STS -60 (English Space Transportation System) is a mission name for the U.S. Space Shuttle Discovery ( OV -103 ) from NASA. The launch took place on 3 February 1994. It was the 60th Space Shuttle mission and the 18th flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery.


Home team

  • Charles Bolden (4th space flight), Commander
  • Kenneth Reightler ( second space flight), Pilot
  • January Davis ( second space flight ), Mission Specialist
  • Ronald Sega ( 1 space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Franklin Chang- Diaz ( fourth space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Sergei Krikaljow ( third space flight), Mission Specialist ( Roscosmos / Russia)

This was the first flight of a NASA spacecraft with a representative of the Russian space agency on board.


  • Vladimir Titov for Krikaljow

Mission overview

The Wake Shield Facility ( WSF) was the primary payload of the mission. Their goal was the growth of high-purity gallium arsenide layers under the excellent vacuum conditions of the Earth's orbit by molecular beam epitaxy. The parabolic WSF with a diameter of 3.6 m should be suspended from the manipulator arm of the shuttle and take off in formation up to 75 km from the Discovery to achieve optimum vacuum conditions. The experimental setup was on the back of the WSF shield which was oriented perpendicular to the flight direction and a high-purity vacuum in the " slipstream " guaranteed by the speed in orbit. The WSF was developed by the Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center at the University of Houston.

The experiment initially proved not feasible, since the status lights on the WSF were not evident in the bright sunlight and a malfunction was suspected. The next time there were problems with the position control sensors of the WSF, why was again waived a suspend. Finally, the WSF has been activated, while these remained at the end of the manipulator arm. Two gallium arsenide layers could be produced during a sleep period of the astronauts. Because of the problem with the horizon sensor for position control, it was decided to dispense with a suspension of the WSF and all remaining tests carried out during the WSF was on the robot arm. Five more crystal layers have been generated before a last attempt for a telemetry problem could not be performed.

In Spacehab module biotechnological, metallurgical and pharmaceutical experiments were performed. First time on board a space shuttle was a Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikaljow. This led, among other experiments to measure acceleration (Space Acceleration Measurement System).

On February 8, a radio and television connection between the discovery and the three cosmonauts was made ​​aboard the Mir space station. The orbiter was at this time over the Pacific and the Mir over the United States.

On February 9, BremSat was a small satellite of the University of Bremen, suspended from the payload bay. It had been built by OHB-System and led by environmental observations.