STS-40 (41)

Pad 39-B (18)
41st Shuttle mission
11th Flight OV-102


Bryan D. O'Connor (2), Commander
Sidney M. Gutierrez (1), Pilot
James P. Bagian (2), Mission Specialist 1
Tamara E. Jernigan (1), Mission Specialist 2
M. Rhea Seddon (2), Mission Specialist 3
F. Drew Gaffney (1), Payload Specialist 1
Millie-Hughes Fulford (1), Payload Specialist 2


OPF - Feb. 9,1991
VAB - April 26, 1991
PAD - May 2, 1991



Mission Objectives:

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June 5, 1991, 9:24:51 a.m. EDT. Launch originally set for May 22,1991. Mission postponed less than 48 hours before launch when it became known that a leaking liquid hydrogen transduoer in orbiter main propulsion system which was removed and replaced during a leak testing in 1990, had failed an analysis by vendor. Engineers feared that one or more of the nine liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen transducer protruding into fuel and oxidizer lines could break off and be ingested by the engine turbopumps, causing engine failure.

In addition, one of orbiter five general purpose computers failed completely, along with one of the multiplexer demultiplexers that control orbiter hydraulics ordinance and orbiter maneuvering system / reaction control system functions in aft compartment.

New general purpose computer and multiplexer demultiplexer were installed and tested. One liquid hydrogen and two liquid oxygen transducers were replaced upstream in propellant flow system near 17-inch disconnect area, which is protected by internal screen. Three liquid oxygen transducers replaced at engine manifold area, while three liquid hydrogen transducers here were removed and openings plugged. Launch reset for 8 a.m. EDT, June 1, but postponed again after several attempts to calibrate inertial measurement unit 2 failed. Unit was replaced and retested, and launch was rescheduled for June 5. Launch Weight: 251,970 lbs.


Altitude: 157nm
Inclination: 39 degrees
Orbits: 146
Duration: 9 days, 2 hours, 14 minutes, 20 seconds.
Distance: 3,779,940 miles


SRB: BI-041
SRM: 360W016
ET : 41/LWT-34
MLP : 3
SSME-1: SN-2015
SSME-2: SN-2022
SSME-3: SN-2027


June 14, 1991, 8:39:11 a.m. PDT, Runway 22, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Rollout distance: 9,403 feet. Rollout time: 55 seconds. Orbiter returned to KSC June 21. Landing Weight: 226,535 lbs.

Mission Highlights:

Fifth dedicated Spacelab mission, Spacelab Life Sciences-1, and first dedicated solely to life sciences, using the habitable module. Mission featured most detailed and interrelated physiological measurements in space since 1973-1974 Skylab missions. Subjects were humans, 30 rodents and thousands of tiny jellyfish. Primary SLS-1 experiments studied six body systems; of 18 investigations, ten involved humans, seven involved rodents,and one used jellyfish.

Six body systems investigated were cardiovascular/ cardiopulmonary (heart, lungs and blood vessels); renal/endocrine (kidneys and hormone-secreting organs and glands); blood (blood plasma); immune system (white blood cells); musculoskeletal (muscles and bones); and neurovestibular (brains and nerves, eyes and inner ear). Other payloads included twelve Get Away Special (GAS) canisters installed on GAS bridge in cargo bay for experiments In materials science, plant biology and cosmic radiation; Middeck Zero-Gravity Dynamics Experiment (MODE); and seven Orbiter Experiments (OEX).

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Last Updated Friday June 29 11:21:02 EDT 2001
Jim Dumoulin (Redacted)