STS-60 (60)

Discovery (18)
Pad 39-A (49)
60th Shuttle Mission
18th Flight OV-105
1st Russian on Shuttle
KSC Landing (19)


Charles F. Bolden (4), Commander
Kenneth S. Reightler Jr.(2), Pilot
N. Jan Davis (2), Mission Specialist 1
Ronald M. Sega (1), Mission Specialist 2
Franklin R. Chang-Diaz (4), Mission Specialist 3
Sergei K. Krikalev (3), Mission Specialist 4 (Russia)


OPF -- 9/23/93
VAB -- 1/4/94
PAD -- 1/10/94



Mission Objectives:

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The Wake Shield Facility (WSF), a primary payload for mission STS-60, arrived at Cape Canaveral on 6/30/93 to begin final prelaunch assembly and checkout.

The parabolic-shaped WSF is 12 feet in diameter and includes a communications and avionics system, solar cells and batteries, and a propulsion thruster. The experiment will take advantage of the near vacuum of space to attempt to grow innovative thin film materials for use in electronics. It will be deployed by the remote manipulator arm, and fly in formation with Discovery at a distance of up to 46 statute miles from the orbiter for 56 hours. It will then be retrieved from space, again using the remote manipulator arm. WSF costs approximately $13 million to develop and was designed and built by the Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center (SVEC) based at the University of Houston.

WSF underwent initial processing in NASA's Hangar S on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. In mid-September it was moved to the Vertical Processing Facility in the KSC Industrial Area where tests were performed to verify its compatibility with the Space Shuttle. The payload was then transferred to the pad approximately one month later.

SPACEHAB is a small pressurized module designed to augment the shirt-sleeve working volume of the Space Shuttle. It provides approximately 1100 cubic feet of internal volume, as well as external surface area. Both internal and external areas can be used for mounting, stowing and conducting experiments. The SPACEHAB module was developed by PACEHAB, Inc. The experiments abord SPACEHAB-02 include the Three-Dimensional Microgravity Accelerometer (3-DMA) experiment, Astroculture Experiment (ASC-3), Bioserve Pilot Lab (BPL), Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus Experiment (CGBA), Commercial Protein Crystal Growth Experiment (CPCG), Controlled Liquid Phase Sintering (ECLiPSE-Hab), Immune Response Studies Experiment (IMMUNE-01), Organic Separation Experiment (ORSEP), Space Experiment Facility (SEF), Penn State Biomodule (PSB) and the Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS) Experiment.

The final collection of experiments are the COB/GBA payloads. They are mounted in the rear of the payload bay on a GAS bridge assembly. Four additional Get-Away Special (GAS) canisters are also mounted on the GBA. Experiments on the COB/GBA include the Capillary Pumped Loop Experiment (CAPL), Orbital Debris Radar Calibration Spheres Project (ODERACS) and the University of Bremen Satellite (BREMSAT).


Launch February 3, 1994 7:10:05am EST. Discovery launched exactly on time at the beginning of it's 2 hour, 30 minute window. Discovery's initial trip to the launch pad was delayed a few days due to additional inspections and tests on all of Discovery's 44 nose and tail steering jets. A microscopic puncture was found by its manufacturer, Marquardt Co (a division of CCI Corp of Van Nuys Calif), during post-flight inpection. This thruster experienced experienced unexpected drops in chamber pressure during Discovery's STS-51 mission in September.

A hairline scratch was discovered on Discovery's number 6 pilot side cabin window on the outermost pane. This cabin window was removed and replace on the launch pad. The Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT) for STS-60 was conducted from 1/13/94 and completed with a simulated ignition of Discovery's main engines at 11 am Friday 1/14/94. The three day launch countdown for Thursday's launch was started at 4am on 1/31/94. Loading of the half-million gallons of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen into the 15 story external tank began at 10:50pm EST on Wednesday 2/2/94. Astronauts were awakened at 2:15am and left for the launch pad at 3:55am Thursday morning. Temperature at liftoff was 46 degrees which was within the launch commit criteria constraint of greater than 36 degrees. This constraint protects the orbiter from the possibility of ice formation on various locations of the External Tank that could possibly break off and cause damage during ignition. Lower temperature also affects SRB O-ring seals but are not as critical as before the post 51-L Solid Rocket Motor Redesign effort. Heaters are now placed around the SRB O-ring seals to insure the seals do not stiffen and fail in cold weather.

