort Landing (TAL): Loss of two main
engines midway through powered flight would force a landing at Ben
Guerir, Morocco; Moron, Spain; or Banjul, The Gambia.
% Return-To-Launch-Site (RTLS): Early shutdown of one or
more engines and without enough energy to reach Ben Guerir, would
result in a pitch around and thrust back toward KSC until within
gliding distance of the SLF.
STS-32 contingency landing sites are Edwards AFB, White
Sands, Kennedy Space Center, Ben Guerir, Moron and Banjul.
MAJOR COUNTDOWN MILESTONES
T-43 Hours (43:00:00)
% Verify that the Space Shuttle is powered up.
% Continue orbiter and ground support equipment closeouts
% Activate orbiter's navigation aids.
% Enter the first built-in hold for eight hours.
% Begin preparations for loading fuel cell storage tanks with
liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen reactants.
% Load the orbiter's fuel cell tanks with liquid oxygen.
% Load the orbiter's fuel cell tanks with liquid hydrogen.
% Perform interface check between Houston Mission Control
and the Merritt Island Launch Area (MILA) tracking station.
% Activate inertial measurement units (IMUs).
% Enter the 8-hour built-in hold.
% Activate orbiter communications system.
% Resume countdown.
% Continue preparations to load the external tank, orbiter
closeouts and preparations to move the Rotating Service Structure.
% Start built-in hold, duration dependent on launch time.
% Perform orbiter ascent switch list in the orbiter flight and
% Retract Rotating Service Structure from vehicle to launch
position. (Could occur several hours earlier if weather is favorable.)
% Activate orbiter's fuel cells.
% Configure Mission Control communications for launch.
% Start clearing blast danger area.
% Perform Eastern Test Range open loop command test.
% Enter one-hour built-in hold. Receive mission management
"go" for tanking.
% Start external tank chilldown and propellant loading.
% Start IMU pre-flight calibration.
% Perform MILA antenna alignment.
% Begin two-hour built-in hold.
% Complete external tank loading and ensure tank is in a stable
% Ice team goes to pad for inspections.
% Closeout crew goes to white room to begin preparing orbiter's
cabin for flight crew's entry.
% Wake flight crew (actual time launch minus 4:55:00).
% Resume countdown.
% Flight crew departs O&C Building for Launch Pad 39-A
(Launch minus 3:15:00).
% Crew enters orbiter vehicle (Launch minus 3:15:00).
% Start pre-flight alignment of IMUs.
% 10-minute built-in-hold begins.
% Configure orbiter computers for launch.
% White room closeout crew cleared through the launch danger
% Begin 10-minute built-in-hold.
% Perform status check and receive Launch Director and
Mission Management Team "go."
% Start ground launch sequencer.
% Retract orbiter access arm.
Pilot starts auxiliary power units.
% Arm range safety, SRB ignition systems.
% Place orbiter on internal power.
% Pressurize liquid oxygen tank for flight and retract gaseous
oxygen vent hood.
% Pressurize liquid hydrogen tank.
% "Go" from ground computer for orbiter computers to start the
automatic launch sequence.
% Start solid rocket booster hydraulic power units.
% Start SRB gimbal profile test.
% Main engine start.
% Main engines at 90 percent thrust.
% SRB ignition, aft skirt holddown post release and liftoff.
% Flight begins and control switches to Houston.
TRAJECTORY SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
EVENT MET VELOCITY MACH ALT.
(d/h:m:s) (fps) (ft)
Begin Roll Maneuver 00/00:00:09 159 .14 604
End Roll Maneuver 00/00:00:15 311 .28 2,165
SSME Throttle Down to 65 percent 00/00:00:28 663 .61
Max. Dyn. Pressure (Max Q) 00/00:00:52 1,171 1.10
SSME Throttle Up to 104 percent 00/00:00:59 1,323 1.27
SRB Staging 00/00:02:06 4,138 3.75 157,422
Negative Return 00/00:04:05 7,100 7.61 339,500
Main Engine Cutoff (MECO) 00/00:08:34 24,543 22.88
Zero Thrust 00/00:08:40 24,557 22.59 364,991
ET Separation 00/00:08:52
OMS 2 Burn 00/00:40:27
Syncom IV-F5 Deploy (orbit 17) 01/00:44:00
Deorbit Burn (orbit 158) 09/20:38:17
Landing (orbit 159) 09/21:34:44
Apogee, Perigee at MECO: 186 x 34
Apogee, Perigee at post-OMS 2: 190 x 160*
Apogee, Perigee at post-deploy: 190 x 166*
*These numbers are highly variable depending on real-time LDEF
altitude at time of launch.
Vehicle and Payload Weights
Orbiter (Columbia) Empty 185,363
Remote Manipulator System (payload bay) 858
Syncom IV-5 (payload bay) 5,286
Syncom ASE 1801
Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) 21,393
Interim Operational Contamination Monitor (IOCM)) 137
American Flight Echocardiograph (AFE) 111
Characterization of Neurospora Circadian Rhythms (CNCR) 43
Detailed Secondary Objectives (DSO) 163
Detailed Technical Objectives (DTO) 36
Fluids Experiment Apparatus (FEA) 148
IMAX Camera 274
Latitude-Longitude Locator (L3) 56
Mesoscale Lightning Experiment (MLE) 15
Protein Crystal Growth Experiment (PCG) 154
Orbiter and Cargo at SRB Ignition 256,670
Total Vehicle at SRB Ignition 4,523,534
Orbiter Landing Weight 229,526
SUMMARY OF MAJOR ACTIVITIES
Syncom IV deploy
Syncom backup deploy/injection
LDEF photo survey
Deorbit preparations and burn
Landing at Edwards AFB
LANDING AND POST-LANDING OPERATIONS
The Kennedy Space Center is responsible for ground operations of the
orbiter once it has rolled to a stop on the runway at Edwards Air Force
Base. Those operations include preparing Columbia for the return trip to
After landing, the flight crew aboard Columbia begins "safing" vehicle
systems. Immediately after wheels stop, specially garbed technicians will
first determine that any residual hazardous vapors are below significant
levels in order for other safing operations to proceed.
