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STS064-S-001 (July 1994) --- The patch depicts the space shuttle Discovery in a payload-bay-to-Earth attitude with its primary payload, Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment (LITE-1) operating in support of Mission to Planet Earth. LITE-1 is a lidar (light detection and ranging) system that uses a three-wavelength laser, symbolized by the three gold rays emanating from the star in the payload bay that form part of the astronaut symbol. The major objective of this first flight of LITE-1 is to validate its design and operating characteristics by gathering data about the Earth's troposphere and stratosphere, represented by the clouds and dual-colored Earth limb. A secondary payload on STS-64 is the free-flier SPARTAN-201 satellite shown on the Remote Manipulator System (RMS) arm post-retrieval. The objective of SPARTAN-201 is to investigate the physics of the solar wind and complement data being obtained from the ULYSSES satellite launched on STS-41. The RMS will also operate another secondary payload, Shuttle Plume Impingement Flight Experiment (SPIFEX), which will assess the plume effects from the Orbiter's Reaction Control System thrusters. Additionally, STS-64 will test a new extravehicular activity (EVA) maneuvering device, Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER), represented symbolically by the two small nozzles on the backpacks of the two untethered EVA crew men. The names of the crew members encircle the patch: astronauts Richard N. Richards, commander; L. Blaine Hammond Jr., pilot; Jerry M. Linenger; Susan J. Helms, Carl J. Meade and Mark C. Lee, all mission specialists. The gold or silver stars by each name represent that person's parent service.    The NASA insignia design for space shuttle flights is reserved for use by the astronauts and for other official use as the NASA Administrator may authorize. Public availability has been approved only in the forms of illustrations by the various news media. When and if there is any change in this policy, which is not anticipated, the change will be publicly announced. Photo credit: NASA


Occurred 30 years ago

First flight of Lidar In-space Technology Experiment (LITE) and first untethered U.S. extravehicular activity (EVA) in 10 years.



mission duration

10 days, 22 hours, 49 minutes


September 9, 1994


September 20, 1994
Four astronauts in orange suits and two in white spacesuits pose for crew photo in front of American flag.
These six NASA astronauts were assigned as crew members to fly aboard the space shuttle Discovery for the STS-64 mission. Astronaut Richard N. Richards (center front) was mission commander, while L. Blaine Hammond Jr. (front left) was pilot. The other crew members were Susan J. Helms and (left to right, back row) Mark C. Lee, Jerry M. Linenger and Carl J. Meade, all mission specialists. (June 1994)

STS-64 Mission Facts

Mission: LITE; SPARTAN-201
Space Shuttle: Discovery
Launch Pad: 39B
Launched: September 9, 1994, 6:22:55 p.m. EDT
Landing Site: Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Landing: September 20, 1994, 5:12:52 p.m. EDT
Runway: 04
Rollout Distance: 9,656 feet
Rollout Time: 60 seconds
Revolution: 176
Mission Duration: 10 days, 22 hours, 49 minutes, 57 seconds
Returned to KSC: September 27, 1994
Orbit Altitude: 140 nautical miles
Orbit Inclination: 57 degrees
Miles Traveled: 4.5 million


Richard N. Richards, Commander
L. Blaine Hammond Jr., Pilot
Jerry M. Linenger, Mission Specialist
Susan J. Helms, Mission Specialist
Carl J. Meade, Mission Specialist
Mark C. Lee, Mission Specialist

Mission Highlights

STS-64 marked first flight of Lidar In-space Technology Experiment (LITE) and first untethered U.S. extravehicular activity (EVA) in 10 years. LITE payload employs lidar, which stands for light detection and ranging, a type of optical radar using laser pulses instead of radio waves to study Earth’s atmosphere. First spaceflight of lidar was highly successful technology test. LITE instrument operated for 53 hours, yielding more than 43 hours of high-rate data. Unprecedented views were obtained of cloud structures, storm systems, dust clouds, pollutants, forest burning and surface reflectance. Sites studied included atmosphere above northern Europe, Indonesia and the south Pacific, Russia and Africa. Sixty-five groups from 20 countries are making validation measurements with ground-based and aircraft instruments to verify LITE data. LITE science program is part of NASA’s Mission to Planet Earth.

Mission Specialists Lee and Meade completed the 28th EVA of the Space Shuttle Program on Sept. 16. During six-hour, 15- minute EVA, they tested new backpack called Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER), designed for use in event crew member becomes untethered while conducting an EVA.

On fifth day of the mission, the Shuttle Pointed Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy-201 (SPARTAN-201) free flyer was released using Remote Manipulator System arm. Making its second flight on the shuttle, SPARTAN-201 was designed to collect data about acceleration and velocity of solar wind and to measure aspects of sun’s corona. Data recorded for playback after return to Earth. SPARTAN-201 retrieved after two days of data collection.

Other cargo bay payloads: Shuttle Plume Impingement Flight Experiment (SPIFEX), a 33-foot (10-meter) long instrumented extension for the shuttle robot arm. SPIFEX designed to collect data about orbiter Reaction Control System (RCS) thrusters to aid understanding about potential effects of thruster plumes on large space structures, such as Mir space station or planned international space station. Robot Operated Processing System (ROMPS) was first U.S. robotics system operated in space, mounted in two Get Away Special (GAS) canisters attached to cargo bay wall. A GAS bridge assembly in cargo bay carried 12 cans, 10 holding self-contained experiments.

Middeck experiments included: Biological Research in Canister (BRIC) experiment to investigate effects of spaceflight on plant specimens; Military Application of Ship Tracks (MAST) to take high-resolution imagery of ship tracks and to analyze wake formation and dissipations; Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE) to supply information on flame propagation over fuels in space; Radiation Monitoring Equipment III (RME III) to measure ionizing radiation; Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment II (SAREX II) to demonstrate feasibility of short-wave radio contacts between orbiter and ground-based amateur radio operators; and Air Force Maui Optical Station (AMOS) test, which required no onboard hardware.

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