STS-48 was a Space Shuttle mission that launched on
September 12, 1991,
from Kennedy Space
orbiter was . The primary payload was the Upper Atmosphere Research
. The mission landed on September 18 at 12:38am
at Edwards Air
Force Base on runway 22.
The mission was completed in
81 revolutions of the Earth
and traveled 2.2
million miles. The 5 astronauts carried out a number of experiments
and deployed several satellites. The total launch weight was
and the landing weight was
UARS grappled by the RMS
Launch: September 12
, 7:11:04 p.m. EDT. Launch was delayed 14 minutes
by a faulty communication link between KSC and Mission Control in
Houston. Launch weight was 240,062 lb (108,890 kg).
The primary payload, the Upper Atmosphere Research
(UARS), was deployed on the third day of the mission.
During its planned 18-month mission, the 14,500-pound observatory
was to make the most extensive study ever conducted of the Earth's
troposphere, the upper level of the planet's envelope of
life-sustaining gases which also include the protective ozone
layer. UARS had ten sensing and measuring devices: Cryogenic Limb
Array Etalon Spectrometer (CLAES); Improved Stratospheric and
Mesospheric Sounder (ISAMS); Microwave Limb Sounder
Occultation Experiment (HALOE); High Resolution Doppler Imager
(HRDI); Wind Imaging Interferometer (WlNDII); Solar Ultraviolet
Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SUSIM); Solar/Stellar Irradiance
Comparison Experiment (SOLSTICE); Particle Environment Monitor
(PEM) and Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor (ACRIM II).
UARS's initial 18-month mission was extended several times — it was
finally retired after 14 years of service.
Secondary payloads were: Ascent Particle Monitor (APM); Middeck
0-Gravity Dynamics Experiment (MODE); Shuttle Activation Monitor
(SAM); Cosmic Ray Effects and Activation Monitor (CREAM);
Physiological and Anatomical Rodent Experiment (PARE); Protein
Crystal Growth II-2 (PCG II-2); Investigations into Polymer
Membrane Processing (IPMP); and the Air Force Maui Optical Site
Landing: September 18
, 12:38:42 a.m. PDT, Runway 22, Edwards AFB, CA.
Rollout distance: 9,513 feet. Rollout time: 50 seconds. Landed
scheduled for KSC, but diverted to Edwards due to bad weather.
Orbiter returned to KSC September 26
. Landing Weight: 192,780 lb
Notes and references