Space Shuttle Discovery

Space Shuttle Discovery (Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-103) is one of the orbiters from NASA's Space Shuttle program and the third of five fully operational orbiters to be built.[4] Its first mission, STS-41-D, flew from August 30 to September 5, 1984. Over 27 years of service it launched and landed 39 times, gathering more spaceflights than any other spacecraft to date. The shuttle has three main components: the orbiter (the plane part, and the only part that goes orbit), a huge fuel tank, and two rocket boosters. Nearly 25,000 heat resistant tiles cover the orbiter to protect it from high temperatures on re-entry. [5]

Discovery became the third operational orbiter to enter service, preceded by Columbia and Challenger.[6] It embarked on its last mission, STS-133, on February 24, 2011 and touched down for the final time at Kennedy Space Center on March 9,[7] having spent a cumulative total of almost a full year in space. Discovery performed both research and International Space Station (ISS) assembly missions. It also carried the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit. Discovery was the first operational shuttle to be retired, followed by Endeavour and then Atlantis.

Discovery
OV-103
STS-124 launch from a distance
Space Shuttle Discovery launches from NASA Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39A on mission STS-124 on May 31, 2008.
OV designationOV-103
CountryUnited States
Contract awardJanuary 29, 1979
Named afterDiscovery (1602),
HMS Discovery (1774),
HMS Discovery (1874),
RRS Discovery (1901),
Discovery One
StatusRetired, on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia[1]
First flightSTS-41-D
August 30, 1984 – September 5, 1984
Last flightSTS-133
February 24, 2011 – March 9, 2011
No. of missions39
Crew members252[2]
Time spent in space1 year (365 days), 22 hours, 39 minutes, 33 seconds
Distance travelled148,221,675 mi (238,539,663 km)[3]
Satellites deployed31 (including Hubble Space Telescope)
Mir dockings1[3]
ISS dockings13[3]
Space Shuttle Discovery at Udvar-Hazy Center
Space Shuttle Discovery at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Discovery rollout ceremony
Discovery rollout ceremony in October 1983

History

The name Discovery was chosen to carry on a tradition based on ships of exploration,[4] primarily HMS Discovery,[8] one of the ships commanded by Captain James Cook during his third and final major voyage from 1776 to 1779, and Henry Hudson's Discovery,[4] which was used in 1610–1611 to explore Hudson Bay and search for a Northwest Passage. Other ships bearing the name have included HMS Discovery[9] of the 1875–1876 British Arctic Expedition to the North Pole and RRS Discovery, which led the 1901–1904 "Discovery Expedition" to Antarctica.[10]

Discovery launched the Hubble Space Telescope and conducted the second and third Hubble service missions. It also launched the Ulysses probe and three TDRS satellites. Twice Discovery was chosen as the "Return To Flight" Orbiter, first in 1988 after the loss of Challenger in 1986, and then again for the twin "Return To Flight" missions in July 2005 and July 2006 after the Columbia disaster in 2003. Project Mercury astronaut John Glenn, who was 77 at the time, flew with Discovery on STS-95 in 1998, making him the oldest person to go into space.[11]

Had plans to launch United States Department of Defense payloads from Vandenberg Air Force Base gone ahead, Discovery would have become the dedicated US Air Force shuttle.[12] Its first West Coast mission, STS-62-A, was scheduled for 1986, but canceled in the aftermath of Challenger.

Discovery was retired after completing its final mission, STS 133 on March 9, 2011. The spacecraft is now on display in Virginia at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, an annex of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.[1]