The launch countdown proceeded smoothly. The only concerns were some GSE transduser failures (that have multiple redundancy) and a minor leak (within specifications) on the Hydrogen umbilical. The ice inspection team did not find any evidence of ice buildup in any critical areas. High winds and low humidity in the launch area were contributing factors to the lack of ice buildup.


Altitude: 191 nm
Inclination: 57 degrees
Orbits: 130
Duration: 8 days, 7 hours, 9 minutes, 22 seconds.
Distance: 3,439,704 miles


SRB: BI-062
SRM: 360L/Q035
ET : 61
MLP: 3
SSME-1: SN-2012
SSME-2: SN-2034
SSME-3: SN-2032


KSC on Flight day 9 (2/11/94) at 2:18:41 EST on KSC Runway 15. There were 2 landing options for KSC and one for Edwards. The 1st landing option on 2/11/94 was on orbit 129 with a deorbit burn at MET 8 days 4 hours 28 min or 11:38 EST. This would have resulted in a landing at KSC's runway 33 at 12:34 EST and a mission elapsed time of 8 days, 5 hours and 34 min. The first KSC landing option was waived off due to high winds near the Shuttle Landing Facility. The 2nd opportunity was on orbit 130 and KSC weather conditions proved favorable. Discovery performed a deorbit burn at MET 8 days 5 hours and 59 min or 1:11pm EST. Discovery crossed USA airspace over Alaska and proceeded to travel in a South Easterly direction over Canada, thru the midwest, and on over Georgia. The orbiter then performed a left-overhead turn of 349 degrees and landed from the North traveling south on KSC runway 15 at MET 8 days 7 hours 8 min at 2:18pm EST.

Mission Highlights:

After External Tank seperation and main engine cutoff, a 2.5 min OMS burn was initiated at 7:52am EST that circularized Discovery's orbit from a 40nm by 190nm orbit to 190nm by 190nm. Shortly after liftoff, pilot Kenneth S. Reightler Jr. experienced problems with his portable headset. The problem was traced to the Headset Interface Unit (HIU) and that unit was swapped out with a flight spare. The payload bay doors were opened and around 8:45am EST the crew was given a go for on-orbit operations.

Shortly after reaching orbit, the STS-60 crew began checking Discovery's systems and activating the commercially developed SPACEHAB laboratory module and several of its experiments. The crew also activated one group of the payload bay Getaway Special experiments.

SPACEHAB module experiments that were activated included the Organic Separations payload, which is designed to investigate cell separation techniques for possible pharmaceutical and biotechnology processing, and the Equipment for Controlled Liquid Phase Sintering Experiment package, a furnace designed to explore the possibilities of creating stronger, lighter and more durable metals for use in bearings, cutting tools and electronics.
SPACEHAB middeck experiments that were activated included Immune-1, which will look at the immune systems of rats in orbit, and the Commercial Protein Crystal Growth package, which is attempting to grow large, well- ordered protein crystals so that their structures can be more easily studied. The crew sleep period then began at 6:10pm EST.

At 6:30am EST on 2/5/94 Discovery inadvertently flew thru a cloud of wastewater ice crystals. Flight controllers determined the approximately one tablespoon of wastewater leaked out of a wast dump nozzle.

The Wake Shield deployment operation was canceled on Saturday. This delay was the result of several factors, including radio interference and an inability to read the Wake Shield's status lights when the orbiter's payload bay is in full sunlight. Deployment originally was scheduled for 10 a.m. CST, but after grappling the free-flyer and lifting it out of the cargo bay and into the pre-deploy position, crew members and investigators on the ground were unable to tell whether power and transmitter status lights were giving the proper indications. After determining that the problem was not a systems failure, but difficulty in reading the status lights, the crew and flight controllers perpared for another release attempt. Interference between the radio transmitter on the Wake Shield Facility and the receiver on its payload bay carrier resulted in the one-day wave-off.

