STS -40 (English Space Transportation System) is a mission name for the U.S. Space Shuttle Columbia ( OV -102) from NASA. The launch took place on 5 June 1991. It was the 41st Space Shuttle mission and the eleventh flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia.


Home team

  • Bryan O'Connor ( second space flight), Commander
  • Sidney Gutierrez ( first space flight), Pilot
  • James Bagian ( second space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Tamara Jernigan ( first space flight ), Mission Specialist
  • Rhea Seddon ( second space flight ), Mission Specialist
  • Drew Gaffney ( first space flight), Payload Specialist
  • Millie Hughes - Fulford ( first space flight ), Payload Specialist


  • Robert Phillips of Gaffney and Hughes - Fulford.

Mission parameters

  • Mass:
  • Maximum Erdentfernung: 296 km
  • Minimum Erdentfernung: 287 km
  • Erdumlaufzeit: 90.4 min

Mission Description

The start of the mission was originally planned for 22 May 1991. Less than 48 hours before the start of this was postponed because during a review carried out in 1990 at a sensor for liquid hydrogen of the main drive deficiencies were found. The engineers were concerned that one or more of the nine hydrogen and oxygen sensors that monitor the fuel and oxygen lines, break off and damage the engine pumps could, which would result in an engine failure.

Additionally, fell from one of the five general purpose computer of the orbiter, and a multiplexer / demultiplexer of hydraulics in the stern.

A new computer and a new multiplexer / demultiplexer were installed and tested. A hydrogen and two oxygen - measuring sensor at the start of the fuel conduits have been replaced, and three oxygen sensors in the vicinity of the engine, three hydrogen sensors have been removed without replacement. The launch was scheduled for 1 June 8 clock early, but again postponed after several attempts had failed to calibrate the idle measurement unit 2. This module has been replaced and tested, the start of June 5 planned. The total weight of the orbiter was 114.29 thousand kilograms at launch.

It was the fifth Spacelab mission, the first devoted entirely to life sciences. The main experiment was Spacelab Life Sciences -1. In this physiological studies in humans, performed 30 rodents and thousands of tiny jellyfish. Of the 18 studies were undertaken with ten people, seven rodents and one with the jellyfish.

The six systems were examined body 's circulatory system ( heart, lungs, blood vessels); the renal system; the blood and blood plasma; the immune system (white blood cells ); the skeleton and the muscular system; the central nervous system (brain, nerves, eyes, inner ear ).

Further included in the payload were twelve Getaway Special ( GAS ) canisters for experiments in materials science, biology and cosmic radiation, middeck Zero-Gravity Dynamics Experiment ( MODE) and seven Orbiter Experiments ( OEX ).

The landing took place on June 14 at 08:39:11 PDT on Runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The landing weight was 102,755 kg, the roll distance was 2866 m, the coasting time 55 seconds. The orbiter returned on June 21 back to the Kennedy Space Center.