Construction milestones

Date Milestone[10]
1979 January 29 Contract Award to Rockwell International's Space Transportation Systems Division in Downey, California
1979 August 27 Start long lead fabrication of Crew Module
1980 June 20 Start fabrication lower fuselage
1980 November 10 Start structural assembly of aft-fuselage
1980 December 8 Start initial system installation aft fuselage
1981 March 2 Start fabrication/assembly of payload bay doors
1981 October 26 Start initial system installation, crew module, Downey
1982 January 4 Start initial system installation upper forward fuselage
1982 March 16 Midfuselage on dock, Palmdale, California
1982 March 30 Elevons on dock, Palmdale
1982 April 30 Wings arrive at Palmdale from Grumman
1982 April 30 Lower forward fuselage on dock, Palmdale
1982 July 16 Upper forward fuselage on dock, Palmdale
1982 August 5 Vertical stabilizer on dock, Palmdale
1982 September 3 Start of Final Assembly
1982 October 15 Body flap on dock, Palmdale
1983 January 11 Aft fuselage on dock, Palmdale
1983 February 25 Complete final assembly and closeout installation, Palmdale
1983 February 28 Start initial subsystems test, power-on, Palmdale
1983 May 13 Complete initial subsystems testing
1983 July 26 Complete subsystems testing
1983 August 12 Completed Final Acceptance
1983 October 16 Rollout from Palmdale
1983 November 5 Overland transport from Palmdale to Edwards Air Force Base
1983 November 9 Delivery to Kennedy Space Center
1984 June 2 Flight Readiness Firing
1984 August 30 First Flight (STS-41-D)

Upgrades and features

SRBsepfromDiscovery07042006
Discovery rocketing into space, just after booster separation.

Discovery weighed roughly 3600 kg (3.6t) less than Columbia when it was brought into service due to optimizations determined during the construction and testing of Enterprise, Columbia and Challenger.[11] Discovery weighs 6 pounds (2.7 kg) heavier than Atlantis and 363 pounds (165 kg) heavier than Endeavour.[2]

Part of the Discovery weight optimizations included the greater use of quilted AFRSI blankets rather than the white LRSI tiles on the fuselage, and the use of graphite epoxy instead of aluminum for the payload bay doors and some of the wing spars and beams.[13]

Upon its delivery to the Kennedy Space Center in 1983, Discovery was modified alongside Challenger to accommodate the liquid-fueled Centaur-G booster, which had been planned for use beginning in 1986 but was cancelled in the wake of the Challenger disaster.[14]

Beginning in late 1995, the orbiter underwent a nine-month Orbiter Maintenance Down Period (OMDP) in Palmdale, California. This included outfitting the vehicle with a 5th set of cryogenic tanks and an external airlock to support missions to the International Space Station. As with all the orbiters, it could be attached to the top of specialized aircraft and did so in June 1996 when it returned to the Kennedy Space Center, and later in April 2012 when sent to the Udvar-Hazy Center, riding piggy-back on a modified Boeing 747.[11]

After STS-105, Discovery became the first of the orbiter fleet to undergo Orbiter Major Modification (OMM) period at the Kennedy Space Center. Work began in September 2002 to prepare the vehicle for Return to Flight. The work included scheduled upgrades and additional safety modifications.[11]

Decommissioning and display

Discovery over Washington DC April 17 2012 National Mall last pass
Space Shuttle Discovery landing at Dulles
Discovery riding piggy-back on SCA N905NA on the last flyover of the National Mall at around 10:15 am EDT, during its 11:05 am landing at Dulles airport on April 17, 2012.[15]
Enterprise and Discovery
Space Shuttle Discovery on Display
Enterprise and Discovery exchanged and Discovery on display at the National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Discovery was decommissioned on March 9, 2011.[16][17]

NASA offered Discovery to the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum for public display and preservation, after a month-long decontamination process,[18] as part of the national collection.[19][20][21] Discovery replaced Enterprise in the Smithsonian's display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia.[22][23][24] Discovery was transported to Washington Dulles International Airport on April 17, 2012, and was transferred to the Udvar-Hazy on April 19 where a welcome ceremony was held. Afterwards, at around 5: 30 pm, Discovery was rolled to its "final wheels stop" in the Udvar Hazy Center.[25][26]

Flights

STS-48 UARS deployment
Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) deployed

By its last mission, Discovery had flown 149 million miles (238 million km) in 39 missions, completed 5,830 orbits, and spent 365 days in orbit over 27 years.[27] Discovery flew more flights than any other Orbiter Shuttle, including four in 1985 alone. Discovery flew all three "return to flight" missions after the Challenger and Columbia disasters: STS-26 in 1988, STS-114 in 2005, and STS-121 in 2006. Discovery flew the ante-penultimate mission of the Space Shuttle program, STS-133, having launched on February 24, 2011. Endeavour flew STS-134 and Atlantis performed STS-135, NASA's last Space Shuttle mission. On February 24, 2011, Space Shuttle Discovery launched from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39-A to begin its final orbital flight.[28]

