|Names||Space Transportation System-28|
|Mission type||TDRS-D deployment|
|Mission duration||4 days, 23 hours, 38 minutes, 50 seconds (achieved)|
|Distance travelled||3,200,000 km (2,000,000 mi)|
|Spacecraft||Space Shuttle Discovery|
|Launch mass||116,281 kg (256,356 lb)|
|Landing mass||88,353 kg (194,785 lb)|
|Payload mass||17,280 kg (38,100 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||13 March 1989, 14:57:00 UTC|
|Rocket||Space Shuttle Discovery|
|Launch site||Kennedy Space Center, LC-39B|
|End of mission|
|Landing date||18 March 1989, 14:35:50 UTC|
|Landing site||Edwards Air Force Base,|
|Reference system||Geocentric orbit|
|Regime||Low Earth orbit|
|Perigee altitude||297 km (185 mi)|
|Apogee altitude||308 km (191 mi)|
|Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing observatory (AMOS)|
Chromosomes and Plant Cell Division in Space (CHROMEX)
Protein Crystal Growth (PCG)
Space Station Heat Pipe Advanced Radiator Element (SHARE)
Two Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSIP)
STS-29 mission patch
Back row: James P. Bagian, Robert C. Springer, James F. Buchli
Front row: John E. Blaha and Michael L. Coats
STS-29 was the 28th NASA Space Shuttle mission, during which Space Shuttle Discovery inserted a Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) into Earth orbit. It was the third shuttle mission following the Challenger disaster in 1986, and launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 13 March 1989. STS-29R was the eighth flight of Discovery and the 28th Space Shuttle mission overall; its planned predecessor, STS-28, was delayed until August 1989.
The mission was technically designated STS-29R as the original STS-29 designator belonged to STS-61-A, the 22nd Space Shuttle mission. Official documentation and paperwork for that mission contained the designator STS-29 when it was allocated to Space Shuttle Columbia and later as STS-30 when allocated to Challenger. As STS-51-L was designated STS-33, future flights with the STS-26 through STS-33 designators would require the R in their documentation to avoid conflicts in tracking data from one mission to another.
|Commander||Michael L. Coats|
|Pilot||John E. Blaha|
|Mission Specialist 1||Robert C. Springer|
|Mission Specialist 2||James F. Buchli|
|Mission Specialist 3||James P. Bagian|
Seats 1–4 are on the Flight Deck. Seats 5–7 are on the Middeck.
Discovery lifted off from Launch Complex 39B, Kennedy Space Center, at 9:57:00 a.m. EST on 13 March 1989. The launch was originally scheduled for 18 February 1989, but was postponed to allow for the replacement of faulty liquid oxygen turbopumps on the three main engines. The amended target date of 11 March 1989 was postponed by 1 day, because of the failure of a master event controller (MEC); #2 when it was powered up during prelaunch checkout, as well as an additional day to replace a faulty fuel preburner oxidizer valve (FPOV). On the rescheduled launch day of 13 March 1989, the launch was delayed for nearly two hours because of ground fog and high upper winds. A waiver was approved for the orbiter's wing loads.
The primary payload was TDRS-D, the third and final component of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) constellation in geosynchronous orbit. The three on-orbit satellites were stationed over the equator at about 35,900 km (22,300 mi) above Earth; two of them were positioned 130° apart, while the third was located between them as an on-orbit spare.
On Flight Day 1, one of three cryogenic hydrogen tanks which supplied shuttle's electricity-generating fuel cells exhibited erratic pressure fluctuations. It was deactivated while engineers studied the problem, and the crew was told to conserve electrical power. The tank was reactivated on Flight Day 3, 15 March 1989, and operated successfully thereafter.
Discovery landed on 18 March 1989, after orbit 80, one orbit earlier than planned, in order to avoid possible excessive wind buildup expected at the landing site. The shuttle touched down on Runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base, California, at 9:35|51 a.m. EST. The total mission duration was 4 days, 23 hours, 38 minutes, and 52 seconds.
The mission's primary payload was TDRS-D, which became TDRS-4 after deployment, and its attached Inertial Upper Stage (IUS). The satellite was deployed from the shuttle's payload bay less than six hours after launch, at 3:12 a.m. EST. The first-stage orbit burn of the IUS took place an hour later, and the second burn to circularize the orbit occurred 12 hours and 30 minutes into the mission. The satellite was stationed at 41.0° West longitude.
Discovery also carried eight secondary payloads, including two Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSIP) experiments. One student experiment, using four live rats with tiny pieces of bone removed from their bodies, was to test whether the environmental effects of space flight inhibit bone healing. The other student experiment was to fly 32 chicken eggs to determine the effects of space flight on fertilized chicken embryos.
One experiment, mounted in the payload bay, was only termed "partially successful". The Space Station Heat Pipe Advanced Radiator Element (SHARE), a potential cooling system for the planned Space Station Freedom, operated continuously for less than 30 minutes under powered electrical loads. The failure was blamed on the faulty design of the equipment, especially the manifold section.
All other experiments operated successfully. Crystals were obtained from all the proteins in the Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) experiment. The Chromosomes and Plant Cell Division in Space (CHROMEX), a life sciences experiment, was designed to show the effects of microgravity on root development. An IMAX (70 mm) camera was used to film a variety of scenes for the 1990 IMAX film Blue Planet, including the effects of floods, hurricanes, wildfires and volcanic eruptions on Earth. A ground-based U.S. Air Force experiment used the orbiter as a calibration target for the Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) in Hawaii.
NASA began a tradition of playing music to astronauts during the Project Gemini, and first used music to wake up a flight crew during Apollo 15. Each track is specially chosen, often by the astronauts' families, and usually has a special meaning to an individual member of the crew, or is applicable to their daily activities.
|Day 2||"I Got You (I Feel Good)"||James Brown|
|Day 3||"Marine Corps Hymn"|
|Day 4||"Theme from Star Trek: TOS"||Alexander Courage|
|Day 5||"Heigh-Ho"||Song from the Walt Disney animated film Snow White|
|Day 6||"What a Wonderful World"||Louis Armstrong|
((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.