STS -77 (English Space Transportation System) is a mission name for the U.S. Space Shuttle Endeavour ( OV- 105), NASA. The launch took place on 19 May 1996. It was the 77th Space Shuttle mission and the eleventh flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour.


  • John Casper ( fourth space flight), Commander
  • Curtis Brown ( 3 space flight), Pilot
  • Daniel Bursch ( third space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Marc Garneau ( second space flight), Mission Specialist (CSA / Canada)
  • Mario Runco ( third space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Andrew Thomas ( first space flight), Mission Specialist

Mission Description

Four tasks took spaceman and ground crews during the Endeavour mission in attack. Were first tested the inflation of a larger structure in space and the self- stabilization of the position of a small satellite without the use of propellants or gyros. In Spacehab a number of commercial studies in the fields of biotechnology, electronics and material science and polymer research and agriculture was hired, while several technological experiments largely automatically expired in the cargo bay.

On the 2nd day of flying a SPARTAN satellite was exposed, on which an inflatable parabolic antenna ( IAE) was mounted. Shortly after the suspension of the mechanism was activated for deployment and brought the antenna to a size of 26 x 14 meters. That's about the size of a tennis court. The antenna had only a mass of 66 kilograms. After 90 minutes, the antenna has been disconnected from the satellite. You burned up a few days later in the Earth's atmosphere. SPARTAN was stowed with the manipulator arm back into the payload bay of the shuttle. It was the eighth use of such satellites. First magnetic tape but not the EEPROM used for storing data. Inflatable structures are to be used in future experiments in which no large mechanical loads occur. This not only space and mass but also significant cost savings.

On the fourth day of flying the small satellite technology PAMS ( Passive Aerodynamically Stabilized Magnetically damped Satellite ) was catapulted out of the cargo bay. He was deliberately brought into a tailspin. He should stabilize within a few days only by the Masserverteilung and the effect of the geomagnetic field in a certain attitude. To this end, the Endeavour approached the satellite three times in total to about 700 meters, and measured the position with the aid of a laser system ( Attitude Measurement System). In between, the distance grew temporarily to 150 kilometers. The satellite stabilized more slowly than predicted, after 4 days he had the intended position achieved with a precision of 0.05 °.

The Spacehab is a commercial space laboratory, which is installed in the payload bay of the shuttle and can accommodate a variety of experiments. It is used mostly by industrial companies to test new technologies or to produce novel materials and suitable substances.

In medicine it is often necessary to isolate particular cell types. To the respective cells must be identified and separated from others. With Advanced Separation Process for Organic material ( ADSEP ) understanding gravity -induced effects to be improved in the production of hemoglobin products. On the basis of novel hemoglobin blood transfusion products to be developed. The apparatus Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus contained 272 small containers into four temperature zones. The research related to chemical substances, cell and tissue cultures, small plants and animals. Among other things, the effectiveness of various experimental pharmaceuticals has been verified, the crystallization of RNA examined in order to gain insights into the three-dimensional structure of certain oligonucleotides tested chemicals to accelerate the differentiation of macrophages in the bone marrow and tested cell growth inhibitor for cancer research.

In weightlessness, the metabolism of the plants changed. These changes were, for example, studied at the Plant Generic Bioprocessing Artimisia annua Apparatus. This plant produces an active ingredient, which is used against malaria. Further investigations were Cataranthus Rosen, the effects of space flight on starch, sugar and fatty acids special spinach plants and the Ligninproduktion of pine and clover. In the experiment fluid Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 2, the possibility was investigated to mix the essential elements of soft drinks, namely water, carbon dioxide and flavoring syrup only at the place of consumption. Thus the quality of the beverage to be improved, and the foaming can be minimized. In addition, the change in taste perception in weightlessness was explored. On the middle deck of the Endeavour was examined in the context of Immune 3 whether an insulin-like growth factor can reduce the harmful effects of space flight on the immune system and bone. Findings in this area could also be on the ground of benefit, eg for the alleviation of damage, which are caused by radiation or chemotherapy. Three devices for the production of pure protein crystals arrived at Endeavour flight used. Thus, in commercial Protein Crystal Growth a new form of insulin was crystallized, its structure was analyzed on the ground with the aid of X-rays accurately. Proteins were also produced, which are used on the ground against various diseases.

In Gas Permeable polymer membrane involved the development of gas-permeable contact lenses. This will serve a better comfort, a longer shelf life and a simpler manufacturing. In the experiment, handheld diffusion test cell a kind of crystallization was tested in four test cells that do not work on the ground. Two liquids run into each other, without mixing. The increase of the concentration of the second liquid causes the first solidified. Were used biologically relevant substances such as lysozyme, catalase, myoglobin, thaumatin and ferritin. Was also studied the crystallization of certain proteins of tobacco mosaic virus and the Yellow beet mosaic virus. The plant Commercial Float Zone Furnace was developed jointly by Germany, the U.S. and Canada. Goal of their mission was to produce large, very pure mixed semiconductor and metal oxide crystals for electronic devices and infrared detectors. Were used as gallium arsenide and gallium antimonide. The regularity of crystal growth is supported by a liquid shell around the actual crystallization zone.

Mercury chloride is used as the electrooptic material in the Spektralfotografie. With the Space Experiment Facility mercury chloride crystal should be prepared by sintering from the liquid phase. However, there was an irreparable defect. Sintering is known as the joining of powder-like materials under high heat. In the experiments in space a high regularity is achieved, so that the investigation of the properties of such alloys is facilitated. The National Institutes of Health U.S. focused for many years the tissue loss in weightlessness. The investigation dealt with complex C7 damage at the cellular level. Were used to bone and muscle cells from chicken embryos. During this flight, the addition of lime in mature cartilage cells and damage to muscle fibers were examined specifically. The system used for this purpose was in the middle deck of the shuttle.

About the commercial researches addition, technological and scientific experiments were carried out by NASA. Thus, the shock cooling of infrared sensors has been tested by hydrogen evaporation (Brilliant Eyes Ten Kelvin Sorption Cryocooler Experiment). It was thus demonstrated that this effective cooling method also works in space. It contains no mechanical moving parts and is therefore free of vibration. In the small aquarium ARF ( Aquatic Research Facility) were embryonic, studied changes in tissue structures and the orientation ability of starfish, seashells and sea urchins. In particular, the development of calcareous tissue is of interest here. But was also studied the feeding behavior of the animals. In addition, the synthesis of muscle-building proteins in the tobacco hornworm, was explored during its metamorphosis (Biological Research In Canister a ). Based on blood and muscle cell samples, the endocrine system of the worm was examined. In the cargo bay of Endeavour three further experiments were installed. So that a position and attitude determination system has been tested on the basis of GPS ( Global Positioning System Attitude and navigation experiment ), investigated the performance of a heat pump operating with liquid metal ( Liquid Metal Thermal experiment ) as well as a new refueling system tested ( Vented tank resupply experiment ). It is located in the tank next to the filler opening an additional hole for ventilation. A series of flat panels, the liquid gathers on the filler neck and thus prevents the fluid from escaping from the second opening again. Further experiments in containers ( Get Away Special ) dealt with the study of gamma-ray bursts, the evaporation of mercury iodide and subsequent flow rate of the steam, the production of nanocrystals and organic semiconductor materials, smoldering in porous materials, the heat transfer during boiling and pressure control in partially with refrigerated liquefied gases filled tanks. In addition, different plant samples were included, which were then analyzed by students American schools.

The Endeavour landed as scheduled on May 29 at the Kennedy Space Center.