STS -56 (English Space Transportation System) is a mission name for the U.S. Space Shuttle Discovery ( OV -103 ) from NASA. The launch took place on April 8, 1993. It was the 54th Space Shuttle mission and the 16th flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery.


  • Kenneth Cameron ( second space flight), Commander
  • Stephen Oswald ( second space flight), Pilot
  • Michael Foale ( second space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Kenneth Cockrell ( first space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Ellen Ochoa ( first space flight ), Mission Specialist

Mission overview

Brunt of this mission was the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science -2 ( ATLAS -2). With this module, the relationship between the solar and the middle atmosphere of the earth were, in particular the impact on the ozone layer was investigated. ATLAS - 2 consisted of a total of 7 different instruments:

  • Atmospheric Trace Molecule Spectroscopy ( ATMOS )
  • Millimeter wave Atmospheric sounder (MAS)
  • Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet / A ( SSBUV / A) spectrometer
  • Solar Spectrum Measurement ( SOLSPEC )
  • Solar Ultraviolet Irradiance Monitor ( Susim )
  • Active Cavity Radiometer (ACR )
  • Solar Constant ( SOLCON )

ATLAS -2 belongs to the "Mission to Planet Earth" program of NASA. The instruments were used as ATLAS -1 during the mission STS -45 in 1993 for the first time.

On April 11, the astronauts translated with the help of the robot arm of the shuttle from the Shuttle Point Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy -201 ( SPARTAN- 201). With this instrument platform, the velocities and accelerations of the solar winds were measured, and studied the corona of the sun. The platform was captured two days later.

Using the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment II ( SAREX II) has several contacts with the Russian space station Mir and some schools on the earth were made.

Further experiments:

  • Solar Ultraviolet Experiment ( Suve )
  • Commercial Materials Dispersion Apparatus Instrumentation Technology Associates Experiment ( CMIX )
  • Physiological and Anatomical Rodent Experiment ( PARE )
  • Cosmic Ray Effects and Activation Monitor ( CREAM )
  • Hand -held, Earth - oriented, Real-time, Cooperative, User-friendly, Location -targeting and Environmental System ( HERCULES )
  • Radiation Monitoring Equipment III (RME III)
  • Air Force Maui Optical Site ( AMOS )