Flights listing

# Date Designation Notes Length of journey
1 August 30, 1984 STS-41-D First Discovery mission: Judith Resnik became second American woman in Space. Three communications satellites were put into orbit, including LEASAT F2. 6 days, 00 hours,
56 minutes, 04 seconds
2 November 8, 1984 STS-51-A Launched two and rescued two communications satellites including LEASAT F1. 7 days, 23 hours,
44 minutes, 56 seconds
3 January 24, 1985 STS-51-C Launched DOD Magnum ELINT satellite. 3 days, 01 hours,
33 minutes, 23 seconds-
4 April 12, 1985 STS-51-D Launched two communications satellites including LEASAT F3. Carried first incumbent United States member of Congress into space, Senator Jake Garn (RUtah) 6 days, 23 hours,
55 minutes, 23 seconds
5 June 17, 1985 STS-51-G Launched two communications satellites, Sultan Salman al-Saud becomes first Saudi Arabian in space. 7 days, 01 hours,
38 minutes, 52 seconds
6 August 27, 1985 STS-51-I Launched two communications satellites including LEASAT F4. Recovered, repaired, and redeployed LEASAT F3. 7 days, 02 hours,
17 minutes, 42 seconds
7 September 29, 1988 STS-26 Return to flight after Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, launched TDRS. 4 days, 01 hours,
00 minutes, 11 seconds
8 March 13, 1989 STS-29 Launched TDRS. 4 days, 23 hours,
38 minutes, 52 seconds
9 November 22, 1989 STS-33 Launched DOD Magnum ELINT satellite. 5 days, 00 hours,
06 minutes, 49 seconds
10 April 24, 1990 STS-31 Launch of Hubble Space Telescope (HST). 5 days, 01 hours,
16 minutes, 06 seconds
11 October 6, 1990 STS-41 Launch of Ulysses. 4 days, 02 hours,
10 minutes, 04 seconds
12 April 28, 1991 STS-39 Launched DOD Air Force Program-675 (AFP-675) satellite. 8 days, 07 hours,
22 minutes, 23 seconds
13 September 12, 1991 STS-48 Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS). 5 days, 08 hours,
27 minutes, 38 seconds
14 January 22, 1992 STS-42 International Microgravity Laboratory-1 (IML-1). 8 days, 01 hours,
14 minutes, 44 seconds
15 December 2, 1992 STS-53 Department of Defense payload. 7 days, 07 hours,
19 minutes, 47 seconds
16 April 8, 1993 STS-56 Atmospheric Laboratory (ATLAS-2). 9 days, 06 hours,
08 minutes, 24 seconds
17 September 12, 1993 STS-51 Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS). 9 days, 20 hours,
11 minutes, 11 seconds
18 February 3, 1994 STS-60 First Shuttle-Mir mission; Wake Shield Facility (WSF). First Russian launched in an American spacecraft (Sergei Krikalev). 8 days, 07 hours,
09 minutes, 22 seconds
19 September 9, 1994 STS-64 LIDAR In-Space Technology Experiment (LITE). 10 days, 22 hours,
49 minutes, 57 seconds
20 February 3, 1995 STS-63 Rendezvous with Mir space station. First female shuttle pilot Eileen Collins.[2] 8 days, 06 hours,
29 minutes, 36 seconds
21 July 13, 1995 STS-70 7th Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS). 8 days, 22 hours,
20 minutes, 05 seconds
22 February 11, 1997 STS-82 Servicing Hubble Space Telescope (HST) (HSM-2). 9 days, 23 hours,
38 minutes, 09 seconds
23 August 7, 1997 STS-85 Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescopes (CRISTA). 11 days, 20 hours,
28 minutes, 07 seconds
24 June 2, 1998 STS-91 Final Shuttle/Mir Docking Mission. 9 days, 19 hours,
55 minutes, 01 seconds
25 October 29, 1998 STS-95 SPACEHAB, second flight of John Glenn, who was 77 years of age at that time, the oldest man in space and third incumbent member of Congress to enter space. Pedro Duque became the first Spaniard in space. 8 days, 21 hours,
44 minutes, 56 seconds
26 May 27, 1999 STS-96 First Orbiter Shuttle and first mission flight to dock with the International Space Station[2] 9 days, 19 hours,
13 minutes, 57 seconds
27 December 19, 1999 STS-103 Servicing Hubble Space Telescope (HST) (HSM-3A). 7 days, 23 hours,
11 minutes, 34 seconds
28 October 11, 2000 STS-92 International Space Station Assembly Flight (carried and assembled the Z1 truss); 100th Shuttle mission. 12 days, 21 hours,
43 minutes, 47 seconds
29 March 8, 2001 STS-102 International Space Station crew rotation flight (Expedition 1 and Expedition 2) 12 days, 19 hours,
51 minutes, 57 seconds
30 August 10, 2001 STS-105 International Space Station crew and supplies delivery (Expedition 2 and Expedition 3) 11 days 21 hours,
13 minutes, 52 seconds
31 July 26, 2005 STS-114 First "Return To Flight" mission since Space Shuttle Columbia disaster; International Space Station (ISS) supplies delivery, new safety procedures testing and evaluation, Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) Raffaello. 13 days, 21 hours,
33 minutes, 00 seconds
32 July 4, 2006 STS-121 Second "Return To Flight" mission since the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster; International Space Station (ISS) supplies delivery, test new safety and repair techniques. 12 days, 18 hours,
37 minutes, 54 seconds
33 December 9, 2006 STS-116 ISS crew rotation and assembly (carries and assembles the P5 truss segment); Last flight to launch on pad 39-B;
First night launch since Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.
12 days, 20 hours,
44 minutes, 16 seconds
34 October 23, 2007 STS-120 ISS crew rotation and assembly (carries and assembles the Harmony module). 15 days, 02 hours,
23 minutes, 55 seconds
35 May 31, 2008 STS-124 ISS crew rotation and assembly (carries and assembles the Kibō JEM PM module). 13 days, 18 hours,
13 minutes, 07 seconds
36 March 15, 2009 STS-119 International Space Station crew rotation and assembly of a fourth
starboard truss segment (ITS S6) and a fourth set of solar arrays and batteries. Also replaced a failed unit for a system that converts urine to drinking water.
12 days, 19 hours,
29 minutes, 33 seconds
37 August 28, 2009 STS-128 International Space Station crew rotation and ISS resupply using the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module. Also carried the C.O.L.B.E.R.T treadmill named after Stephen Colbert 13 days 20 hours, 54 minutes, 40 seconds
38 April 5, 2010 STS-131 ISS resupply using the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module. The mission also marked the first time that four women were in space and the first time that two Japanese astronauts were together on a space station.[29] Longest mission for this Orbiter. 15 days 2 hours, 47 minutes 11 seconds‡
39 February 24, 2011 STS-133 The mission launched at 4:53 pm EST on February 24, was carrying the Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) Leonardo, the ELC-4 and Robonaut 2 to the ISS.[30] Final flight of Discovery. 12 days 19 hours,
4 minutes, 50 seconds

