Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Launch:||May 7, 1992, 7:40 p.m. EDT.|
|Landing:||May 16, 1992, 6:57:38 p.m. EDT, Runway 22, EAFB, CA.|
|Duration:||8 days, 21 hours, 17 minutes, 38 seconds.|
|Orbit Altitude:||195 nautical miles (361 km)|
|Orbit Inclination:||28.35 degrees|
|Distance Traveled:||3,696,019 miles (5,948,166 km)|
- Daniel C. Brandenstein (4), Commander
- Kevin P. Chilton (1), Pilot
- Pierre J. Thuot (2), Mission Specialist 1
- Kathryn C. Thornton (2), Mission Specialist 2
- Richard J. Hieb (2), Mission Specialist 3
- Thomas D. Akers (2), Mission Specialist 4
- Bruce E. Melnick (2), Mission Specialist 5
- Orbiter landing with payload: 91,214 kg
- Payload: 14,618 kg
- Perigee: 268 km
- Apogee: 341 km
- Inclination: 28.3°
- Period: 90.6 min
- Thuot and Hieb - EVA 1
- EVA 1 Start: May 10, 1992 - 20:40 UTC
- EVA 1 End: May 11, - 00:23
- Duration: 3 hours, 43 minutes
- Thuot and Hieb - EVA 2
- EVA 2 Start: May 11, 1992 - 21:05 UTC
- EVA 2 End: May 12, - 02:35 UTC
- Duration: 5 hours, 30 minutes
- Thuot, Hieb and Akers - EVA 3
- EVA 3 Start: May 13, 1992 - 21:17 UTC
- EVA 3 End: May 14, - 05:46 UTC
- Duration: 8 hours, 29 minutes
- Thornton and Akers - EVA 4
- EVA 4 Start: May 14, 1992 - ~21:00 UTC
- EVA 4 End: May 15, ~05:00 UTC
- Duration: 7 hours, 44 minutes
INTELSAT VI (F-3) satellite, stranded in an unusable orbit since launch aboard a Titan vehicle in March 199O, was captured by crewmembers during an EVA (extravehicular activity) and equipped with a new perigee kick motor. The Satellite was subsequently released into orbit and the new motor fired to put the spacecraft into a geosynchronous orbit for operational use.
The capture required three EVAs: a planned one by astronaut Pierre J. Thuot and Richard J. Hieb who were unable to attach a capture bar to the satellite from a position on the RMS; a second unscheduled but identical attempt the following day; and finally an unscheduled but successful hand capture by Pierre J. Thuot and fellow crewmen Richard J. Hieb and Thomas D. Akers as commander Daniel C. Brandenstein delicately maneuvered the orbiter to within a few feet of the 4.5-ton communications satellite. An ASEM structure was erected in the cargo bay by the crew to serve as a platform to aid in the hand capture and subsequent attachment of the capture bar.
A planned EVA also was performed by astronauts Kathryn C. Thornton and Thomas D. Akers as part of the Assembly of Station by EVA Methods (ASEM) experiment to demonstrate and verify maintenance and assembly capabilities for Space Station Freedom. The ASEM space walk, originally scheduled for two successive days, was cut to one day because of the lengthy INTELSAT retrieval operation.
Other "payloads of opportunity" experiments conducted included: Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG), Ultraviolet Plume Imager (UVPI) and the Air Force Maui Optical Station (AMOS) investigation. Mission was extended two days to complete objectives.
The following records were set during the STS-49 mission:
- First EVA involving three astronauts.
- First and second longest EVA to date: 8 hours and 29 minutes and 7 hours and 45 minutes.
- First Shuttle mission to feature four EVAs.
- EVA time for a single Shuttle mission: 25 hours and 27 minutes, or 59:23 person hours.
- First Shuttle mission requiring three rendezvous with an orbiting spacecraft.
- Attached a live rocket motor to an orbiting satellite.
- First use of a-drag chute during a Shuttle landing.
- Space science
- Space shuttle
- List of space shuttle missions
- List of human spaceflights chronologically
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