STS-44 DSP deployment.jpg
Atlantis deploys a Defense Support Program (DSP) satellite.
NamesSpace Transportation System-44
Mission typeDSP satellite deployment
COSPAR ID1991-080A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.21795
Mission duration6 days, 22 hours, 50 minutes, 44 seconds (achieved)
Distance travelled4,651,112 km (2,890,067 mi)
Orbits completed110
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftSpace Shuttle Atlantis
Launch mass117,766 kg (259,630 lb)
Landing mass87,919 kg (193,828 lb)
Payload mass20,240 kg (44,620 lb)
Crew size6
Start of mission
Launch date24 November 1991, 23:44:00 UTC
RocketSpace Shuttle Atlantis
Launch siteKennedy Space Center, LC-39A
ContractorRockwell International
End of mission
Landing date1 December 1991, 22:34:12 UTC
Landing siteEdwards Air Force Base,
Runway 5
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Perigee altitude363 km (226 mi)
Apogee altitude371 km (231 mi)
Period91.90 minutes
Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS)
Bioreactor Flow
Cosmic Radiation Effects and Activation Monitor (CREAM)
Extended Duration Orbiter Medical Project
Extended Duration Orbiter (EDO)
Interim Operational Contamination Monitor (IOCM)
Military Man in Space (M88-1)
Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME III)
Shuttle Activation Monitor (SAM)
Ultraviolet Plume Instrument (UVPI)
Visual Function Tester (VFT-1)

STS-44 mission patch
STS-44 crew.jpg

Standing: James S. Voss, Thomas J. Hennen, Mario Runco Jr.
Seated: Terence T. Henricks, Frederick D. Gregory, F. Story Musgrave
← STS-48 (43)
STS-42 (45) →

STS-44 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission using Atlantis that launched on 24 November 1991. It was a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) space mission.


Position Astronaut
Commander Frederick D. Gregory
Third and last spaceflight
Pilot Terence T. Henricks
First spaceflight
Mission Specialist 1 James S. Voss
First spaceflight
Mission Specialist 2 F. Story Musgrave
Fourth spaceflight
Mission Specialist 3 Mario Runco Jr.
First spaceflight
Payload Specialist 1 Thomas J. Hennen
Only spaceflight

Backup crew

Position Astronaut
Payload Specialist 1 Michael E. Belt
First spaceflight

Crew seating arrangements

Seat[1] Launch Landing
STS-121 seating assignments.png

Seats 1–4 are on the Flight Deck. Seats 5–7 are on the Middeck.
S1 Gregory Gregory
S2 Henricks Henricks
S3 Voss Runco
S4 Musgrave Musgrave
S5 Runco Voss
S6 Hennen Hennen

Mission highlights

The launch was on 24 November 1991 at 23:44:00 UTC. A launch set for 19 November 1991 was delayed due to replacement and testing of a malfunctioning redundant inertial measurement unit on the Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) booster attached to the Defense Support Program (DSP) satellite. The launch was reset for 24 November and was delayed by 13 minutes to allow an orbiting spacecraft to pass and to allow external tank liquid oxygen replenishment after minor repairs to a valve in the liquid oxygen replenishment system in the mobile launcher platform. Launch weight was 117,766 kilograms (259,630 lb).

The mission was dedicated to the Department of Defense. The unclassified payload included a Defense Support Program (DSP) satellite, DSP-16 attached to Inertial Upper Stage (IUS-14), deployed on flight day one. Cargo bay and middeck payloads included the Interim Operational Contamination Monitor (IOCM), Terra-Scout, Military Man in Space (M88-1), Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS), Cosmic Radiation Effects and Activation Monitor (CREAM), Shuttle Activation Monitor (SAM), Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME III), Visual Function Tester (VFT-1), Ultraviolet Plume Instrument (UVPI), Bioreactor Flow, and Extended Duration Orbiter Medical Project, a series of investigations in support of Extended Duration Orbiter.

The landing was on 1 December 1991 at 22:34:44 UTC, Runway 5, Edwards Air Force Base, California. The rollout distance was 3,411 m (11,191 ft), and the rollout time was 107 seconds. The landing weight was 87,918 kg (193,826 lb). The landing was originally scheduled for Kennedy Space Center on 4 December 1991, but the ten-day mission was shortened and the landing rescheduled following the 30 November 1991 on-orbit failure of one of three orbiter inertial measurement units.[2] The lengthy rollout was due to minimal braking for test. Atlantis returned to Kennedy on 8 December 1991. This was also the final shuttle landing on a dry lake bed runway.

Wake-up calls

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.[3] 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 Song Artist Played/For
Day 2 Recorded message from Patrick Stewart Mario Runco
Day 3 This is the Army, Mr Jones Irving Berlin
Day 4 It's Time to Love (Put a little love in your heart) James Brown
Day 5 Cheesburger in Paradise Jimmy Buffett
Day 6 Twist and Shout from Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Day 7 University of Alabama and Auburn University fight songs Jim Voss and Jan Davis
Day 8 In the Mood

See also


  1. ^ "STS-44". Spacefacts. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  2. ^ "Shuttle Flight to Be Cut Short as Unit Fails: Mission Control favors landing at Edwards today if winds subside. Crew not considered in danger due to backup navigational devices". Los Angeles Times. 1 December 1991. Retrieved 15 April 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ Fries, Colin. "Chronology of wakeup calls" (PDF). Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.