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Occurred 34 years ago

STS-41 primary payload was Ulysses, a spacecraft to explore polar regions of Sun.



mission duration

4 days, 2 hours, 10 minutes, 4 seconds


Oct. 6, 1990


Oct. 10, 1990
Five men in blue jumpsuits pose in front of shuttle.
These five astronauts were assigned to fly the STS-41 mission for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Pictured near the flight line at Ellington Field prior to an early morning flight in NASA T-38s are (kneeling, from the left) Robert D. Cabana, pilot; and Richard N. Richards, mission commander; and (standing, from left) Bruce E. Melnick, Thomas D. Akers and William M. Shepherd, all mission specialists. Primary payload for the Space Shuttle Discovery on the STS 41 mission was Ulysses. (7 May 1990)

Mission Facts

Mission: Ulysses; SSBUV; ISAC
Space Shuttle: Discovery
Launch Pad: 39B
Launch Weight: 259,593 pounds
Launched: Oct. 6, 1990, 7:47:15 a.m. EDT
Landing Site: Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Landing: Oct. 10, 1990, 6:57:19 a.m. PDT
Landing Weight: 196,869 pounds
Runway: 22
Rollout Distance: 8,532 feet
Rollout Time: 49 seconds
Revolution: 66
Mission Duration: 4 days, 2 hours, 10 minutes, 4 seconds
Returned to KSC: Oct. 16, 1990
Orbit Altitude: 160 nautical miles
Orbit Inclination: 28.45 degrees
Miles Traveled: 1.7 million


Richard N. Richards, Commander
Robert D. Cabana, Pilot
Bruce E. Melnick, Mission Specialist
Thomas D. Akers, Mission Specialist
William M. Shepherd, Mission Specialist

Mission Highlights

The primary payload, ESA-built Ulysses spacecraft to explore polar regions of Sun, deployed. Two upper stages, Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) and a mission-specific Payload Assist Module-S (PAM-S), combined together for first time to send Ulysses toward out-of-ecliptic trajectory. Other payloads and experiments: Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SSBUV) experiment; INTELSAT Solar Array Coupon (ISAC); Chromosome and Plant Cell Division Experiment (CHROMEX); Voice Command System (VCS); Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE), Investigations into Polymer Membrane Processing (IPMP); Physiological Systems Experiment (PSE); Radiation Monitoring Experiment III (RME III); Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSIP) and Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) experiment.

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