STS -59 (English Space Transportation System) is a mission name for the U.S. Space Shuttle Endeavour NASA. The launch took place on 9 April 1994. It was the 62nd Space Shuttle mission and the sixth flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour.


  • Sidney Gutierrez ( second space flight), Commander
  • Kevin Chilton ( second space flight), Pilot
  • Linda Godwin ( second space flight ), Mission Specialist
  • Jerome Apt ( third space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Michael Clifford ( second space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Thomas Jones ( first space flight), Mission Specialist

Mission History

April 9

The space shuttle Endeavour began its sixth mission on April 9, 1994 with a scheduled start at 11:05 UTC, after it had to be postponed twice already. Shortly after the launch, the astronauts activated the highly sensitive radar equipment in the cargo bay of the Space Shuttle, which would be used in the next ten days around the clock. During the first twelve hours, all SRL experiments ( Space Radar Laboratory) were activated.

The ground control the mission turned on the Spaceborne Imaging Radar C (SIR -C), which transmitted the first pictures of the earth while engineers were still working due to initial activation problems at X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (X- SAR).

Meanwhile collected the instrument used to measure air pollution from satellites (MAPS ) data on the carbon monoxide content and its distribution in the atmosphere.

During the first activation of the X-SAR reported the ground control that they would not be able to fully activate the amplifier, which provided the power for the instrument. The problem was due to the too small electrical voltages inside the amplifier. The engineers, however, the cause of the problem could not explain why they took the amplifier for three hours by the network itself. As it turned out later, the problem lay in a circuit protection to low-set, a kind of electrical safety. The engineers of the laboratory bridged the fuse and switched on the instruments approximately 20:20 UTC, which ran without incident and took over 100% of its planned observations at night.

Then the X - SAR inspectors led by a successive control of all instruments and subsequently recorded data successfully sent back to the earth. All instruments recorded normal values.

The team also activated the Getaway Special experiments in the cargo hold. These experiments were developed by selected students in St. Louis and the results are sent back after completion of the mission at this, where they are then evaluated.

April 10

On the morning of April 10 1994, the Radar Laboratory had already collected data from over 40 different places, including Maine, the Macquarie, the Black Sea and Gibraltar. The scientists also received information on three of the 19 " Super Sites", the places with the highest priority on this day. Super sites on this day were carbon and water cycles in the Duke Forest, USA; Otzal in Australia and geological data on Lake Chad in the Sahara. Other place of observation on this day were Gippsland in Australia; Sable Iceland; Toronta, Canada; Bermuda; the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming; Chung Li, China and Mammoth Mountain, USA.

The super sites of the evening were observations of the SIR -C and X- SAR regarding the interactions between plants and animals in the ecology of the forest of Raco in the U.S.; Water circuits to Bebedouro in Brazil; of plate tectonics to the Galapagos Islands in the South Pacific as well as the heat transfer by waves in the Southern Ocean.

The instrument used to measure air pollution from satellites put the measurement of concentration and distribution of carbon monoxide in the troposphere continues. Crew members reported good ways to create photographs of the Northeastern Pacific Ocean and the frozen rivers of Raco and fires in the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico.

On the second day of the mission of the Red Team Commander Gutierrez, Pilot Chilton and Linda Godwinn began her nine-hour sleep layer around 22:00 UTC. The blue team, consisting of Jay Apt, Michael Clifford and Thomas Jones woke up at about 21:00 UTC, to start his shift.