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STS-48 was a Space Shuttle mission that launched on September 12, 1991, from Kennedy Space Centermarker, Floridamarker. The orbiter was . The primary payload was the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite. The mission landed on September 18 at 12:38am at Edwards Air Force Basemarker 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 240,062 lbs and the landing weight was 192,780 lbs.


Mission parameters

Mission highlights

UARS grappled by the RMS
Launch: September 12, 1991, 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 Satellite (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 (MLS); Halogen 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 (AMOS) experiment.

Landing: September 18, 1991, 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, 1991. Landing Weight: 192,780 lb (87,444 kg).

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