A mobile white room is moved into place around the crew hatch once it is
verified that there are no concentrations of toxic gases around the forward
part of the vehicle. The flight crew is expected to leave Columbia about 45 to
50 minutes after landing. As the crew exits, technicians will enter the
orbiter to complete the vehicle safing activity.
Pending completion of planned work and favorable weather conditions,
the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft would depart California about 6 days after
landing for the cross-country ferry flight back to Florida. Several refueling
stops will be necessary to complete the journey because of the weight of the
Once back at Kennedy, Columbia will be pulled inside the hangar like
processing facility where the retrieved Long Duration Exposure Facility
(LDEF) will be removed from the payload bay. Orbiter post-flight
inspections, in-flight anomaly trouble-shooting and routine systems
reverification will commence to prepare Columbia for its next mission.
Syncom IV-F5, also known as LEASAT 5, will be the fourth operational
satellite in the LEASAT system. It will be leased by the Department of
Defense to replace the older FleetSatCom spacecraft for worldwide UHF
communications between ships, planes and fixed facilities. A Hughes
HS381 design, the LEASAT spacecraft is designed expressly for launch
from the Space Shuttle and uses the unique "Frisbee," or rollout, method of
The first two spacecraft were deployed during the 1984 41-D and 51-A
Shuttle missions. LEASAT 3 was deployed successfully in 1985 during
mission 51-D but failed to activate. The satellite drifted in low-Earth orbit
until a salvage and rescue mission was performed by the crew of mission
51-I in September 1985. Following a series of modifications by the Shuttle
crew, LEASAT 3 was successfully deployed into its operational orbit. Also
as part of mission 51-I, LEASAT 4 was successfully deployed from the
orbiter. However, it did not go into operational service due to a spacecraft
failure shortly after arrival at geosynchronous orbit.
Interface between the spacecraft and the payload bay is accomplished
with a cradle structure. The cradle holds the spacecraft with its forward
end toward the nose of the orbiter. Mounting the antennas on deployable
structures allows them to be stowed for launch.
Five trunnions (four longeron and one keel) attach the cradle to the
orbiter. Five similarly located internal attach points attach the spacecraft
to the cradle.
Another unique feature of the Syncom IV series of satellites is the lack of
requirement for a separately purchased upper stage, as have all other
communications satellites launched to date from the Shuttle.
The Syncom IV satellites contain their own unique upper stage to
transfer them from the Shuttle deploy orbit of about 160 nm to a circular
orbit 19,300 nm over the equator.
Each satellite is 20 feet long with UHF and omnidirectional antennas
deployed. Total payload weight in the orbiter is 17,000 pounds. The
satellite's weight on station, at the beginnng of its life, will be nearly 3,060
pounds. Hughes' Space and Communications Group builds the satellites.
Ejection of the spacecraft from the Shuttle is initiated when locking pins
at the four contact points are retracted. An explosive device then releases a
spring that ejects the spacecraft in a "Frisbee" motion. This gives the
satellite its separation velocity and gyroscopic stability. The satellite
separates from the Shuttle at a velocity of about 1.5 feet per second and a
spin rate of about 2 rpm.
As part of this mission, Columbia must rendezvous with the Long
Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF). As a result, the normal Syncom IV
launch condition constraints were relaxed so that Columbia could launch
at any time of day, any day of the year. This change resulted in
modifications to the spacecraft to permit three different mission scenarios
required to meet the spacecraft operational constraints for different launch
The first mission scenario is the standard Syncom IV sequence
controlled by the Post Ejection Sequencer (PES). In the PES mode, a series
of maneuvers, performed over a period of several days, will be required to
place Syncom IV into its geosynchronous orbit over the equator. The
process starts 80 seconds after the spacecraft separates from Columbia with
the automatic deployment of the omnidirectional antenna. Forty-five
minutes after deployment, the solid perigee kick motor, identical to that
used as the third stage of the Minuteman missile, is ignited, raising the
high point of the satellite's orbit to approximately 8,200 nm.
Two liquid fuel engines that burn hypergolic propellants, monomethyl
hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide, are used to augment the velocity on
successive perigee transits, to circularize the orbit and to align the flight
path with the equator.
The first of three such maneuvers raises the apogee to 10,500 nm, the
second to 13,800 nm and the third to geosynchronous orbital altitude. At
this point, the satellite is in a transfer orbit with a 160 nm perigee and a
19,300 nm apogee. The final maneuver circularizes the orbit at the apogee
In the second mission scenario, called the Sub Transfer Earth Orbit or
SEO Mode, the post-ejection sequencer fires the perigee kick motor 45
minutes after ejection from the cargo bay, as in the PES mode. However, in
the SEO mode, the perigee augmentation maneuvers are delayed for up to
20 days to optimize spacecraft performance. After this delay, the mission is
identical to the PES mission.
In the third mission scenario, called Low Earth Orbit or LEO mode, the
post-ejection sequencer does not fire the perigee kick motor. Instead, the
spacecraft is stored in low-Earth orbit for up to 15 days, until the PKM firing
constraints are met. The perigee kick motor is then fired by ground
command. The subsequent mission is identical to the PES mission.
The selection of the optimal mission scenario for Syncom IV-
F5 will depend on the launch day and window selected for LDEF retrieval.
This should be known several weeks before launch, but can be changed as
late as 11 hours before launch.
Hughes Communications, Inc. operates the worldwide LEASAT satellite
communications system under a contract with the Department of Defense,
with the U.S. Navy acting as the executive agent. The system includes four
LEASAT satellites and the associated ground facilities. Users include
mobile air, surface, subsurface and fixed ground stations of the Navy,
Marine Corps, Air Force and Army. The satellites are positioned for
coverage of the continental United States and the Atlantic, Pacific and
Indian oceans. LEASAT 1, 2 and 3 occupy geostationary positions at 15
degrees West, 73 degrees East and 105 degrees West, respectively. LEAST 5
will be positioned at 177 degrees W.