‡ Longest shuttle mission for Discovery
– shortest shuttle mission for Discovery

Mission and tribute insignias

Space Shuttle Discovery Tribute
NASA Orbiter Tribute for Space Shuttle Discovery
Mission insignias for Discovery flights
Sts-41-d-patch
Sts-51-a-patch
Sts-51-c-patch
Sts-51-d-patch
Sts-51-g-patch
Sts-51-i-patch
Sts-26-patch
Sts-29-patch
STS-41-D
STS-51-A
STS-51-C
STS-51-D
STS-51-G
STS-51-I
STS 26
STS 29
Sts-33-patch
Sts31 flight insignia
Sts-41-patch
STS-39 patch
Sts-48-patch
Sts-42-patch
STS-53 patch
Sts-56-patch
STS 33
STS 31
STS 41
STS 39
STS 48
STS 42
STS 53
STS 56
STS-51 patch
Sts-60-patch
Sts-64-patch
Sts-63-patch
Sts-70-patch
Sts-82-patch
Sts-85-patch
Sts-91-patch
STS 51
STS 60
STS 64
STS 63
STS 70
STS 82
STS 85
STS 91
STS-95 Patch
Sts-96-patch
Sts-103-patch
Sts-92-patch
STS-102 Patch
Sts-105-patch
STS-114 patch
STS-121 patch
STS 95
STS 96
STS 103
STS 92
STS 102
STS 105
STS 114
STS 121
STS-116 emblem
Sts-120-patch
STS-124 patch
STS-119 Patch
STS-128 Patch
STS-131 patch
STS-133 patch
STS 116
STS 120
STS 124
STS 119
STS 128
STS 131
STS 133

