|Names||Space Transportation System-54|
|Mission duration||9 days, 6 hours, 8 minutes, 24 seconds (achieved)|
|Distance travelled||6,202,407 km (3,853,997 mi)|
|Spacecraft||Space Shuttle Discovery|
|Landing mass||93,683 kg (206,536 lb)|
|Payload mass||7,026 kg (15,490 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||8 April 1993, 05:29:00 UTC|
|Rocket||Space Shuttle Discovery|
|Launch site||Kennedy Space Center, LC-39B|
|End of mission|
|Landing date||17 April 1993, 11:37:19 UTC|
|Landing site||Kennedy Space Center,|
SLF Runway 33
|Reference system||Geocentric orbit|
|Regime||Low Earth orbit|
|Periapsis altitude||291 km (181 mi)|
|Apoapsis altitude||299 km (186 mi)|
|Active Cavity Radiometer (ACR)|
Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS)
Atmospheric Trace Molecule Spectroscopy (ATMOS)
Commercial Materials dispersion apparatus Instrumentation technology associates Experiment (CMIX)
Cosmic Ray Effects and Activation Monitor (CREAM)
Get Away Special (GAS)
Hand-held, Earth-oriented, Real-time, Cooperative, User-friendly, Location-targeting and Environmental System (HERCULES)
Millimeter Wave Atmospheric Sounder (MAS)
Physiological and Anatomical Rodent Experiment (PARE)
Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME III)
Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX II)
Solar Spectroscopy Instrument (SOLSPEC)
Solar Ultraviolet Experiment (SUVE)
Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SSBUV/A)
Solar Constant (SOLCON)
Space Tissue Loss (STL-1)
Solar Ultraviolet Irradiance Monitor (SUSIM)
STS-56 mission patch
Standing: Kenneth D. Cockrell, C. Michael Foale, Ellen Ochoa
Seated: Stephen S. Oswald, Kenneth D. Cameron
STS-56 was a NASA Space Shuttle Discovery mission to perform special experiments. The mission was launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 8 April 1993.
|Commander|| Kenneth D. Cameron|
|Pilot|| Stephen S. Oswald|
|Mission Specialist 1|| C. Michael Foale|
|Mission Specialist 2|| Kenneth D. Cockrell|
|Mission Specialist 3|| Ellen Ochoa|
The primary payload of the flight was the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science-2 (ATLAS-2), designed to collect data on the relationship between the Sun's energy output and Earth's middle atmosphere and how these factors affect the ozone layer. It included six instruments mounted on a Spacelab pallet in the cargo bay, with the seventh mounted on the wall of the bay in two Get Away Special (GAS) canisters. Atmospheric instruments included the Atmospheric Trace Molecule Spectroscopy (ATMOS) experiment, the Millimeter Wave Atmospheric Sounder (MAS), and the Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SSBUV/A) spectrometer (on the cargo bay wall). Solar science instruments were the solar spectrometry instrument SOLSPEC, the Solar Ultraviolet Irradiance Monitor (SUSIM), and the Active Cavity Radiometer (ACR) and Solar Constant (SOLCON) experiments.
ATLAS-2 is one element of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth program. All seven ATLAS-2 instruments first flew on ATLAS-1 during STS-45, and flew a third time in late 1994 on STS-66.
On 11 April 1993, the crew used the remote manipulator arm (Canadarm) to deploy the Shuttle Point Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy-201 (SPARTAN-201), a free-flying science instrument platform designed to study velocity and acceleration of the solar wind and observe the sun's corona. Collected data was stored on tape for playback after return to Earth. SPARTAN-201 was retrieved on 13 April 1993.
The crew also made numerous radio contacts to schools around the world using the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX II), including brief radio contact with the Russian Mir space station, the first such contact between Space Shuttle and Mir using amateur radio equipment. It was arguably the first time that the astronauts received amateur television video from the ham radio club station (W5RRR) at JSC.
Other cargo bay payloads were the Solar Ultraviolet Experiment (SUVE), sponsored by Colorado Space Grant Consortium and located in a GetAway Special canister on the cargo bay wall.
The middeck payloads were the Commercial Materials Dispersion Apparatus Instrumentation Technology Associates Experiment (CMIX), the Physiological and Anatomical Rodent Experiment (PARE), Space Tissue Loss (STL-1) experiment, the Cosmic Ray Effects and Activation Monitor (CREAM) experiment. the Hand-held, Earth-oriented, Real-time, Cooperative, User-friendly, Location-targeting and Environmental System (HERCULES), Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME III), and an Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) calibration test.