LONG DURATION EXPOSURE FACILITY
RENDEZVOUS AND RETRIEVAL
LDEF was delivered to Earth orbit by STS-41C (STS-13) on April 6, 1984.
The orbiter Columbia will rendezvous and retrieve LDEF using a -R BAR
approach and the remote manipulator system (RMS) for berthing of the
spacecraft in the payload bay on flight day four.
LDEF Rendezvous and Grapple
As the orbiter nears LDEF, the -R BAR approach will be initiated. The
orbiter will first pass below the spacecraft and circle up and over it. The -R
BAR approach is a new technique that does not require close-in fly-around.
This maneuver will face the payload bay toward Earth and LDEF will now
be between, as well as perpendicular, to both the Earth and the orbiter.
At this point, Columbia is approximately 400 feet from LDEF with the
RMS arm extended and the wrist camera pointing toward the orbiter's
starboard side. The wrist camera will provide the primary field of view for
grapple. A yaw maneuver then will be performed to place the wrist camera
in the same x,y plane as grapple fixture 2 (GF2) aboard LDEF, so that the
camera can eventually view GF2 head on.
LDEF is then directly "above" the crew compartment (the arm is still in
its same position; unattached to the LDEF). This allows Commander Dan
Brandenstein and Pilot Jim Wetherbee to make necessary flight instrument
changes to "fly in formation" with the same speed and direction as the free-
Next, the orbiter will move forward (+ZLV) very slowly. The crew will be
watching their onboard monitor for the LDEF to appear in the wrist
camera's field of view. As soon as GF2 is spotted, orbiter movement will
cease. The wrist camera then will rotate 180 degrees to be properly
positioned for the grapple of GF2.
Mission specialist Bonnie Dunbar then will direct the RMS toward GF2
and make the connection for grapple completion. LDEF will be
approximately 35 feet above the bay during this procedure.
The onboard computer then commands the arm to align LDEF with the
berthing guides on the payload bay sides. The final RMS maneuvering now
will be commanded manually to set LDEF in the bay (if there are no
failures, this process should take approximately 15 minutes).
The crew also will utilize the black and white camera positioned at keel
station 3 aiming it at a docking target. The crew will be watching the on-
board monitor with an overlay for precision berthing. Three orange
styrofoam balls called "berthing whiskers" will extend horizontally inward
from the forward payload bay side walls. The berthing whiskers will act as
"curb feelers" to detect forward movement of LDEF.
The arm will now detach from GF2 and move to GF1, looking for the six
Experiment Initiator System (EIS) indicators. If the EIS's are black, the
experiments power supply is already off. If they are white, the arm will
move into GF1 and turn off the experiments. Finally, the arm will be
STS-32 is a unique mission for payloads operations, as specialists must
perform not only "up-processing" (i.e. pre-
flight operations to prepare the Syncom IV payload for integration into the
orbiter) but also a "down-processing" for 57 experiments that have been
exposed to the harsh space environment for more than 5 years aboard the
Long Duration Exposure Facility.
In supporting the return of LDEF, the KSC payload team, working
closely with Langley Research Center, has planned a post-flight flow that
accentuates the preservation of the scientific data. In addition, special
research teams from Langley, which sponsored the project, will be at KSC
when LDEF returns.
LDEF will remain in Columbia's payload bay during routine post-flight
servicing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. and during the ferry-flight back
To assist in maintaining experiment integrity, an air-conditioned purge
system will be hooked up to the orbiter during its stay at EAFB and any
overnight stops. This system will keep air-conditioned air circulating
through the payload bay.
Once Columbia is in the Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF), LDEF will be
removed from the cargo bay and placed in a payload canister and
transported to the Operations and Checkout Building (O&C). There, LDEF
will be loaded from the canister to the LATS (LDEF Assembly and
Transportation System). This special "cradle" is 55 feet long, l7 feet wide,
and 21 feet high. LATS also was used during the pre-launch processing of
LDEF is expected to be in the O&C from about Jan. 8-12. Then, supported
by the LATS, it will be transferred to the Spacecraft Assembly and
Encapsulation Facility, where the experiments will be taken off the frame
and turned over to researchers.
At KSC, LDEF will be turned over to Langley personnel for off-line facility
and experiment operations.
Before any experiment activities or operations begin, there will be an
initial inspection of LDEF and its experiments to check the general
condition of the spacecraft and to look for any unexpected changes.
Once the initial inspection is completed, all of the principal investigators
(PI) and the Special Investigation Groups (SIG) will conduct detailed visual
inspections of the entire LDEF and all of the visible experiment hardware.
Experiment trays will be removed from the LDEF and taken on ground
support equipment transporters to an experiment operations area. After
batteries are removed from once-active experiments, trays will go to a work
bench where the PIs will perform closer inspections and take basic
measurements. After the PIs have completed their procedures, the
experiment hardware will be properly configured, packaged and shipped to
the PIs' laboratories.
An accessible LDEF database will be developed to document all of the
information resulting from the LDEF mission. It is anticipated that this
unique body of data on space experiments and the effects of long-term
exposure in space on typical spacecraft hardware will become a valued
resource to future spacecraft designers. Structures like the LDEF provide a
relatively inexpensive way to conduct experiments and may be reusable.
Requirements for the use of the LDEF or similar facilities for follow-on
flights will be evaluated at a later date.
LDEF is a 12-sided, open grid structure made of aluminum rings and
longerons (fore-and-aft framing members). The structure is 30 feet long, 14
feet in diameter and weighs 8,000 pounds.
LDEF's center ring frame and end frames are of welded and bolted
construction. The longerons are bolted to both frames, and intercostals
(crosspieces between longerons) are bolted to the longerons to form
intermediate rings. The main load of LDEF was transmitted to the orbiter
through two side-support trunnions on the center ring.
LDEF holds 86 experiment trays, 72 around the circumference, six on the
Earth-pointing end and eight on the space-pointing end. A typical tray
measures 50 inches by 34 inches and investigators could choose one of three
depths: 3, 6 or 12 inches. The trays are made of aluminum and hold
experiments that weigh up to 200 pounds. Some experiments fill more than
one tray; some fill only part of a tray. All trays and their experiments
weigh only 13,400 pounds. Total weight of the structure, trays and
experiments is 21,393 pounds.
