STS -57 (English Space Transportation System) is a mission name for the U.S. Space Shuttle Endeavour NASA. The launch took place on 21 June 1993. It was the 56th Space Shuttle mission and the fourth flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour.


  • Ronald Grabe (4th space flight), Commander
  • Brian Duffy ( second space flight), Pilot
  • David Low ( 3 space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Nancy Currie ( first space flight ), Mission Specialist
  • Peter Wisoff ( first space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Janice Voss ( first space flight ), Mission Specialist

Mission overview

During the ten -day flight, the astronauts successfully conducted dozens of biomedical and materials science experiments in Spacehab module, which demonstrated its suitability for space on this flight. The experiment carrier EURECA (European Retrievable Carrier), which was a year earlier suspended by STS -46 and contained several experiments, was captured by the crew and brought back to earth. Two astronauts conducted a six-hour spacewalk.

Mission History

Because of an etched test number in a turbo pump in one of the three main engines of the Space Shuttle, the first official launch date ( 3 June) the end of May of 1993, to be canceled. This test number was on a spring inside the pump in the wrong place, what their exercise capacity could have affected. They opted for exchange of high-performance pump and put June 20 as a new start date.

Low-hanging clouds and rain at Kennedy Space Center, and also bad weather conditions on the Notlandeplätzen led to a 24 -hour shift. The Endeavour finally lifted off on 21 June 1993 at 13:07:22 UTC. The countdown had to be stopped by 22 seconds because a plane flew through the restricted airspace.

Three and a half hours after the start of the astronauts took the Spacehab module in the cargo hold of the ferry is in operation. Built by the U.S. company of the same name, it was hired by NASA in order to have more space available for experiments. The Spacehab is an extension of the shuttle middle deck and connected to it via a tunnel. It is 2.8 meters long, 4.1 meters wide, 3.4 meters high and offers 30 cubic feet of space.

One of the main tasks of the mission was the rescue and repatriation of European research platform EURECA. After the Endeavour reached orbit, Commander Ronald Grabe gave chase. A number of train maneuvers later EURECA was at the beginning of the fourth flight day ( 24 June) in range.

At 12:08 UTC gave the ESOC in Darmstadt, which was responsible for the control of guard, the command for folding the solar wings and 50 minutes later, the two communication antennas were retracted. However, both the two -meter-long boom could not be fully absorbed. The reason for this was not apparent. Nevertheless, the Einfangmanöver was continued and Mission Specialist David Low began EURECA 13:53 UTC with the robotic arm.

To supply the instruments and maintain the thermal control of EURECA, the four batteries were fully charged just before the retraction of the solar cells. In addition, the 4.5 -tonne experiment support should be supplied via a specially installed on the robot arm power line to the power supply via its supporting platform in the payload bay was. This " extension cord " but did not work, because ( as it turned out after the flight ) the connector upside down had been incorporated.

Houston received a half-hour after capture close-ups of the antennas that had made at the request of the technician team. Nevertheless, a clear cause of the error could not be found. Meanwhile, time was pressing, for EURECA went out of power. The flight management decided to anchor the experiment carrier in the cargo area and advise on how to proceed later. 16:43 UTC EURECA was finally deposed in its support behind the Spacehab.

After intensive discussions of the engineers on the ground, the antenna problem has been incorporated into the planned for the next day outboard activity. Analyzes had shown that even then there is no risk for a smooth landing there when the antennas were unlocked - they could not have dangerous areas in the cargo bay by a Swinging around.

The spacewalk (EVA ) of the mission specialists David Low and Jeff Wisoff began on June 25 at 13:07 UTC. The two astronauts floated through the hatch in the connecting tunnel into the payload bay. Prior to the bulkhead of the Spacehab and the crew cabin were closed and then been discharged from the sluice and tunnel air.