Flow directors

The Flow Director was responsible for the overall preparation of the shuttle for launch and processing it after landing, and remained permanently assigned to head the spacecraft's ground crew while the astronaut flight crews changed for every mission. Each shuttle's Flow Director was supported by a Vehicle Manager for the same spacecraft. Space Shuttle Discovery's Flow Directors were:

  • Until 01/1991: John J. "Tip" Talone Jr. (afterwards Flow Director for Endeavour)[31]
  • 01/1991 – 09/1992: John C. "Chris" Fairey[31]
  • 09/1992 – 10/1996: David A. King[32]
  • 10/1996 – 05/2000: W. Scott Cilento[33]
  • 12/2000 – 03/2011: Stephanie S. Stilson[34]

Gallery

STS-41-D launch August 30, 1984
07042007 SpaceShuttle Discovery
Space Shuttle Discovery under a full moon, 03-11-09
Discovery sits atop a Boeing 747 as it touched down
Space Shuttle Discovery lands for the first time, completing STS-41-D
The launch of STS-41-D, Discovery's first mission. STS-121 launched on July 4, 2006 – the only Shuttle to launch on Independence Day. STS-119 on the night of March 11, 2009. Discovery sits atop a modified Boeing 747 as it touches down. Discovery lands after its first flight, STS-41-D.
STS-121-DiscoveryEnhanced
Discovery mission completed q
Modified Boeing 747 carrying Discovery
Space Shuttle Discovery Landing after STS-124
Concluding the STS-133 mission, Space Shuttle Discovery touches down at the Shuttle Landing Facility - cropped
Discovery performing the Rendezvous pitch maneuver prior to docking with the International Space Station. The Space Shuttle Discovery soon after landing Modified Boeing 747 carrying Discovery. STS-124 comes to a close as Discovery lands at the Kennedy Space Center. Discovery's final touchdown on Kennedy Space Center's runway, concluding the STS-133 mission and Discovery's 27-year career.

See also

References

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  1. ^ a b "Space Shuttle Discovery Joins the National Collection". April 12, 2011. Archived from the original on January 21, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d "Space Shuttle Discovery Facts". Florida Today. April 10, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c NASA (October 2010). "NASAfacts Discovery (OV-103)" (PDF). Retrieved October 21, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c NASA (2007). "Space Shuttle Overview: Discovery (OV-103)". National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved November 6, 2007.
  5. ^ "10 Cool Facts About NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery | Space Shuttle Retirement". Space.com. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
  6. ^ "Discovery's last mission flight to space begun". February 24, 2011. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  7. ^ "Discovery's Final Touchdown A Success". redOrbit.com. Archived from the original on August 22, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  8. ^ "Discovery (OV-103)". science.ksc.nasa.gov. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  9. ^ "How Did the Space Shuttle Discovery Get Its Name?". Space.com. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Discovery (OV-103)". NASA/KSC. Archived from the original on June 10, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2011.
  11. ^ a b c d "Space Shuttle Overview: Discovery (OV-103)". NASA. Retrieved March 10, 2011.
  12. ^ "Space Transportation System Haer No. TX-116" (PDF). NASA.gov. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  13. ^ "STS-41D Press Kit" (PDF). NASA. August 1984. p. 13. Retrieved 12 July 2013. Graphite epoxy has replaced some internal aluminum spars and beams in the wings and in the payload bay doors.
  14. ^ Lardas, Mark (2012). Space Shuttle Launch System: 1972–2004. Osprey Publishing. p. 37.
  15. ^ Pearlman, Robert Z. "Space Shuttle Discovery lands, for the last time, in Washington, D.C." The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved April 17, 2012. The air- and spacecraft duo landed at Washington Dulles International Airport at 11:05 am EDT (1505 GMT).
  16. ^ "Consolidated Launch Manifest". NASA. 2007. Retrieved October 10, 2007.
  17. ^ Bergin, Chris (2006). "NASA sets new launch date targets through to STS-124". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved October 15, 2007.
  18. ^ Chow, Denise. "Space Shuttle Discovery Lands on Earth After Final Voyage". SPACE.com. Retrieved March 10, 2011.
  19. ^ Pearlman, Robert (2008). "NASA seeks shuttle suitors: Museums may need to cover the costs for retired orbiters". collectspace.com. Retrieved December 17, 2008.
  20. ^ "NASA Solicits Ideas for Displaying Retired Space Shuttles and Main Engines" (Press release). NASA. December 17, 2009. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
  21. ^ Berger, Eric (December 7, 2009). "Discovery is Smithsonian's". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
  22. ^ Pearlman, Robert Z. (March 17, 2010). "NASA Primes Retired Test Shuttle Enterprise For One Last Flight". Space.com. Retrieved March 14, 2011.
  23. ^ "news – "NASA readies retired test shuttle Enterprise for one last flight"". collectSPACE. 2010-03-15. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
  24. ^ "NYC, L.A., Kennedy Space Center, Smithsonian to get the 4 retired space shuttles". USA Today. April 12, 2011.
  25. ^ "Welcome, Discovery!". Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Archived from the original on February 2, 2012. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
  26. ^ Associated Press/NBC Washington (January 24, 2012). "Udvar-Hazy Center Getting a 2nd Space Shuttle". NBC Washington. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
  27. ^ Dunn, Marcia (March 9, 2011). "Space shuttle Discovery lands, ends flying career". Salt Lake Tribune. Associated Press. Retrieved March 10, 2011.
  28. ^ Travis, Matthew (February 24, 2011). "STS-133 space shuttle Discovery launches for the final time". The Spacearium, SpaceflightNews.net via YouTube. Retrieved June 23, 2011.
  29. ^ FOUR WOMEN, TWO JAPANESE IN SPACE AT SAME TIME Asian American Press, April 8, 2010
  30. ^ "Shuttle Discovery takes off on its final flight". CNN. February 24, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2011.
  31. ^ a b http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/missions/status/r5-91.ksc
  32. ^ "NASA - KSC Names David King as Shuttle Discovery's Flow Director". www.nasa.gov.
  33. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 21, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  34. ^ KSC, Kay Grinter : (June 6, 2013). "Kennedy Biographies".

