STS -88 (English Space Transportation System) is the designation for a flight mission of the U.S. Space Shuttle Endeavour ( OV- 105), NASA. The launch took place on 4 December 1998. It was the 93rd Space Shuttle mission, the 13th flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour and the first flight of a shuttle to the International Space Station (ISS).


  • Robert Cabana (4th space flight), Commander
  • Frederick Sturckow ( first space flight), Pilot
  • Nancy Currie ( third space flight ), Mission Specialist
  • Sergei Krikaljow (4th space flight), Mission Specialist ( Roscosmos / Russia)
  • James Newman ( third space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Jerry Ross ( 6 space flight), Mission Specialist

Mission Description

During Endeavour 's mission to the International Space Station (ISS) was practically inaugurated. In the cargo bay of space shuttle was with Unity, the first connecting module of the space station along with two coupling adapter (PMA -1 and PMA -2).

Shortly after the launch on 4 December 1998 at 8:35 UTC, the three interconnected parts were lifted with the manipulator arm of the loading bay out and placed on the docking port of the space shuttle. This approached during which the already launched on 20 November Zarya module. From ten feet away it was recorded on December 6 by the gripper arm of the space shuttle and set to the second docking port of Unity.

On 7 December the astronauts Jerry Ross and James Newman went for 7 hours and 21 minutes and combined power and data cables between the two modules together. In addition, thermal covers and a retaining cables were installed. At the second exit on 9 December, the now superfluous brackets were removed in seven hours, with which Unity was anchored in the cargo bay of Endeavour. There, the counter- supports were covered and cables that had previously been used for the power and cooling dismantled. In addition, several communication antennas were mounted and connected. Finally, an antenna at the Zarya module belonging to an automatic Rendezvoussystem fully expanded. Then the power supply between Zarya and Unity has been activated. A surge had already been done before.

On December 10, the hatches were opened and the station, if only manned for a short time. Within the two modules shipping brackets have been removed, tools and structures that should be mounted outboard removed, and the shelves filled with materials that were destined for the first resident crew. In addition, the S-band communication system has been completed and tested. After only 28 hours, the hatches were closed again.

The third departure of Ross and Newman on 12 December hand and footholds and two cranes were within 6 hours and 59 minutes container with tools mounted outboard and installed a railing on the Zarya module. Even the Russian navigation system course the second antenna could be manually fully extended. In addition, the outer skin of both modules from different positions was photographed. It was especially important to check whether the marks were clearly visible for the Space Vision System. All activities were also filmed from a large-format IMAX camera.

On board the Endeavour with MightySat 1 and SAC -A two small satellites that were catapulted during the mission from the cargo bay. The latter was suspended on December 14 at 5:31 UTC and was an Argentine satellite ( 268 kg ) for testing various technologies. These included a GPS-based navigation system, a magnetometer, silicon solar cells, a camera for Earth observation and a system for tracking of whales in the oceans. The next day, followed at 3:09 UTC MightySat, a military testing satellite of the U.S. Air Force. The 320 -kilogram satellite also served as research into new technologies for space travel.

After almost twelve days in orbit, the Endeavour landed on 16 December at 3:53 UTC on the concrete runway at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.