The LDEF experiments are divided into four groups: materials and
structures, power and propulsion, science and electronics and optics. The
57 experiments on LDEF involve 200 investigators, who represent 21
universities, 33 private companies, seven NASA centers, nine Department
of Defense laboratories and eight foreign countries.
LDEF science experiments include an interstellar gas experiment that
may provide insight into the formation of the Milky Way galaxy by
capturing and analyzing its interstellar gas atoms.
LDEF cosmic radiation experiments are designed to investigate the
evolution of the heavier elements in our galaxy.
LDEF micrometeoroid experiments could increase understanding of the
processes involved in the evolution of our Solar System. The impact of space
radiation on living organisms is another area investigated. LDEF science
experiments gathered data on the radiation intensity and its effect on living
organisms such as shrimp eggs and plant seeds.
Other LDEF experiments collected data on the behavior of a multitude of
materials used to manufacture spacecraft and space experiment systems
exposed to space, including radiation, vacuum, extreme temperature
variations, atomic oxygen and collision with space matter. The LDEF
mission has provided important information for the design of future
spacecraft that will require extended lifetimes in space, such as Space
Several LDEF experiments were designed to investigate the effects of
prolonged exposure to the space environment on optical system
components, which include optical filters, coatings, glasses, detectors and
optical fiber transmission links. LDEF provided an opportunity to study the
effects of long-term space exposure on the design of solar array power
systems by investigating the effects of exposure to the space environment on
a wide variety of solar cells and associated components.
A unique process for growing crystals in solutions, which took
advantage of the microgravity conditions provided by LDEF, was used to
grow high purity crystals with unique electrical properties applicable to
The Space Exposed Experiment Developed for Students (SEEDS) offers a
wide variety of opportunities for student experiments. Investigators will
provide a total of 12.5 million tomato seeds, packaged in kits, to students
from the upper elementary through the university level. Students will have
the unprecedented opportunity to study the effects of long-term space
exposure on tomato seeds. The program encourages active student
involvement and a multidisciplinary approach, allowing students to design
their own experiments and to be involved in decision making, data
gathering and reporting of final results.
The low cost of an LDEF experiment encouraged high-risk/high-return
investigations and made experiments particularly attractive to students
and research groups with no experience in space experimentation.
Investigators could take advantage of NASA and private industry expertise
to develop relatively inexpensive investigations.
The LDEF structure was designed and built at the Langley Research
Center in Hampton, Va. Experiment trays were provided to investigators,
who built their own experiments, installed them in trays and tested them.
To help reduce costs, each investigator established the amount of reliability,
quality control and testing required to insure proper operation of his
The LDEF project is managed by Langley for NASA's Office of
Aeronautics and Space Technology in Washington, D.C. E. Burton
Lightner is Manager of the LDEF Project Office. William H. Kinard is
LDEF Chief Scientist and Head of the Data Analysis Team.
AMERICAN FLIGHT ECHOCARDIOGRAPH
The American Flight Echocardiograph is an off-the-shelf medical
ultrasonic imaging system modified for Space Shuttle compatibility. The
AFE noninvasively generates a two-dimensional, cross-sectional image of
the heart or other soft tissues and displays it on a cathode-ray tube (CRT) at
30 frames per second.
AFE has flown before on STS-51D and is designed to provide inflight
measurements of the size and functioning of the heart and record heart
volume and cardiovascular responses to space flight. Results from the AFE
will be used in the development of optimal countermeasures to crew
Operated by STS-32 Mission Specialist Marsha Ivins, the AFE hardware
will be stored in an orbiter middeck locker. All five crew members will
participate in the experiment as subjects as time allows. Crew members
also will use the AFE to support Detailed Secondary Objective 478, the first
flight of a collapsible Lower Body Negative Pressure unit.
In echocardiography, a probe next to the skin sends high frequency
sound waves (ultrasound) through the skin and into the body, then detects
reflections or echos from the surfaces of the organs, producing pictures.
The Life Sciences Division of NASA's Office of Space Science and
Applications is sponsoring the AFE which was developed at the Johnson
Space Center. Dr. Michael Bungo, the Director of JSC's Space Biomedical
Research Institute, is the Principal
CHARACTERIZATION OF NEUROSPORA
Characterization of Neurospora Circadian Rhythms (CNCR) in Space is
a middeck payload sponsored by the Office of Space Science and
Applications, Life Sciences Division. The objective of the CNCR experiment
is to determine if neurospora (pink bread mold) circadian rhythm (diurnal
cycles) persists in the microgravity environment of space.
This experiment is intended to provide information about endogenously
driven biological clocks, which might then be applied to other organisms.
Endogenous indicates the activity occurs within a single cell's outer
Neurospora grows in two forms, a smooth confluence of silky threads
(mycelia) and cottony tufts of upright stalks tipped with tiny ball-shaped
spores (conidia). When growing in a constant, completely uniform external
environment, the neurospora mold cycles rhythmically from one growth
form to the other. This cycle causes the mold to produce the ball-shaped
spores on approximately 21-hour intervals. This interval is believed to be
controlled by an internal cell clock.
However, under typical circumstances, alterations in the external
environment, particularly day-night cycles with a period of 24 hours, are
capable of readjusting the neurospora internal clock. The fundamental
question addressed by this Shuttle experiment is whether the conditions of
space flight, especially the absence of Earth's strong gravitational field,
affect the neurospora's circadian rhythms. Because these rhythmic
phenomena also are found in all plants and animals, including humans,
this experiment addresses a broad and important biological question.
The Principal Investigator is Dr. James S. Ferraro, Southern Illinois
University, Carbondale, Ill. Project Manager is Dr. Randall Berthold at
NASA's Ames Research Center, Mountain View, Calif. Project Scientist is
Dr. Charles Winget, also at Ames. Program Scientist/Manager is Dr.
