STS -49 (English Space Transportation System) is a mission name for the U.S. Space Shuttle Endeavour NASA. The launch took place on 7 May 1992. It was the 47th Space Shuttle mission and the maiden flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour.


  • Daniel Brandenstein (4th space flight), Commander
  • Kevin Chilton ( first space flight), Pilot
  • Pierre Thuot ( second space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Kathryn Thornton ( second space flight ), Mission Specialist
  • Richard bat ( 2nd space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Thomas Akers ( 2nd space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Bruce Melnick ( second space flight), Mission Specialist

Mission overview

In preparation for the mission, a so-called Flight Readieness Firing took place. During the test, in which the space shuttle remains on the ground, the main engines are started up after a normal countdown to 100 percent power at T = 0. This engine test is conducted before every first launch of a U.S. space shuttle.

The starting date of May 4, was named to 12:34 UTC 1992 original. However, this was postponed for two days when you could get so better shots of the launching shuttle. The start was delayed by 34 minutes due to bad weather on a TAL landing site ( Transoceanic Abort Landing ) and finally took place at 23:40 UTC on 7 May 1992.

Main mission objective was the capture of the satellite Intelsat 603 This satellite was two years before stranded by a failure in separating the second stage rocket in a low orbit. For the first time in history, a rocket motor should be replaced on a satellite. This task required three attempts, although only one trial was planned. During the first two spacewalks (EVA ), the two astronauts Pierre Thuot and Richard bat could not catch the satellites. It was decided that a third astronaut should help. This was the first and only three-man spacewalk. Thomas Akers began with Thout and chop a satellite and then the engine was mounted together.

During a fourth exit of the duo Thornton- Akers, the Assembly of Station by EVA Methods experiment (ASEM ) was performed. It should show that an assembly of a space station in orbit and its maintenance are possible. This objective has been met, but only one of the originally planned two exits was performed because the work on the Intelsat satellite was too time consuming. Due to the problems in the capture of the satellite it was the first shuttle mission with four EVAs. In addition, this mission had the highest EVA total duration of all previous shuttle missions, 25 hours and 27 minutes.

The Endeavour landed on May 16, 1992 at 20:57:38 UTC on track 22 at Edwards Air Force Base. For the first time a braking parachute was used in the American shuttles. On the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft the space shuttle on May 30 was returned to the Kennedy Space Center.

The mission had more following highlights and new features:

  • The second longest EVA ( after STS- 102 ) with 8 hours and 29 minutes
  • First shuttle mission to rendezvous with three an in- orbit satellite.