STS -41 (English Space Transportation System) is a mission name for the U.S. Space Shuttle Discovery ( OV -103 ) from NASA. The launch took place on 6 October 1990. It was the 36th Space Shuttle mission and the 11th flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Main task of this mission was to suspend the ESA Ulysses spacecraft.

The mission should be carried out in May 1986 by the Challenger under the name STS -61 -F, was suspended on account of the accident this orbiter.


  • Richard Richards ( second space flight), Commander
  • Robert Cabana (1st space flight), Pilot
  • William Shepherd ( second space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Bruce Melnick ( first space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Thomas Akers ( first space flight), Mission Specialist

The planned for STS -61- F crew consisting of Frederick Hauck, Roy Bridges, John Lounge and David Hilmer, has been completely replaced.

Mission overview

The Space Shuttle Mission 36 began on October 6, 1990 with a smooth start of the space shuttle Discovery. It was with 19.9 tons, the heaviest payload of the Space Shuttle, the Ulysses solar probe, lifted into orbit. Before the start there was the very rare opportunity to photograph two space shuttles on a time, as on the adjacent launch pad Columbia was prepared for the mission STS -35.

The Ulysses spacecraft could be easily exposed six hours after the start and was later brought by the engines of their high school on a path to Jupiter and later to the sun, which she explored until 1 July 2008. After that, the crew conducted various scientific experiments. It led, among other experiments with flowering plants as well as by flames in microgravity. In addition, during the flight of a video for training purposes has been created, the fascination for space to be awakened at the students.

The landing took place on October 10 at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Six days later, the orbiter was returned to KSC.