Wake Shield deployment was also canceled on Sunday, 2/6/94 during it's orbit 53 opportunity at 12:25pm. WSF and flight controllers worked problems with the Pitch and Roll sensors on WSF's Attitude, Direction and Control system. Astronaut N. Jan Davis moved the wrist joint on the Remote Manipulator System (RMS) arm to try to point WSF's Horizon Sensor into the sun in an attempt to warm up the sensors electronics package. The last deploy opportunity for Sunday was a 50 minute window beginning at 2:23 EST on orbit 54 and WSF was not ready for deployment. It was left mounted on the RMS during the crew sleep period while ground controllers consider their options. On it's pearch at the end of the RMS over night, WSF was able to grow 2 Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) thin films. The next deploy opportunity on 2/7/94 would have been orbit 67 but payload controllers and flight controllers determined that there would be insufficient time to safely develop contigency procedures in the event that WSF was unable to maintain stable attitude control without the use of its Horizon Sensor. It was decided that for the remainder of the mission, all WSF operations would take place at the end of the RMS and there will be no WSF free-flying operations on this mission.

On 2/7/94, work has been progressing in the SPACEHAB module on a number of experiments. These include the Three-Dimensional Microgravity Accelerometer (3-DMA) experiment, Astroculture Experiment (ASC-3), Bioserve Pilot Lab (BPL), Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus Experiment (CGBA), Commercial Protein Crystal Growth Experiment (CPCG), Controlled Liquid Phase Sintering (ECLiPSE-Hab), Immune Response Studies Experiment (IMMUNE-01), Organic Separation Experiment (ORSEP), Space Experiment Facility (SEF), Penn State Biomodule (PSB) and the Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS) Experiment. Sergei K. Krikalev has been operating the SAMS experiment.

At 7:38am EST on 2/8/94, Good Morning America performed a live bi-directional audio and downlink video hookup between astronauts onboard Discovery and 3 Cosmonauts onboard the Soviet Mir Space Station. Discovery was over the Pacific ocean and Mir was over the southern United States. Afterwords, work progressed with SPACEHAB module and middeck experiments while Wake Shield continued operations at the end of the Remote Manipulator System. A slight problem developed with the status indicators on the 3-DMA experiment and the crew downlinked video to aid in troubleshooting. The astronauts ended Flight Day 6 at 7:10pm EST.

Flight Day 7 (2/9/94) began at 3:20am EST. ODERACS operations are scheduled for 9:55am EST during Orbit 97 and BREMSAT deploy is scheduled for 2:50pm EST but the deploy may be moved earlier in the orbit to provide better lighting conditions. WSF closeout was begun and a telemetry problem with the facility prevented the growth of the 6th and final thin film onboard WSF. Five other thin films were grown through out the mission before Wake Shield was berthed. WSF closeout was completed by 8:10am EST.

At 7:58am EST, Commander Charles F. Bolden reported to the ground that one of the Thermal Protection System (TPS) blankets aroundDiscovery's forward RCS thruster below Commander Bolden's cabin window was slightly pealed back. N. Jan Davis was directed to halt her power down and stowage of the Remote Manipulator System (RMS) arm and use the arm to perform a camera survey of the front left side of the orbiter. At 2:20pm EST, the BREMSAT momemtum wheel was spun up and BREMSAT was ejected into space at 2:23pm EST at the rate of 3.4 ft/sec.

On Flight Day 8 (2/10/94), the astronauts preformed a number of operations to prepare Discovery for it's trip home. These included Hot-Fire tests of all 44 Reaction Control Systems jets, Flight control system checkout, SAREX stow, CPCG Stow, ASC-3 Deactivation, ORSEP Deactivation, stowage of all non-essential cabin items and Ku-Band antenna stow.

Flight Day 9 (2/11/94) operations included the powerup of all critical orbiter entry systems (Group B powerup), SAMS deactivation, CAPL Deactivation and De-Orbit preps. Ground controllers gave Discovery a go to start SPACEHAB deactivation at 8:00am EST and closeout was complete by 8:20am EST. Landing at KSC runway 15 at 2:18:41 pm EST.

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