External links

Expedition 17

Expedition 17 was the 17th expedition to the International Space Station (ISS).

The first two crew members, Sergey Volkov, and Oleg Kononenko were launched on 8 April 2008, aboard the Soyuz TMA-12. Once aboard the station, they joined Garrett Reisman, who transferred from Expedition 16 to join the Expedition 17 crew.

Reisman was replaced by Gregory Chamitoff, who launched aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery mission STS-124 on 31 May 2008. Volkov and Kononenko landed safely on 24 October 2008, while Chamitoff remained aboard the station as an Expedition 18 crewmember.

Inertial Upper Stage

The Inertial Upper Stage (IUS), originally designated the Interim Upper Stage, was a two-stage solid-fueled rocket upper stage developed by Boeing for the United States Air Force beginning in 1976 for raising payloads from low Earth orbit to higher orbits or interplanetary trajectories following launch aboard a Titan 34D or Titan IV rocket, or from the payload bay of the Space Shuttle.

International Designator

The International Designator, also known as COSPAR designation, and in the United States as NSSDC ID, is an international naming convention for satellites. It consists of the launch year, a 3-digit incrementing launch number of that year and up to a 3-letter code representing the sequential identifier of a piece in a launch.

For example, 1990-037A is the Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-31, which carried the Hubble Space Telescope (1990-037B) into space. This launch was the 37th known successful launch worldwide in 1990. The number reveals that it was launched in 1990 and that it was the 37th launch made that year. Spacecraft which do not complete an orbit of the Earth, for example launches which fail to achieve orbit, are not usually assigned IDs.The designation system has been generally known as the COSPAR system, named for the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) of the International Council for Science.

COSPAR subsumed the first designation system, devised at Harvard University in 1958. That system used letters of the Greek alphabet to designate artificial satellites. For example, Sputnik 1 was designated 1957 Alpha 2. The Harvard designation system continued to be used for satellites launched up to the end of 1962, when it was replaced with the modern system. The first satellite to receive a new-format designator was Luna E-6 No.2, 1963-001B, although some sources, including the NSSDC website, anachronistically apply the new-format designators to older satellites, even those no longer in orbit at the time of its introduction.

The catalog is administered in the United States by the National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC), part of NASA.

