STS-54 (53)

Endeavour (3)
Pad 39-B (23)
53rd Shuttle Mission
3rd Flight of OV-105
KSC Landing (14)


John H. Casper (2), Commander
Donald R. McMonagle (2), Pilot
Mario Runco, Jr.(2), Mission Specialist 1
Gregory J. Harbaugh (2), Mission Specialist 2
Susan J. Helms (1), Mission Specialist 3


OPF-1 - 9/20/92
VAB - 11/23/92
PAD-B - 12/3/92



Mission Objectives:

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Jan. 13, 1993, 8:59.30 a.m. EST. Launch was delayed about 7 minutes due to concerns associated with upper atmospheric winds.


Altitude: 165 nm
Inclination: 28.45 degrees
Orbits: 96
Duration: 5 days 23 hours 38 minutes 19 seconds
Distance: miles


SRB: BI-056
SRM: 360L029
ET : 51
MLP : 2
SSME-1: SN-2019
SSME-2: SN-2033
SSME-3: SN-2018


Jan. 19, 1993, 8:37.47 a.m. EST, KSC Runway 33, Orbit 96. Mission Elapsed time: 5 days, 23 hours, 38 minutes. Rollout distance: 8,723 feet. Landing delayed one orbit due to ground fog at KSC.

Mission Highlights:

The primary payload was the fifth Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TRDS-F) which was deployed on day one of the mission. It was later successfully transferred to its proper orbit by the Inertial Upper Stage booster.

Also carried into orbit in the payload bay was a Hitchhiker experiment called the Diffuse X-ray Spectrometer (DXS). This instrument collected data on X-ray radiation from diffuse sources in deep space.

Other middeck payloads to test the effects of microgravity included the Commercial General Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGPA) for-life sciences research; the Chromosome and Plant Cell Division in Space Experiment (CHROMEX) to-study plant growth; the Physiological and Anatomical Rodent Experiment (PARE) to examine the skeletal system and the adaptation of bone to space flight; the Space Acceleration Measurement Equipment (SANS) to measure and record the microgravity acceleration environment of middeck experiments; and the Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE) to measure the rate of flame spread and temperature of burning filter paper.

Also, on day five, mission specialists Mario Runco and Greg Harbaugh spent nearly 5 hours in the open cargo bay performing a series of space-walking tasks designed to increase NASAs knowledge of working in space. They tested their abilities to move about freely in the cargo bay, climb into foot restraints without using their hands and simulated carrying large objects in the microgravity environment.

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Last Updated Friday June 29 11:21:08 EDT 2001
Jim Dumoulin (Redacted)