STS-85: The 23rd Flight Of The Space Shuttle Discovery

STS-85 is the 23rd mission for the Space Shuttle Discovery. It is due to be launched on Audgust 7, 1997 at 10:41am EDT from launch complex #39A at the Cape Canaveral Air Station in Florida. The launch window is 1 hour and 54 minutes. The launch was originally scheduled for July 17, 1997 at 10:06am EDT but was slipped to early August so that Columbia could refly the STS-83 mission that was cut short due to a fuel cell problem. The landing is scheduled for KSC on August 18, 1997 at 7:29am EDT. It was originally scheduled for July 28th at about 6:54am EDT. This is Discovery's last mission before her docking adaptation to configure with the Mir Space Station. Discovery will fly the last two missions to Mir. The STS-89 on January 1, 1998 and STS-91 on May 29, 1998.

The Crew For STS-85:

Curtis L. Brown Jr., Mission Commander, 4th shuttle mission.

Kent V. Rominger, Pilot, 3rd shuttle mission.

N. Jan Davis, Mission Specialist, 3rd shuttle mission.

Robert L. Curbeam Jr., Mission Specialist, 1st shuttle mission.

Stephen K. Robinson, Mission Specialist, 1st shuttle mission.

Bjarni Tryggvason, Payload Specialist, 1st shuttle mission.

Mission Objectives:

During the flight, Davis will use Discovery's robot arm to deploy the CRISTA-SPAS payload (Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescopes for the Atmosphere - Shuttle Pallet Satellite) for about 9 days of free-flight. CRISTA-SPAS consists of three telescopes and four spectrometers that will measure trace gases and dynamics of the Earth's middle atmosphere. Davis also will operate the robot arm for CRISTA-SPAS retrieval. Two other instruments mounted on the Shuttle Pallet Satellite also will study the Earth's atmosphere. The Middle Atmosphere High Resolution Spectrograph Instrument (MAHRSI) will measure hydroxyl and nitric oxide by sensing UV radiation emitted and scattered by the atmosphere, while the Surface atomic oxygen on optical materials. The Shuttle Pallet Satellite on which the scientific instruments are mounted is a self contained platform that provides power, command, control and communication with Discovery during free-flight. CRISTA-SPAS previously flew on STS-66 in 1994. STS-85 will mark the fourth in a series of missions designed to study the Earth's atmosphere. The crew also will support the Manipulator Flight Development (MFD) investigation being sponsored by NASDA, the Japanese Space Agency. MFD consists of three separate experiments located on a support truss in the payload bay and is designed to demonstrate applications of the Shuttle's robot arm for possible use on the Japanese Experiment Module of the International Space Station.

Several Hitchhiker payloads, including the Technology Applications and Science Payload (TAS-01), the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker (SEH), and the Ultraviolet Spectrograph Telescope for Astronomical Research (UVSTAR) will be housed in Discovery's payload bay, operating independently of crew support during the flight.

The Microgravity Vibration Isolation Mount (MIM) experiment will be operated by Canadian Space Agency astronaut Bjarni Tryggvason. The MIM experiment is a small double-locker size device designed to isolate International Space Station payloads and experiments from disturbances created by thruster firings or crew activity. MIM will be operated for 30 hours with real-time data transmission to investigators on the ground.

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