STS -46 (English Space Transportation System) is a mission name for the U.S. Space Shuttle Atlantis NASA. The launch took place on 31 July 1992. It was the 49th Space Shuttle mission and the twelfth flight of Atlantis.


Home team

  • Loren Shriver ( third space flight), Commander
  • Andrew Allen ( 1 space flight), Pilot
  • Claude Nicollier ( first space flight), Mission Specialist (ESA / Switzerland )
  • Jeffrey Hoffman ( third space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Franklin Chang- Diaz ( 3 space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Marsha Ivins ( second space flight ), Mission Specialist
  • Franco Malerba ( first space flight), Payload Specialist (ESA / Italy)


  • Guidoni for Malerba

Mission overview

The Space Shuttle Mission 49 began with a running start on 31 July 1992 With this launch were two nations celebrate their first citizen in space, namely the Swiss Claude Nicollier and the Italians Franco Malerba. ; both were used on the mission as a payload specialist.

The two main objectives of the mission were exposing the free-flying experiments platform EURECA (European Retrievable Carrier ) and the experiment TSS ( Tethered Satellite System ). EURECA was a reusable platform that contained more than 70 experiments. She was abandoned because of problems with her computer by the astronauts of the mission one day later than planned. As a result, the STS -46 flight was extended by one day. After ignition of the engines of the satellite, the internal phase was terminated too early, so had on the sixth day of flying the mission a correction ignition be made in order to achieve the planned level. A year later, the satellite was re-captured in the mission STS -57.

After the successful launching of the EURECA Space Tether Experiment TSS was started. TSS was about 500 kilograms heavier bondage satellite, which should float away in space of a 20- kilometer-long steel cable from the shuttle. The aim of this experiment was the generation of electrical energy. But the cable to the satellite remained stuck about 260 meters, so could practically no results. For several days the crew tried to get the free satellite, but failed. Therefore, this was stowed for return to Earth again in the payload bay.

The mission ended on August 8, 1992, a landing at KSC in Florida.