STS -70 (English Space Transportation System) is a mission name for the U.S. Space Shuttle Discovery ( OV- 103), NASA. The launch took place on 13 July 1995. It was the 70th Space Shuttle mission and the 21st flight of Discovery.


  • Terence Henricks ( third space flight), Commander
  • Kevin Kregel ( first space flight), Pilot
  • Nancy Currie ( second space flight ), Mission Specialist
  • Donald Thomas ( second space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Mary Weber ( first space flight ), Mission Specialist

Mission parameters

  • Mass: 20,159 kg payload

Problems prior to the start

A rather unusual mishap had the plan to start the Space Shuttle in June zunichtegemacht. When the Discovery June 1995 was already at the launch site and the launch preparations were already very advanced, pounding a woodpecker 105 holes in the insulation layer of the external tank of the shuttle so that the Discovery had to be back down in the assembly hall, so that the damage is restored could.

Since this event standing at Kennedy Space Center a few owls dummies to scare off the birds. The nests of the birds were taped after this mishap.

Mission Description

The main task was to send the seventh Tracking and Data Relay Satellite ( TDRS G ) using the two-stage Inertial Upper Stage ( IUS ) solid rocket.

The exposed satellite was placed in orbit, the sixth of its kind, the first of its kind launched by STS -6 in 1983 to orbit, the second was lost in the Challenger disaster ( STS- 51- L). The other TDRS satellites were transported from STS -26 ( TDRS C), STS -29 ( TDRS D), STS -43 ( TDRS E) and STS -54 ( TDRS F). The TDRS network is being rearranged and will now include two fully operational capable satellites that cover the western and the eastern hemisphere, a fully functioning as a substitute, an almost exhausted at the end of its life, and a partially functional, of the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory ( GRO) support. This is also used to cover an area of ​​the Earth, which can not be reached from the other off.

The TDRS system is a space- based network provides the services like communication, telemetry, orbit tracking, data collection and command transmission, which are essential for the space shuttle and other spacecraft low orbit such as the Hubble Space Telescope, the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, the Upper Atmosphere research Satellite, the Cosmic Background Explorer, the Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer, TOPEX - Poseidon, Landsat and many more. The exposed satellite will be located in geosynchronous orbit at 35,888 km altitude at 178 degrees west longitude. It was built by TRW and weighs about 2,200 kg.

The deployment of the satellite was controlled by three independent control centers. The White Sands Missile Range ground station monitored the TDRS, the ground control at the Johnson Space Center (JSC ) monitors the Shuttle and the Inertial Upper Stage Control Center on the Onizuka Air Force Base in Sunnyvale (California ) monitors the Booster platform. The launch of the satellite began six hours after picking up the shuttle. The satellite has fully spread a wing span of 17 m.

Other objects of the mission were:

  • Physiological and Anatomical Rodent Experiment / National Institutes of Health - Rodents ( PARE / NIH -R )
  • Bioreactor Demonstration System (BDS ), Commercial Protein Crystal Growth ( CPCG )
  • Biological Research in Canisters (BRIC )
  • Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment II ( SAREX -II), Visual Function Tester -4 ( VFT -4)
  • Hand-held, Earth Oriented, Real -time, Cooperative, User-Friendly, Location - targeting and Environmental System ( HERCULES )
  • Microcapsules in Space -B ( MIS -B)
  • Windows Experiment ( WINDEX )
  • Radiation Monitoring Equipment -III ( RME -III)
  • Military Applications of Ship Tracks ( MAST)