Thora Halstead, NASA Headquarters Life Sciences Division. Mission
Manager is Willie Beckham of NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston.
PROTEIN CRYSTAL GROWTH EXPERIMENT
The Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) payload aboard STS-32 is a continuing
series of experiments that may prove a major benefit to medical technology.
These experiments could improve food production and lead to innovative
new drugs to combat cancer, AIDS, high blood pressure, organ transplant
rejection, rheumatoid arthritis and many other diseases.
Protein crystals, like inorganic crystals such as snowflakes, are
structured in a regular pattern. With a good crystal, roughly the size of a
grain of table salt, scientists are able to study the protein's molecular
Determining a protein crystal's molecular shape is an essential step in
several phases of medical research. Once the three-dimensional structure
of a protein is known, it may be possible to design drugs that will either
block or enhance the protein's normal function within the body. Though
crystallographic techniques can be used to determine a protein's structure,
this powerful technique has been limited by problems encountered in
obtaining high-quality crystals well-ordered and large enough to yield
precise structural information.
Protein crystals grown on Earth are often small and flawed. The
problem associated with growing these crystals is analogous to filling a
sports stadium with fans who all have reserved seats. Once the gate opens,
people flock to their seats and in the confusion, often sit in someone else's
place. On Earth, gravity-driven convection keeps the molecules crowded
around the "seats" as they attempt to order themselves. Unfortunately,
protein molecules are not as particular as many of the smaller molecules
and are often content to take the wrong places in the structure.
As would happen if you let the fans into the stands slowly, microgravity
allows the scientist to slow the rate at which molecules arrive at their seats.
Since the molecules have more time to find their spot, fewer mistakes are
made, creating better and larger crystals.
During the STS-32 mission, 120 different PCG experiments will be
conducted simultaneously using as many as 24 different proteins. Though
there are three processes used to grow crystals on EarthQvapor diffusion,
liquid diffusion and dialysisQ only vapor diffusion will be used in this set of
Shortly after achieving orbit, either Mission Specialist Marsha Ivins or
Mission Specialist David Low will combine each of the protein solutions
with other solutions containing a precipitation agent to form small droplets
on the ends of double-barreled syringes positioned in small chambers.
Water vapor will diffuse from each droplet to a solution absorbed in a
porous reservoir that lines each chamber. The loss of water by this vapor
diffusion process will produce conditions in the droplets that cause protein
crystals to grow.
In three of the 20-chambered, 15-by-10-by-1.5-inch trays, crystals will be
grown at room temperature (22 degrees Centigrade); the other three trays
will be refrigerated (4 degrees C) during crystal growth. STS-32 will be the
first mission during which PCG experiments will be run at 4 degrees C,
making it possible to crystalize a wider selection of proteins. The 9-day
flight also provides a longer time period for crystals to grow.
A seventh tray will be flown without temperature control. The crew will
videotape droplets in the tray to study the effects of orbiter maneuvers and
crew activity on droplet stability and crystal formation.
Just prior to descent, the mission specialist will photograph the droplets
in the room temperature trays. Then all the droplets and any protein
crystals grown will be drawn back into the syringes. The syringes then will
be resealed for reentry. Upon landing, the hardware will be turned over to
the investigating team for analysis.
Protein crystal growth experiments were first carried out by the
investigating team during Spacelab 2 in April 1985. These experiments
have flown six times. The first four flights were primarily designed to
develop space crystal growing techniques and hardware.
The STS-26 and STS-29 experiments were the first scientific attempts to
grow useful crystals by vapor diffusion in microgravity. The main
differences between the STS-26 and STS-29 payloads and those on previous
flights were the introduction of temperature control and the automation of
some of the processes to improve accuracy and reduce the crew time
To further develop the scientific and technological foundation for protein
crystal growth in space, NASA's Office of Commercial Programs and the
Microgravity Science and Applications Division are co-sponsoring the STS-
32 experiments with management provided through Marshall Space Flight
Center, Huntsville, Ala. Blair Herren is the Marshall experiment
manager and Richard E. Valentine is the mission manager for the PCG
experiment at Marshall.
Dr. Charles E. Bugg, director of the Center for Macromolecular
Crystallography, a NASA-sponsored Center for the Development of Space
located at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, is lead investigator for
the PCG research team.
The STS-32 industry, university and government PCG research
investigators include CNRS, Marseille, France; Eli Lilly & Co.; U.S. Naval
Research Laboratory; E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.; Merck Sharp &
Dohme Laboratories; Texas A&M University; University of Alabama-
Birmingham/Schering Corp.; Yale University; University of Pennsylvania;
University of California at Riverside; The Weizmann Institute of Science;
Marshall Space Flight Center; Australian National University/BioCryst,
Ltd.; University of Alabama-Birmingham/BiCryst; Smith Kline & French
Labs.; The Upjohn Co.; Eastman Kodak Co.; Wellcome Research Labs. and
Georgia Institute of Technology.
MICROGRAVITY RESEARCH WITH
THE FLUIDS EXPERIMENT APPARATUS
Fluids Experiment Apparatus
The Fluids Experiment Apparatus (FEA) is designed to perform
materials processing research in the microgravity environment of
spaceflight. Its design and operational characteristics are based on actual
industrial requirements and have been coordinated with industrial
scientists, NASA materials processing specialists and Space Shuttle
operations personnel. The FEA offers experimenters convenient, low-cost
access to space for basic and applied research in a variety of product and
The FEA is a modular microgravity chemistry and physics laboratory for
use on the Shuttle and supports materials processing research in crystal
growth, general liquid chemistry, fluid physics and thermodynamics. It
has the functional capability to heat, cool, mix, stir or centrifuge gaseous,
liquid or solid experiment samples. Samples may be processed in a variety
of containers or in a semicontainerless floating zone mode. Multiple
samples can be installed, removed or exchanged through a 14.1-by-10-inch
door in the FEA's cover.