First, a foot holder at the end of the robot arm has been installed, in which fortified low. Then maneuvered Nancy Currie RMS with low to the satellite. Wisoff still retains the space in the eye, so that the arm could upset anyone anywhere. One hour after the start of EVA Low was in the right position to take the antenna repair in attack. The American and European engineers had worked out the procedures in the previous night shift. It has been suggested that the insulating material that protected EURECA, had some extended and the two antennas prevented snaps in place. According simply looked the task: Low should press only with muscle power, the antennas against the satellite while ESOC triggered the locking mechanism. After twenty minutes of the first boom in the third experiment was anchored. Sherlock positioned with the support of the Wisoff Lastenarm new, so low could reach the second antenna well. Shortly thereafter, also reported low success here.

The spacewalk ended the primary mission objective of STS- 57 to capture the EURECA satellite from. Then, led by Low and Wisoff maneuver for a shortened test of EVAs with the robot arm. Studies on the handling and fine alignment of masses as well as the application of high torques were performed by two crew members alternately on the robot arm. Low and Wisoff ended their spacewalk shortly before 19:00 UTC, after 5 hours and 50 minutes.

During the remainder of the mission, the crew worked on experiments in Spacehab module in the cargo bay of the shuttle. These experiments included studies of body positions, the environment of the spacecraft, crystal growth, metal alloys, waste water recycling and the behavior of liquids. Among the experiments was an assessment of maintenance tool that was designed for the Space Station Freedom (later the International Space Station). The is seised with the Diagnosewerzeug part of the "Tools and Diagnostic Systems experiment " was conducted by Nancy Currie. With the help of electronic test equipment, which included an oscilloscope, Currie undertook tests on a model circuit and communicated with the ground control on proposed repair procedures and their results via computer.

In addition, Brian Duffy and Jeff Wisoff conducted experiments for the transport of fluids through without causing bubbles in the liquid in zero gravity. The "Fluid Acquisition and Resupply Experiment" or FARE -called experiment studied filters and procedures that could lead to methods to refuel a spacecraft in orbit and transported between transparent water tank with 0.6 meters in diameter in the middle deck of the Endeavour. This allowed engineers to investigate how the fluid behaved when the Endeavour fired its thrusters for small maneuvers. Janice Voss worked on "Liquid Encapsulated Melt Zone" ( LEMZ ) experiment that an operation that "floating zone crystal growth" is called, availed. The microgravity conditions make it possible to grow large crystals in space.

Ron Grabe, Brian Duffy and Janice Voss participated in the " neutral body postures investigation" part. Flight doctors noticed on previous flights that will change the attitude of the body in microgravity. This change, sometimes called " weightlessness squat " in addition occurs at five -centimeter extension of the spine during space missions. To better document this phenomenon for the duration of a space flight, was taken by crew members in a relaxed position photo and video material at the beginning and end of the mission. Scientists believe these results to the specifications for future designs of spacecraft, to make work stations and residential areas more efficient and comfortable for astronauts.

Nancy Currie led by procedures for acquiring the software ergonomics. It built on a working platform with laptop and carried out a simulated procedure for a space station drive system.

On June 28, 1993 Nancy Currie led an impromptu plumbing on environmental control system flight experiment ( EFE ) through an investigation into the waste water cleanup which could possibly be used on board future spacecraft. EFE uses a mixture of water and potassium iodide to simulate wastewater. The solution is pumped through a series of filters to clean them. During the flight, a reduced water flow of the experimenters could be observed and they decided to carry out the repair action. Currie dissolved to a connecting piece in the experiment, the wound is now free socket with an absorbent diaper, leaving the pump pumps the experiment with the aid of a laptop 20 minutes in a reverse direction to flush the blockage. Currie fastened the neck then again and the experiment could be continued under the ordinary conditions by the experimenters on the ground.

The landing of the Endeavour had on 29 and 30 June 1993 shall be postponed due to bad weather and took place after nine days, 23 hours and 45 minutes on 1 July 1993 at 12:52 UTC on the runway 33 at the Kennedy Space Center.