STS -96 (English Space Transportation System) is the designation for a flight mission of the U.S. Space Shuttle Discovery ( OV -103 ) from NASA. The launch took place on 27 May 1999. It was the 94th Space Shuttle mission, the 26th flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery and the second flight of a shuttle to the International Space Station (ISS).


  • Kent Rominger (4th space flight), Commander
  • Rick Husband ( first space flight), Pilot
  • Daniel Barry ( second space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Tamara Jernigan ( fifth space flight ), Mission Specialist
  • Ellen Ochoa ( third space flight ), Mission Specialist
  • Julie Payette ( first space flight ), Mission Specialist (CSA / Canada)
  • Valery Tokarev ( first space flight ), Mission Specialist ( Roscosmos / Russia)

Mission Description

The discovery brought more than 2.1 tons of equipment goods to the construction site of the International Space Station (ISS). In addition, various maintenance and repair works were carried out in both modules. First, the shuttle docked on 29 May 1999 at the Unity module to the station. Here, the spacecraft approached the station from above.

The following day, Jernigan and Barry went for 7 hours and 55 minutes from the shuttle and assembled two cranes ( Strela or ORU ) that were needed for moving heavy loads in the expansion of the station. In addition, two small, movable platforms were installed on which future outboard mechanics can stand safely. They are equipped with holders for the shoes of space suits. Finally, several tool containers were secured, a thermal cover fitted and tested an antenna for the Early Communication System. The materials were placed in a special container in the cargo bay of Discovery.

On May 31, the hatches between Discovery and ISS were opened. On the following days about 1.8 tons of equipment, water and furnishings have been transported out of the Spacehab double module in the cargo bay of Discovery to the space station. These included shelf parts, clothing, food, sleeping bags and medical devices. In parallel, additional sound insulation on the ventilation system of the Zarya module were installed, changed charging devices for batteries, replace the power supply of the Early Communication Systems, cleaned air filter and check smoke detectors.

On June 3 the path of the space station complex was raised with the engines of discovery. After the space shuttle docked at the station and walked around again. Two days later, STAR SHINE ( Student Tracked Atmosphere Research Satellite for Heuristic International Networking Equipment ) was suspended on 5 June, the small satellite. It was a 50 centimeter hollow sphere made ​​of aluminum, which was covered with small mirror elements. More than 25,000 students from 18 countries had polished the 900 aluminum mirror, which gave the satellite looks like a disco ball. The students watched from the orbit of the satellite from the earth and calculated from the data of the density of the atmosphere at high altitudes. After eight months STARSHINE resigned on 18 February 2000, the denser layers of the atmosphere and burned up during its 4212th Erdumlaufs.

The Discovery landed at night in Florida.