Instrumentation can measure sample temperature, pressure, viscosity,
etc. A camcorder or super-8mm movie camera may be used to record
sample behavior. Experiment data can be displayed and recorded through
the use of a portable computer that also is capable of controlling
The interior of the FEA is approximately 18.6-by-14.5-by-7.4 inches and
can accommodate about 40 pounds of experiment-unique hardware and
subsystems. The FEA mounts in place of a standard stowage locker in the
middeck of the Shuttle crew compartment, where FEA is operated by the
Modular design permits the FEA to be easily configured for almost any
experiment. Configurations may be changed in orbit, permitting
experiments of different types to be performed on a single Shuttle mission.
Optional subsystems may include custom furnace and oven designs,
special sample containers, low-temperature air heaters, specimen
centrifuge, special instrumentation and other systems specified by the
user. Up to 100 watts of 120-volt, 400-Hertz power is available from the
Shuttle orbiter for FEA experiments. The FEA was successfully flown on
two previous missions, as a student experiment on STS- 41D and as the first
flight of the JEA on STS-30.
Rockwell International, through its Space Transportation Systems
Division, Downey, Calif., is engaged in a joint endeavor agreement (JEA)
with NASA's Office Commercial Programs in the field of floating zone
crystal growth and purification research. The 1989 agreement provides for
microgravity experiments to be performed on two Space Shuttle missions.
Under the sponsorship of NASA's Office of Commercial Programs, the
FEA will fly aboard Columbia on STS-32. Rockwell is responsible for
developing the FEA hardware and for integrating the experiment payload.
Johnson Space Center, Houston, has responsibility for developing the
materials science experiments and for analyzing their results.
The Indium Corporation of America, Utica, N.Y., is collaborating with
NASA on the experiments and is providing seven indium samples to be
processed during this mission. NASA provides standard Shuttle flight
services under the JEA.
Floating Zone Crystal Growth and Purification
The floating zone process is one of many techniques used to grow single
crystal materials. The process involves an annular heater that melts a
length of sample material and then moves along the sample. As the heater
moves (translates), more of the polycrystalline material in front of it melts.
The molten material behind the heater will cool and solidify into a single
The presence of a "seed" crystal at the initial solidification interface will
establish the crystallographic lattice structure and orientation of the single
crystal that results. Impurities in the polycrystalline material will tend to
stay in the melt as it passes along the sample and will be deposited at the
end when the heater is turned off and the melt finally solidifies.
Under the influence of Earth's gravity, the length of the melt is
dependent upon the density and surface tension of the material being
processed. Many industrially important materials cannot be successfully
processed on Earth because of their properties. In the microgravity
environment of spaceflight, there is a maximum theoretical molten zone
length which can be achieved.
Materials of industrial interest include selenium, cadmium telluride,
gallium arsenide and others. Potential applications for those materials
include advanced electronic electro-optical devices and high-purity feed
stock. Zone refining to produce ultra-high purity indium also is of interest
for the production of advanced electronic devices from indium antimonide
and indium arsenide.
FEA-3 Experiment Plan
The FEA-3 microgravity disturbances experiment involves seven
samples (plus one spare) of commercial purity indium (99.97 percent
purity). Indium was chosen for this experiment because it is a well-
characterized material and has a relatively low melting point (156 degrees
Celsius). The samples each will be 1 centimeter in diameter and 18
centimeters long and will be processed in an inert argon atmosphere. The
sample seeding heater translation rates and process durations are provided
in the following table:
Experiment Samples and Parameters
Heater Rate Duration
Sample Seeded (cm/hour) (hours)
1 No 0 2.00
2 Yes 24 4.50
3 Yes 12 9.00
4 Yes 24 4.50
5 Yes 48 2.25
6 Yes 12 9.00
7 Yes 96 1.10
At 5.25 hours mission elapsed time (MET), the flight crew will unstow
the FEA and connect its computer and support equipment. The samples
will be sequentially installed at 20, 26, 44, 66, 97, 114 and 144 hours MET and
The experiment parameters (heater power and translation rate) will be
controlled by the operator through the FEA control panel. Sample behavior
(primarily melt-zone length and zone stability) will be observed by the
operator and recorded using the on-board camcorder. Experiment data
(heater power, translation rate and position, experiment time, and various
experiment and FEA temperatures) will be formatted, displayed to the
operator and recorded by the computer. The operator will record the MET
at the start of each experiment and significant orbiter maneuvers and other
disturbances that occur during FEA operations. In addition, accelerometer
measurements during the induced disturbances will be recorded for
In general, the experiment process involves installing a sample in the
FEA, positioning the heater at a designated point along the sample, turning
on the heater to melt a length of the sample, starting the heater translation
at a fixed rate and maintaining a constant melt-zone length. When the
heater reaches the end of the sample, it is turned off, allowing the sample to
completely solidify, and the heater's translation is reversed until it reaches
the starting end of the sample. The sample 8mm camcorder cassette and
computer disk with the experiment data then can be changed and the next
FEA-3 Experiment Description
Most materials are processed in space to take advantage of the low
gravity levels achievable in low-Earth orbit, which has been demonstrated
to produce superior quality crystals over those grown on the ground. The
focus of the FEA-3 experiment entitled "Microgravity Disturbances
Experiment," is to investigate the effects of both orbiter and crew-induced
disturbances in the microgravity environment on the resulting
microstructure of float-zone-grown indium crystals.
The FEA-3 experiment is one of the first designed specifically to grow
crystals during known disturbances to investigate their effects on crystal
growth processes. The disturbances to be investigated in this experiment
will focus on orbiter engine firings and crew exercise on the treadmill, but
will include several other disturbances typical of orbiter operations. This
research should provide information useful in establishing the
microgravity-level requirements for processing materials aboard Space
Station Freedom and also provide a greater understanding of the role of
residual gravity in materials processing.
This experiment will also investigate the effects of disturbances on the
stability of a freely suspended molten zone and provide information on the
impurity refining capability of float zone processing in space.
MESOSCALE LIGHTNING EXPERIMENT
Space Shuttle mission STS-32 will again carry the Mesoscale Lightning
Experiment (MLE), designed to obtain nighttime images of lightning to
better understand the global distribution of lightning, the relationships
between lightning events in nearby storms and relationships between
lightning, convective storms and precipitation.
