Mission: Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-4 (TDRS-4)
Space Shuttle: Discovery
Launch Pad: 39B
Launch Weight: 256,357 pounds
Launched: March 13, 1989, 9:57:00 a.m. EST
Landing Site: Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Landing: March 18, 1989, 6:35:50 a.m. PST
Landing Weight: 194,789 pounds
Rollout Distance: 9,339 feet
Rollout Time: 53 seconds
Mission Duration: 4 days, 23 hours, 38 minutes, 50 seconds
Returned to Kennedy Space Center: March 24, 1989
Orbit Altitude: 184 nautical miles
Orbit Inclination: 28.5 degrees
Miles Traveled: 2 million
The launch manifested for February 18 was reassessed for a late February/early March launch to replace suspect liquid oxygen turbopumps on Discovery’s three main engines and faulty master events controller. The launch on March 13 was delayed 1 hour, 50 minutes due to morning ground fog and upper winds.
The primary payload, Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-4 (TDRS-4) which was attached to an Inertial Upper Stage (IUS), became the third TDRS to be deployed. After deployment, the IUS propelled the satellite to a geosynchronous orbit. Secondary payloads: Orbiter Experiments Autonomous Supporting Instrumentation System-1 (OASIS-1); Space Station Heat Pipe Advanced Radiator Experiment (SHARE); Protein Crystal Growth (PCG); Chromosomes and Plant Cell Division (CHROMEX); two Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSIP) experiments; and Air Force experiment using orbiter as calibration target for ground-based experiment for Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) in Hawaii. Crew also photographed Earth with a hand-held IMAX camera.