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Occurred 35 years ago

STS-34 deployed Galileo, a Jupiter probe.



mission duration

4 days, 23 hours, 39 minutes, 21 seconds


Oct. 18, 1989


Oct. 23, 1989
Five astronauts pose for crew portrait with model shuttle and US flag in the background.
These five astronauts were assigned to fly the Space Shuttle Atlantis for the mission on which the Jupiter probe, Galileo was deployed. Seated, left to right, are mission specialists Shannon W. Lucid, Ph.D.; Franklin Chang-Diaz, Ph.D.; and Ellen S. Baker, M.D. Standing behind the mission specialists are left, Donald E. Williams, commander; and Michael J. McCulley, pilot. (July 1989)

Mission Facts

Mission: Galileo; Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Experiment
Space Shuttle: Atlantis
Launch Pad: 39B
Launch Weight: 257,569 pounds
Launched: October 18, 1989, 12:53:40 p.m. EDT
Landing Site: Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Landing: October 23, 1989, 9:33:01 a.m. PDT
Landing Weight: 195,954 pounds
Runway: 23
Rollout Distance: 9,677 feet
Rollout Time: 60 seconds
Revolution: 79
Mission Duration: 4 days, 23 hours, 39 minutes, 21 seconds
Returned to KSC: October 29, 1989
Orbit Altitude: 185 nautical miles
Orbit Inclination: 34.3 degrees
Miles Traveled: 2 million


Donald E. Williams, Commander
Michael J. McCulley, Pilot
Shannon W. Lucid, Ph.D., Mission Specialist
Franklin Chang-Diaz, Ph.D., Mission Specialist
Ellen S. Baker, M.D., Mission Specialist

Launch Highlights

The launch set for October 12 was rescheduled due to a faulty main engine controller on number the two main engine. The launch set for October 17 was rescheduled due to weather constraints for a return-to-launch-site landing at KSC’s Shuttle Landing Facility.

Mission Highlights

The primary payload, Galileo/Jupiter spacecraft and attached Inertial Upper Stage (IUS), was deployed six hours, 30 minutes into the flight. IUS stages fired, placing Galileo on trajectory for six-year trip to Jupiter via gravitational boosts from Venus and Earth and possible observational brushes with asteroids Gaspra and Ida. Secondary payloads included Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SSBUV) experiment carried in cargo bay, and in crew cabin, Growth Hormone Crystal Distribution (GHCD); Polymer Morphology (PM), Sensor Technology Experiment (STEX); Mesoscale Lightning Experiment (MLE); IMAX camera; Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSIP) experiment that investigated ice crystal formation in zero gravity; and ground-based Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) experiment.

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