A better understanding of the relationships between lightning and
thunderstorm characteristics can lead to the development of applications in
severe storm warning and forecasting and in early warning systems for
lightning threats to life and property.
In recent years, NASA has used the Space Shuttle and high-altitude U-2
aircraft to observe lightning from above convective storms. The objectives of
these observations have been to determine some of the baseline design
requirements for a satellite-borne optical lightning mapper sensor; study
the overall optical and electrical characteristics of lightning as viewed from
above the cloud top and to investigate the relationship between storm
electrical development and the structure, dynamics and evolution of
thunderstorms and thunderstorm systems.
The MLE began as an experiment to demonstrate that meaningful,
qualitative observations of lightning could be made from the Shuttle.
Having accomplished this, the experiment is now focusing on quantitative
measurements of lightning characteristics and observation simulations for
borne lightning sensors.
Data from the MLE will provide information for the development of
observation simulations for an upcoming polar platform and Space Station
instrument, the Lightning Imaging Sensor. The lightning experiment also
will be helpful for designing procedures for using the Lightning Mapper
Sensor, planned for several geostationary platforms.
The Space Shuttle payload bay camera will be pointed directly below the
orbiter to observe nighttime lightning in large, or mesoscale, storm systems
to gather global estimates of lightning as observed from Shuttle altitudes.
Scientists on the ground will analyze the imagery for the frequency of
lightning flashes in active storm clouds within the camera's field of view,
the length of lightning discharges and cloud brightness when illuminated
by the lightning discharge within the cloud.
If time permits during missions, astronauts also will use a handheld
35mm camera to photograph lightning activity in storm systems not
directly below the Shuttle's orbital track.
Data from the MLE will be associated with ongoing observations of
lightning made at several locations on the ground, including observations
made at facilities at the Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.;
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.; and the NOAA Severe Storms Laboratory,
Norman, Okla. Other ground-based lightning detection systems in
Australia, South America and Africa will be integrated when possible.
The MLE is managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Otha
H. Vaughan Jr., is coordinating the experiment. Dr. Hugh Christian is
the project scientist and Dr. James Arnold is the project manager.
The IMAX project is a collaboration between NASA and the Smithsonian
Institution's National Air and Space Museum to document significant
space activities using the IMAX film medium. This system, developed by
the IMAX Systems Corp., Toronto, Canada, uses specially designed 70mm
film cameras and projectors to record and display very high definition
large-screen color motion pictures.
IMAX cameras previously have flown on Space Shuttle missions 41-C,
41-D and 41-G to document crew operations in the payload bay and the
orbiter's middeck and flight deck along with spectacular views of Earth.
Film from those missions form the basis for the IMAX production, The
Dream is Alive.
In 1985, during Shuttle Mission STS-61-B, an IMAX camera mounted in
the payload bay recorded extravehicular activities in the EASE/ACCESS
space construction demonstrations.
So far in 1989, the IMAX camera has flown twice, during Shuttle
missions STS-29 in March and STS-34 in October. During those missions,
the camera was used to gather material for an upcoming IMAX production
entitled The Blue Planet.
During STS-32, IMAX will film the retrieval of the Long Duration
Exposure Facility and collect additional material for upcoming IMAX
AIR FORCE MAUI OPTICAL SITE
CALIBRATION TEST (AMOS)
The Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) tests allow ground-
based electro-optical sensors located on Mount Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii, to
collect imagery and signature data of the orbiter during overflights of that
location. The scientific observations made of the orbiter while performing
reaction control system thruster firings, water dumps or payload bay light
activation, are used to support calibration of the AMOS sensors and the
validation of spacecraft contamination models. The AMOS tests have no
payload-unique flight hardware and only require that the orbiter be in a
pre-defined attitude operations and lighting conditions.
The AMOS facility was developed by the Air Force Systems Command
(AFSC) through its Rome Air Development Center, Griffiss Air Force Base,
N.Y., and is administered and operated by the AVCO Everett Research
Laboratory in Maui. The principal investigator for the AMOS tests on the
Space Shuttle is from AFSC's Air Force Geophysics Laboratory, Hanscom
Air Force Base, Mass. A co-principal investigator is from AVCO.
Flight planning and mission support activities for the AMOS test
opportunities are provided by a detachment of AFSC's Space Systems
Division at Johnson Space Center. Flight operations are conducted at JSC
Mission Control Center in coordination with the AMOS facilities located in
On Shuttle mission 41-G, Payload Specialist and oceanographer Scully
Power observed numerous unusual oceanographic features from orbit but
was unable to determine their exact locations for subsequent study. NASA,
in conjunction with the Department of Defense, began work on an
instrument that would be able to determine the precise latitude and
longitude of objects observed from space.
The Latitude-Longitude Locator (L3) was developed and flown on a
previous Space Shuttle mission. This flight will continue tests to determine
the accuracy and usability of the system in finding the latitude and
longitude of known ground sites.
L3 consists of a modified Hasselblad camera equipped with a wide-angle
40 mm lens, a camera computer interface developed by JSC engineers and
a Graphics Retrieval and Information Display (GRID) 1139 Compass
Crew members will take two photographs of the same target at an
interval of approximately 15 seconds. Information will be fed to the GRID
computer, which will compute two possible locations. The crew, by
knowing whether the target is north or south of the flight path, will be able
to determine which of the two locations is correct and the target's latitude
Andy Saulietis of NASA's Johnson Space Center is the Principle
Investigator for the experiment.
AND DATA NETWORK
Primary communications for most activities on STS-32 will be conducted
through the orbiting Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS), a
constellation of three communications satellites, two operational and one
spare, in geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles above the Earth. In addition,
three NASA Spaceflight Tracking and Data Network (STDN) ground
stations and the NASA Communications Network (NASCOM), both
managed by Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., will play key
roles in the mission.
