Search Johnson


Text Size


Ed Campion

Headquarters, Washington, D.C. May 6, 1993

(Phone: 202/358-1778)

Jeffrey Carr

Johnson Space Center, Houston

(Phone: 713/483-5111)

RELEASE: 93-033


With the return this morning of the Space Shuttle Columbia from its 14th successful mission, just over 1 full year of flight time in space has been accumulated by the Space Shuttle fleet. In that time, a number of significant statistics have emerged.

The 1-year mark was surpassed at 10:01:42 a.m. CDT on May 5. With the landing at the Dryden Flight Research Facility, Edwards, Calif., at 9:30 a.m. CDT today, the total accumulated Shuttle flight time stands at 365 days, 23 hours and 28 minutes.

The Space Shuttle flight era began with STS-1 and the launch of Columbia on April 12, 1981 with mission Commander John Young and Pilot Robert Crippen. Since then, Space Shuttles have carried to orbit 670 major, fixed and deployable payloads and experiments totalling 822 tons and returned 636 weighing 425 tons.

Representing only 5 percent of all U.S. space launches, Space Shuttles have carried 56 percent of all U.S. payloads to orbit and 44 percent of all U.S. cargo weight to orbit.

Fifty-one satellites have been deployed, 5 of which were recovered and returned on the same flight. Three of the 51 satellites were interplanetary probes to Venus (Magellan), Jupiter (Galileo) and the Sun (Ulysses). Three were orbiting observatories - the Hubble Space Telescope, the Gamma Ray Observatory and the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite.

- more -

- 2 -

Others were communications satellites and experiment platforms such as the Long Duration Exposure Facility which orbited Earth for nearly 6 years before being retrieved and returned to Earth. Two communications satellites, the PALAPA-B2 and WESTAR-VI, were later retrieved, returned to Earth for refurbishment and relaunched.

Scientific studies aboard the Space Shuttle and in Spacelab modules carried aboard Shuttles have investigated life sciences, materials sciences, combustion science, solar science and physics, space plasma physics, atmospheric studies, biotechnology, Earth observations, astronomy and the study of the behavior of metals, semiconductors, bio-processing and fluids in the microgravity enviroment of space flight. Time accumulated in Spacelab science operations, alone, stands at 96 days and 13 hours.

Including 16 non-U.S. flyers representing 10 different countries, 161 individuals have flown in space at least once on the Shuttle. Astronauts have conducted 16 rendezvous operations, the retrieval and repair of 3 satellites and 20 spacewalks totalling over 223 hours. Six of them were untethered free-flights using the manned maneuvering unit.

- end -



As of STS-55 landing on May 6, 1993


Missions Launched: 55 (approx. 5 percent of total U.S. launches)

Miles Traveled: Over 130 million statute miles

Orbits Flown: Over 6,200

Mission Success Rate: 98.181 percent (54 of 55 flights successful)


Shuttle Man-Years in Orbit: 5.7 (65 percent of total U.S. man-years)

(25 percent of total man-years)

Individuals Flown in Space on Shuttle: 161 (55 percent of total humans in


* 145 U.S. flyers (80 percent of total Americans in space)

* 16 non-U.S. flyers representing 10 countries

* 89 flyers have made multiple flights


Payloads to Orbit: 670 (approx. 56 percent of total U.S. payloads to orbit)

(approx. 16 percent of total announced payloads to orbit)

(Note: Includes major attached payloads and experiments, deployables)

Payloads Returned to Earth: 636

Satellites Deployed: 51

Satellites Retrieved and Repaired: 3 (Solar Max, LEASAT-3, INTELSAT-V)

Satellites Retrieved and Returned to Earth: 9 (2 refurbished and relaunched)


Cargo Weight to Orbit: 1.64 million lbs (822 tons) (44 percent total U.S.)

Cargo Weight Deployed: 756,000 lbs (378 tons)

Total Weight (including Orbiters) to Orbit: approx. 13.5 million lbs

- more -

- 2 -


Shuttle Rendezvous Operations: 16

Shuttle Spacewalks (EVAs): 20 (16 planned and 4 unplanned; 6 free-flyers)

Total Shuttle EVA Time: 223 hours

Space-walking Shuttle Astronauts: 22 (46 percent of total U.S. spacewalkers)

Women Flown in Space on Shuttle: 19

American Minority Astronauts Flown: 11

Members of Congress Flown: 2

Shuttle Orbiter Flights

Discovery 16

Columbia 14

Atlantis 12

Challenger 10

Endeavour 3

Spacelab Missions: 12 (including 96 days, 13 hrs. of science operations)

Note: These statistics are based on announced information and as such, are

somewhat conservative. Some information regarding Department of Defense

missions was unavailable for these calculations.

- end -


- end -

text-only version of this release