STS-45 payload.jpg
Components of the ATLAS-1 laboratory in the payload bay of Atlantis
NamesSpace Transportation System-46
Mission typeAstronomy research
COSPAR ID1992-015A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.21915
Mission duration8 days, 22 hours, 9 minutes, 28 seconds (achieved)
Distance travelled5,211,340 km (3,238,180 mi)
Orbits completed143
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftSpace Shuttle Atlantis
Launch mass105,982 kg (233,650 lb)
Landing mass93,009 kg (205,050 lb)
Payload mass9,947 kg (21,929 lb)
Crew size7
Start of mission
Launch date24 March 1992, 13:13:39 UTC
RocketSpace Shuttle Atlantis
Launch siteKennedy Space Center, LC-39A
ContractorRockwell International
End of mission
Landing date2 April 1992, 11:23 UTC
Landing siteKennedy Space Center,
SLF Runway 33
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Perigee altitude282 km (175 mi)
Apogee altitude294 km (183 mi)
Period90.30 minutes
Active Cavity Radiometer (ACR)
Atmospheric Emissions Photometric Imager (AEPI)
Atmospheric Lyman-Alpha Emissions (ALAE)
Atmospheric Trace Molecule Spectroscopy (ATMOS)
Far Ultraviolet Space Telescope (FAUST)
Grille Spectrometer
Imaging Spectrometric Observatory (ISO)
Millimeter Wave Atmospheric Sounder (MAS)
Space Experiments with Particle Accelerators (SEPAC)
Measurement of Solar Constant (SOLCON)
Solar Spectrum (SOLSPEC])
Solar Ultraviolet Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SUSIM)

STS-45 mission patch
Sts-45 crew.jpg

Standing: Byron K. Lichtenberg, C. Michael Foale, David C. Leestma, Kathryn D. Sullivan, Dirk Frimout
Seated: Brian Duffy, Charles F. Bolden Jr.
← STS-42 (45)
STS-49 (47) →

STS-45 was a 1992 NASA Space Shuttle mission using the Space Shuttle Atlantis. Its almost nine-day scientific mission was with a non-deployable payload of instruments. It was the 46th Space Shuttle mission and the 11th for Atlantis.


Position Astronaut
Commander United States Charles F. Bolden Jr.
Member of Blue Team

Third spaceflight
Pilot United States Brian Duffy
Member of Blue Team

First spaceflight
Mission Specialist 1 United States Kathryn D. Sullivan
Member of Blue Team

Third and last spaceflight
Mission Specialist 2 United States David C. Leestma
Member of Red Team

Third and last spaceflight
Mission Specialist 3 United Kingdom United States C. Michael Foale
Member of Red Team

First spaceflight
Payload Specialist 1 Belgium Dirk Frimout
Member of Blue Team
Only spaceflight
Payload Specialist 2 United States Byron K. Lichtenberg
Member of Red Team

Second and last spaceflight

Backup crew

Position Astronaut
Payload Specialist 1 United States Michael L. Lampton
First spaceflight
Payload Specialist 2 United States Charles R. Chappell
First spaceflight

Crew seating arrangements

Seat[1] Launch Landing
Space Shuttle seating plan.svg

Seats 1–4 are on the Flight Deck. Seats 5–7 are on the Middeck.
S1 Bolden Bolden
S2 Duffy Duffy
S3 Sullivan Foale
S4 Leestma Leestma
S5 Foale Sullivan
S6 Frimout Frimout
S7 Lichtenberg Lichtenberg

Mission highlights

Space Shuttle Atlantis lands at the conclusion of STS-45 mission.
Space Shuttle Atlantis lands at the conclusion of STS-45 mission.

Atlantis was launched on 24 March 1992, at 8:13 a.m. EST. The launch was originally scheduled for 23 March 1992, but was delayed by one day because of higher-than-allowable concentrations of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen in the orbiter's aft compartment during tanking operations. During troubleshooting, the leaks could not be reproduced, leading engineers to believe that they were the result of plumbing in the main propulsion system not thermally conditioned to the cryogenic propellants; the launch was rescheduled for 24 March 1992. Atlantis weighed 105,982 kg (233,650 lb) at launch.

STS-45 carried the first Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science (ATLAS-1) experiments, placed on Spacelab pallets mounted in the orbiter's payload bay. The non-deployable payload, equipped with 12 instruments from the United States, France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Japan, conducted studies in atmospheric chemistry, solar radiation, space plasma physics and ultraviolet astronomy. ATLAS-1 instruments included the Atmospheric Trace Molecule Spectroscopy (ATMOS); Grille Spectrometer; Millimeter Wave Atmospheric Sounder (MAS); Imaging Spectrometric Observatory (ISO); Atmospheric Lyman-Alpha Emissions (ALAE); Atmospheric Emissions Photometric Imager (AEPI); Space Experiments with Particle Accelerators (SEPAC); Active Cavity Radiometer (ACR); Measurement of Solar Constant (SOLCON); Solar Spectrum;[2] Solar Ultraviolet Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SUSIM); and Far Ultraviolet Space Telescope (FAUST). Other payloads included the Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SSBUV) experiment, a Get Away Special (GAS) experiment and six mid-deck experiments.

The mission was extended by a day in order to continue science experiments. The landing occurred on 2 April 1992, 6:23 a.m. EST, on Runway 33 of the Shuttle Landing Facility, located at the Kennedy Space Center. The rollout distance was 2,812 m (9,226 ft) and Atlantis weighed 93,005 kg (205,041 lb) on landing.

Mission insignia

The mission insignia covers all aspects of the flight, by featuring Earth and the Sun, and the orbiter on high inclination, as to illustrate the high importance of the mission. The names of all flying members are included in the band, separated by stars. In the 'ring' at the bottom right, a single star is included, separating the unmentioned names of the alternate mission specialists, who are therefore indirectly included; a first and unique tribute to a support crew. Dirk Frimout is the first Belgian citizen to fly into space, and the only one to fly on a Space Shuttle (the other is Frank De Winne (who flies to the International Space Station via Soyuz as mission commander), as the Space Shuttle program was terminated at the time of the latter's flight), but to keep the focus on the mission, no national flag is added nor the customary logo of the European Space Agency (ESA), but the mission main objective, ATLAS, is included below instead.

See also


  1. ^ "STS-45". Spacefacts. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  2. ^ "Background". SOLSPEC. Institut Pierre Simon Laplace. Retrieved 26 March 2022.