Mission Archives

Space Shuttle: Atlantis
Launch Pad: 39A
Launch Weight: 259,374 pounds
Launched: August 2, 1991, 11:01:59 a.m. EDT
Landing Site: Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Landing: August 11, 1991, 8:23:25 a.m. EDT
Landing Weight: 196,088 pounds
Runway: 15
Rollout Distance: 9,890 feet
Rollout Time: 59 seconds
Revolution: 142
Mission Duration: 8 days, 21 hours, 21 minutes, 25 seconds
Orbit Altitude: 174 nautical miles
Orbit Inclination: 28.45 degrees
Miles Traveled: 3.7 million

Crew Members

                    STS-43 Crew Photo

Image above: STS-43 Crew photo with Commander John E. Blaha, Pilot Michael E. Baker, Mission Specialists Shannon W. Lucid, James C. Adamson and G. David Low. Image Credit: NASA

Launch Highlights

STS-43 Mission Patch The launch was originally set for July 23, but was moved to July 24 to allow time to replace a faulty integrated electronics assembly that controls orbiter/external tank separation. The mission was postponed again about five hours before liftoff on July 24 due to a faulty main engine controller on the number three main engine. The controller was replaced and retested; launch was reset for August 1. Liftoff set for 11:01 a.m. delayed due to cabin pressure vent valve reading and postponed at 12:28 p.m. due to unacceptable return-to-launch site weather conditions. Launch reset for August 2.

Mission Highlights

The primary payload, Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-5 (TDRS-5) was attached to an inertial Upper Stage (IUS), and deployed about six hours into flight, the IUS propelled the satellite into geosynchronous orbit; TDRS-5 becomes the fourth member of the orbiting TDRS cluster. Secondary payloads were Space Station Heat Pipe Advanced Radiator Element II (SHARE II); Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultra-Violet (SSBUV) instrument; Tank Pressure Control Equipment (TPCE) and Optical Communications Through Windows (OCTW). Other experiments included Auroral Photography Experiment (APE-B) Protein Crystal Growth Ill (PCG Ill); Bioserve / Instrumentation Technology Associates Materials Dispersion Apparatus (BIMDA); Investigations Into Polymer Membrane Processing (IPMP); Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS); Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE); Ultraviolet Plume imager (UVPI); and the Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) experiment.

NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center