STS -90 (English Space Transportation System) is the designation for a flight mission of the U.S. Space Shuttle Columbia ( OV -102) from NASA. The launch took place on 17 April 1998. It was the 90th Space Shuttle mission and the 25th flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia.


Home team

  • Richard Searfoss ( third space flight), Commander
  • Scott Altman ( first space flight), Pilot
  • Richard Linnehan ( second space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Dafydd Williams ( first space flight), Mission Specialist (Canadian Space Agency CSA / Canada Canada )
  • Kathryn Hire ( 1 space flight ), Mission Specialist
  • Jay Buckey ( first space flight), Payload Specialist
  • James Pawelczyk ( first space flight), Payload Specialist


  • Alexander Dunlap and Chiaki Mukai ( NASDA / Japan Japan) for Buckey and Pawelczyk

Mission Description

The Columbia mission was the 22nd and final use of the Spacelab. During the Neurolab mission is focused mainly on the function of the brain. These investigations were carried out on humans and animals. On board were in addition to the seven astronauts also 18 pregnant mice, 152 rats, 135 worm, 229 swordtail fish, 4 fish oysters and 1514 crickets. Most animals, however, were either killed in orbit and examined or after landing. A large number died during the flight. Concerned the embryonic brain tissue and activity as well as the sense of balance. For this, the oyster fish special electrodes had implanted in the inner ear.

Even at four astronauts extensive studies have been made. So sleep was in all its phases thoroughly investigated (brain and body functions). In addition, the coordination of brain and body movements was explored. These had to catch balls and pursue points of light through the eyes of the subjects. Other tests related to the adaptation to weightlessness, the function of balance, the use of medication against the spaceman disease, the treatment of insomnia, dizziness, low blood pressure and immune deficiency symptoms.