STS -34 (English Space Transportation System) is a mission name for the U.S. Space Shuttle Atlantis ( OV -104 ) from NASA. The launch took place on 18 October 1989. It was the 31 Space Shuttle mission and the fifth flight of the Space Shuttle Atlantis.

The mission should be carried out in May 1986 by the Atlantis under the name STS -61- G, but was suspended due to the Challenger disaster.


  • Donald Williams ( second space flight), Commander
  • Michael McCulley ( first space flight), Pilot
  • Franklin Chang- Diaz ( second space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Shannon Lucid ( second space flight ), Mission Specialist
  • Ellen Baker ( first space flight ), Mission Specialist

The crew of mission STS -61- G, consisting of David Walker, Ronald Grabe, Norman Thagard and James van Hoften, has been completely replaced.

Mission overview

The originally planned start date of October 12, could not be met because the control of a main engine had to be replaced. A new attempt on 17 October failed due to the weather conditions on the emergency landing in Cape Canaveral.

The primary payload on this mission was the Jupiter probe Galileo. She was abandoned along with the rocket upper stage Inertial Upper Stage ( IUS ) in space. Further experiments belonged to the earth science, environmental research, materials technology, astronomy and medicine to this mission, and an IMAX camera was also on board.

The landing took place on 23 October in Edwards AFB, California. Atlantis was transported back 6 days later by a special aircraft to Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Footage of the mission were used in the science fiction film The Wild Blue Yonder Werner Herzog.