Space Shuttle: Discovery
Launch Pad: 39A
Launch Weight: 240,062 pounds
Launched: September 12, 1991, 7:11:04 p.m. EDT
Landing Site: Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Landing: September 18, 1991, 12:38:42 a.m. PDT
Landing Weight: 192,780 pounds
Rollout Distance: 9,513 feet
Rollout Time: 50 seconds
Mission Duration: 5 days, 8 hours, 27 minutes, 38 seconds
Returned to KSC: September 26, 1991
Orbit Altitude: 313 nautical miles
Orbit Inclination: 57 degrees
Miles Traveled: 2.2 million
Image above: STS-48 Crew photo with Commander John O. Creighton, Pilot Kenneth S. Reightler, Jr., Mission Specialists
Mark N. Brown, Charles D. Gemar and James F. Buchli. Image Credit: NASA
The primary payload, the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), was deployed on the third day of the mission. During its planned 18-month mission, the 14,500-pound observatory will make the most extensive study ever conducted of the Earth's troposphere, the upper level of the planet's envelope of life sustaining gases which also include the protective ozone layer. UARS has ten sensing and measuring devices: Cryogenic Limb Array Etalon Spectrometer (CLAES); Improved Stratospheric and Mesospheric Sounder (ISAMS); Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS); Halogen Occultation Experiment (HALOE); High Resolution Doppler Imager (HRDI); Wind Imaging Interferometer (WlNDII); Solar Ultraviolet Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SUSIM); Solar/Stellar Irradiance Comparison Experiment (SOLSTICE); Particle Environment Monitor (PEM) and Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor (ACRIM II).
The secondary payloads were: Ascent Particle Monitor (APM); Middeck 0-Gravity Dynamics Experiment (MODE); Shuttle Activation Monitor (SAM); Cosmic Ray Effects and Activation Monitor (CREAM); Physiological and Anatomical Rodent Experiment (PARE); Protein Crystal Growth II-2 (PCG II-2); Investigations into Polymer Membrane Processing (IPMP); and the Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) experiment.
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center