Magnum (satellite)

Magnum was a class of SIGINT spy satellites reportedly operated by the National Reconnaissance Office for the United States Central Intelligence Agency. The program remains classified, and the information that exists is speculative.

It is believed that two Magnum satellites were launched from Space Shuttle Discovery during the missions STS-51-C in 1985 and STS-33 in 1989. The satellites reportedly have a mass of 2,200–2,700 kg (4,900–6,000 lb), operating in near-geosynchronous orbits, using Inertial Upper Stages to get from the shuttle's orbit to the higher geosynchronous orbit.

According to Jim Slade of ABC News, the second satellite, USA-48, replaced the first, USA-8, which after more than 4 years in orbit was running out of maneuvering fuel required for keeping its station over the Indian Ocean. The mission of the two satellites was to listen in to military and diplomatic communications from the Soviet Union, China, and neighbouring countries.USA-67, launched aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis in November 1990 (the STS-38 mission), was initially identified as a third Magnum satellite owing to the presence of two upper stages in orbit after its deployment, suggesting that an IUS had been used to deploy it. It was later determined that the second upper stage was from the stealthy Prowler spacecraft, and that USA-67 was an SDS-2 communications satellite.The Magnum satellites, built by TRW, are rumored to have large (estimated 100 m (330 ft) diameter) umbrella-like reflecting dishes to collect RF signals from Earth. The Magnum/Orion satellites replaced the older Rhyolite/Aquacade series of SIGINT satellites, and have themselves been succeeded by the Mentor/Advanced Orion satellites.

ODERACS 2A

ODERACS-2A (Orb Debris Rad Calib Sph 2A) was one of 6 spheres deployed from the shuttle mission STS-63. The purpose of the Orbital Debris Calibration Spheres experiment was to calibrate the radars and telescopes used for orbital debris measurements by putting objects of the size of interest into orbit for observation. One of the pair was polished, the other diffuse. The 3 pairs were 2, 4, and 6 inches in diameter.

ODERACS 2A was released on February 4, 1995 at 04:57 on the Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, via the Space Shuttle Discovery, and was launched along with Spartan 204-F1.

ODERACS 2B

ODERACS-2B (Orb Debris Rad Calib Sph 2B) was one of 6 spheres deployed from the shuttle mission STS-63. The purpose of the Orbital Debris Calibration Spheres experiment was to calibrate the radars and telescopes used for orbital debris measurements by putting objects of the size of interest into orbit for observation. One of the pair was polished, the other diffuse. The 3 pairs were 2, 4, and 6 inches in diameter.

ODERACS 2B was released on February 4, 1995 at 04:57 on the Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, via the Space Shuttle Discovery, and was launched along with Spartan 204-F1.

ODERACS 2C

ODERACS-2C (Orb Debris Rad Calib Sph 2A) was one of 6 spheres deployed from the shuttle mission STS-63. The purpose of the Orbital Debris Calibration Spheres experiment was to calibrate the radars and telescopes used for orbital debris measurements by putting objects of the size of interest into orbit for observation. One of the pair was polished, the other diffuse. The 3 pairs were 2, 4, and 6 inches in diameter.

ODERACS 2A was released on February 4, 1995 at 04:57 on the Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, via the Space Shuttle Discovery, and was launched along with Spartan 204-F1.

ODERACS 2D

ODERACS-2D (Orb Debris Rad Calib Sph 2A) was one of 6 spheres deployed from the shuttle mission STS-63. The purpose of the Orbital Debris Calibration Spheres experiment was to calibrate the radars and telescopes used for orbital debris measurements by putting objects of the size of interest into orbit for observation. One of the pair was polished, the other diffuse. The 3 pairs were 2, 4, and 6 inches in diameter.

ODERACS 2D was released on February 4, 1995 at 04:57 on the Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, via the Space Shuttle Discovery, and was launched along with Spartan 204-F1.

ODERACS 2E

ODERACS-2E (Orb Debris Rad Calib Sph 2A) was one of 6 spheres deployed from the shuttle mission STS-63. The purpose of the Orbital Debris Calibration Spheres experiment was to calibrate the radars and telescopes used for orbital debris measurements by putting objects of the size of interest into orbit for observation. One of the pair was polished, the other diffuse. The 3 pairs were 2, 4, and 6 inches in diameter.