Three stationsQMerritt Island and Ponce de Leon, Fla., and BermudaQ
serve as the primary communications facilities during the launch and
ascent phases of the mission. For the first 80 seconds, all voice, telemetry
and other communications from the Space Shuttle are relayed to the
mission managers at Kennedy and Johnson Space Centers by Merritt
At 80 seconds, the communications are picked up from the Shuttle and
relayed to the two NASA centers from Ponce de Leon, 30 miles north of the
launch pad. This facility provides the communications between the Shuttle
and the centers for 70 seconds, or until 150 seconds into the mission. This
is during a critical period when exhaust from the solid rocket motors
"blocks out" the Merritt Island antennas.
Merritt Island resumes communications with the Shuttle after those 70
seconds and maintains communications until 6:30 after launch, when
communications are "switched over" to Bermuda. Bermuda then provides
the communications until 11 minutes after lift off when the TDRS-East
satellite acquires the Shuttle. TDRS-West acquires the orbiter at launch
plus 50 minutes.
Communications will alternate between the TDRS-East and TRDS-West
satellites as the Shuttle orbits the Earth. The two satellites will provide
communications with the Shuttle during 85 percent or more of each orbit.
The TDRS-West satellite will handle communication with the Shuttle
during its descent and landing phases.
Daniel C. Brandenstein, 46, Capt. USN, will serve as commander.
Selected as an astronaut in January 1978, he was born in Watertown,
Wisc., and will be making his third Shuttle flight.
Brandenstein was pilot for STS-8, the third flight of Challenger,
launched on Aug. 30, 1983. During the 6-day mission, the five-member
crew deployed the Indian National Satellite (INSAT-1B) and tested the
orbiter's remote manipulator system (RMS) with the Payload Test Article.
On his second flight, Brandenstein served as commander for STS-51G,
launched June 17, 1985. During the 7-day mission, the 18th Space Shuttle
flight, the seven-member crew deployed the Morelos satellite for Mexico; the
Arabsat satellite for the Arab League; and the AT&T Telstar satellite. Also,
the RMS was used to deploy and later retrieve the SPARTAN satellite.
Following STS-51G, Brandenstein became deputy director of flight crew
operations at JSC and later assumed his current post, chief of the
He graduated from Watertown High School in 1961 and received a B.S.
degree in mathematics and physics from the University of Wisconsin in
1965. Brandenstein was designated a naval aviator in 1967. During the
Vietnam War and later as a test pilot, he logged more than 5,200 hours of
flying time in 24 types of aircraft and has more than 400 carrier landings.
James D. Wetherbee, 37, Lt. Cmdr., USN, will serve as pilot. Selected as
an astronaut in May 1984, he was born in Flushing, N.Y., and will be
making his first Shuttle flight.
Wetherbee graduated from Holy Family Diocesan High School, South
Huntington, N.Y., in 1970 and received a B.S. in aerospace engineering
from Notre Dame in 1974.
Wetherbee was designated a naval aviator in December 1976. After
serving aboard the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy, he attended the
Naval Test Pilot School and completed training there in 1981. He then
worked with testing of, and later flew, the F/A-18 aircraft until his selection
Wetherbee has logged more than 2,500 hours flying in 20 types of aircraft
and completed more than 345 carrier landings.
Bonnie J. Dunbar, 40, will serve as mission specialist 1 (MS1). Selected
as an astronaut in August 1981, she was born in Sunnyside, Wash., and
will be making her second Shuttle flight.
Dunbar served as a mission specialist on STS-61A, the West German D-1
Spacelab mission and the first Shuttle flight to carry eight crew members.
During the 7-day mission, Dunbar was responsible for operating the
Spacelab and its subsystems as well as performing a variety of
Dunbar graduated from Sunnyside High School in 1967; received a B.S.
degree and an M.S. degree in ceramic engineering from the University of
Washington in 1971 and 1975, respectively; and received a doctorate in
biomedical engineering from the University of Houston in 1983.
Dunbar joined NASA as a payload officer/flight controller at JSC in 1978.
She served as a guidance and navigation officer/flight controller for the
Skylab reentry mission in 1979, among other tasks, prior to her selection as
an astronaut. She is a private pilot with more than 200 hours in single-
engine aircraft and more than 700 hours in T-38 jets as a co-pilot.
Marsha S. Ivins, 38, will serve as mission specialist 2 (MS2). Selected as
an astronaut in May 1984, she was born in Baltimore, Md., and will be
making her first Shuttle flight.
Ivins graduated from Nether Providence High School, Wallingford, Pa.,
in 1969 and received a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering from the
University of Colorado in 1973.
She began her career with NASA as an engineer in the Crew Station
Design Branch at JSC in July 1974. Her work involved Space Shuttle
displays and controls and development of the orbiter head-up display. In
1980, Ivins became a flight simulation engineer on the Shuttle Training
Aircraft and also served as a co-pilot on the NASA administrative aircraft,
a Gulfstream I.
Ivins has logged more than 4,500 hours flying time in NASA and private
aircraft and holds a multi-engine airline transport pilot license with a
Gulfstream I rating; single-engine airplane, land, sea and commercial
licenses; a commercial glider license; and instrument, multi-engine and
glider flight instructor ratings.
G. David Low, 33, will serve as mission specialist 3 (MS3). Selected as an
astronaut in May 1984, he was born in Cleveland and will be making his
first Shuttle flight.
Low graduated from Langley High School, McLean, Va., in 1974;
received a B.S. degree in physics-engineering from Washington and Lee
University in 1978; received a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from
Cornell University in 1980; and received a M.S. degree in aeronautics and
astronautics from Stanford University in 1983.
Low began his career with NASA in 1980 in the Spacecraft Systems
Engineering Section of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL),
Pasadena, Calif., where he participated in the preliminary planning of
several planetary missions and the systems engineering design of the
Galileo spacecraft. Following a 1-year leave of absence from JPL to pursue
graduate studies, he returned and worked as the principal spacecraft
systems engineer for the Mars Geoscience/Climatology Observer Project
until his selection as an astronaut.
As an astronaut, his technical assignments have included work with the
RMS and extravehicular systems. He also served as a spacecraft
communicator during STS-26, STS-27 and STS-29.