ODERACS 2E was released on February 4, 1995 at 04:57 on the Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, via the Space Shuttle Discovery, and was launched along with Spartan 204-F1.

STS-102

STS-102 was a Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) flown by Space Shuttle Discovery and launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. STS-102 flew in March 2001; its primary objectives were resupplying the ISS and rotating the Expedition 1 and Expedition 2 crews.

STS-119

STS-119 (ISS assembly flight 15A) was a space shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) which was flown by Space Shuttle Discovery during March 2009. It delivered and assembled the fourth starboard Integrated Truss Segment (S6), and the fourth set of solar arrays and batteries to the station. The launch took place on 15 March 2009, at 19:43 EDT. Discovery successfully landed on 28 March 2009, at 15:13 pm EDT.

STS-124

STS-124 was a Space Shuttle mission, flown by Space Shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station. Discovery launched on 31 May 2008 at 17:02 EDT, moved from an earlier scheduled launch date of 25 May 2008, and landed safely at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility, at 11:15 EDT on 14 June 2008. The mission is also referred to as ISS-1J by the ISS program.

STS-131

STS-131 (ISS assembly flight 19A) was a NASA Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Space Shuttle Discovery launched on 5 April 2010 at 6:21 am from Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A, and landed at 9:08 am on 20 April 2010 on runway 33 at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility. The mission marked the longest flight for space shuttle Discovery.

The primary payload was a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module loaded with supplies and equipment for the International Space Station. The mission also removed and replaced an ammonia tank assembly outside the station on the S1 truss. STS-131 furthermore carried several on-board payloads; this mission had the most payloads since STS-107. It is also the last shuttle mission with a crew of 7.

STS-42

STS-42 was a Space Shuttle Discovery mission with the Spacelab module. Liftoff was originally scheduled for 8:45 EST (13:45 UTC) 22 January 1992, but the launch was delayed due to weather constraints. Discovery successfully lifted off an hour later at 9:52 EST (14:52 UTC). The main goal of the mission was to study the effects of microgravity on a variety of organisms. The shuttle landed at 8:07 PST (16:07 UTC) on 30 January 1992 on Runway 22, Edwards Air Force Base, California.

STS-42 was the first of two flights in 1992 of Discovery, the second of which occurred during STS-53, which launched on 2 December 1992. The mission was also the last mission of the Space Shuttle Discovery to have a seven-member crew until STS-82, which was launched on 11 February 1997.

STS-53

STS-53 was a Space Shuttle Discovery mission in support of the United States Department of Defense. The mission was launched on 2 December 1992 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

STS-56

STS-56 was a Space Shuttle Discovery mission to perform special experiments. The mission was launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 8 April 1993.

STS-92

STS-92 was a Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) flown by Space Shuttle Discovery. STS-92 marked the 100th mission of the Space Shuttle. It was launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, 11 October 2000.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, also called the Udvar-Hazy Center, is the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM)'s annex at Washington Dulles International Airport in the Chantilly area of Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. It holds numerous exhibits, including the Space Shuttle Discovery and the Enola Gay.

The 760,000-square-foot (71,000 m2) facility was made possible by a $65 million gift in October 1999 to the Smithsonian Institution by Steven F. Udvar-Házy, an immigrant from Hungary and co-founder of the International Lease Finance Corporation, an aircraft leasing corporation. The main NASM building, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C, had always contained more artifacts than could be displayed, and most of the collection had been stored, unavailable to visitors, at the Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility in Silver Hill, Maryland. A substantial addition to the center encompassing restoration, conservation and collection-storage facilities was completed in 2010. Restoration facilities and museum archives were moved from the museum's Garber facility to the new sections of the Udvar-Hazy Center.

Telstar 302

Telstar 302 was a geostationary communication satellite built by Hughes, it was located at orbital position of 85 degrees west longitude and was operated by AT&T. The satellite was based on the HS-376 platform and its life expectancy was 10 years. Telstar 302 left service on September 5, 1997. The satellite was successfully launched into space on August 30, 1984, at 12:41:50 UTC, aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery during the STS-41D mission from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, United States, Along with the SBS 4 satellites and Leasat 2. It had a launch mass of 1,140 kg.Telstar 302 was equipped with 24 C band transponders to provide telecommunication service to North America (including U.S. state of Hawaii and Puerto Rico).

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