Category Praxis Manned Spaceflight Log 1961-2006


Int. Designation



11 November 1982

Launch Site

Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida


16 November 1982

Landing Site

Runway 22, Edwards Air Force Base, California

Launch Vehicle

OV-102 Columbia/ET-6/SRB A15; A16/SSME #1 2007; #2 2006; #3 2005


5 days 2 hrs 14 min 26 sec




First “operational” Shuttle mission – commercial satellite deployment mission

Flight Crew

BRAND, Vance DeVoe, 51, civilian, commander, 2nd mission Previous mission: Apollo 18 ASTP (1975)

OVERMYER, Robert Franklyn, 46, USMC, pilot ALLEN, Joseph Percival, 45, civilian, mission specialist 1 LENOIR, William Benjamin, 43, civilian, mission specialist 2

Flight Log

The news of the death of Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev, events in Poland, and a British spy scandal served to overshadow this unique space flight, which began at 07: 19hrs local time at the Kennedy Space Center. Commander Vance Brand, pilot Bob Overmyer and mission specialist Bill Lenoir (evaluating the MS2/Flight Engineer role for ascent), were seated in the flight deck, while the other mission specialist, Joe Allen, was seated below in the mid-deck, which also served as the kitchen and toilet. Columbia was still fitted with ejection seats for the commander and pilot but they were not armed. The crew was the first from America not to have any means of escape in the event of a launch accident and were also the first to fly in flight overalls, and oxygen – fed helmets, in case of cabin depressurisation.

After MECO and two OMS burns, Columbia was in its 256 km (159 miles) maximum altitude 28.4° inclination orbit. At T + 7 hours 58 minutes 35 seconds into the mission, the crew dispatched the communications satellite SBS from its spin table in the payload bay, on the first commercial manned trucking mission, earning for NASA a cool $12 million. The satellite’s own Pam D upper stage fired later, to place it into a geostationary transfer orbit where it would normally have been placed by a conventional expendable launch vehicle. Another satellite, Canada’s Anik 3, was launched later and the crew proudly displayed an “Ace Trucking Company – We Deliver’’ sign to TV cameras.


One of the commercial satellite deployment operations during STS-5

There were disappointments, however. First Overmyer was space sick, vomiting at T + 6 hours and continuing to feel queasy. Lenoir felt less sick, describing his symptoms as a “wet belch”. The astronauts were prescribed drugs and were also angry that their illness was publicised, possibly to the detriment of their careers. In future, NASA decided, if an astronaut was sick it would remain a confidential matter. The first Shuttle spacewalk by Allen and Lenoir was delayed by a day, and then never took place at all because both astronauts experienced spacesuit problems on the brink of opening the airlock door. Lenoir’s primary oxygen pressure regulator failed and Allen’s fan assembly sounded like a motorboat. Allen, now seated in the flight deck (evaluating the FE role for entry), took pictures during re-entry, which was like being inside a blast furnace, he said.

Columbia was aiming for a lake bed landing at Edwards Air Force Base but was diverted to the concrete runway 22 because the “dry” lake was rather wet. Main gear touchdown came at T + 5 days 2 hours 14 minutes 26 seconds, the longest four-crew space flight.


88th manned space flight

36th US manned space flight

5th Shuttle flight

5th flight of Columbia

1st flight with four crew members

1st flight of mission specialists

1st manned space flight to deploy commercial satellites

1st flight with cancelled EVA operations

1st launch and landing by crew member not seated in cockpit

1st US flight with no emergency crew escape

1st US flight by crew without spacesuits

1st US flight to carry engineers

Int. Designation



6 October 1990

Launch Site

Pad 39B, Kennedy Space Center, Florida


10 October 1990

Landing Site

Runway 22, Edwards AFB, California

Launch Vehicle

OV-103 Discovery/ET-32/SRB BI-040/SSME #1 2011; #2 2031; #3 2107


4 days 2 hrs 10 min 4 sec

Call sign



Deployment of Ulysses solar polar probe by IUS-17/PAM-S upper stages; secondary payload bay experiments included Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet hardware; Intelsat Solar Array Coupon

Flight Crew

RICHARDS, Richard Noel, 44, USN, commander, 2nd mission Previous mission: STS-28 (1989)

CABANA, Robert Donald, 41, USMC, pilot MELNICK, Bruce Edward, 40, USCG, mission specialist 1 SHEPHERD, William McMichael, 41, USN, mission specialist 2, 2nd mission Previous mission: STS-27 (1988)

AKERS, Thomas Dale, 39, USAF, mission specialist 3

Flight Log

Originally intended to be deployed from Challenger by the liquid-fuelled Centaur upper stage during the STS 61-F mission in May 1986, the joint NASA/ESA Ulysses solar polar probe mission was delayed by the loss of Challenger in the STS 51-L accident of January 1986. The decision not to fly Centaur stages on the Shuttle over safety concerns and to use the IUS/PAM upper stages instead meant that Ulysses would miss the 1986 launch window. It soon became clear that the Shuttle would not be ready for the June 1987 window and, to ease the 1989 launch schedule, NASA rescheduled the mission to October 1990. Difficulties with the leaking propulsion systems on Atlantis and Columbia during the summer of 1990 placed added pressure to launch STS-41 on time but, despite three short delays due to ground equipment and the weather problems, STS-41 finally left the ground just 12 minutes into the 2.5 hour window.

The crew successfully deployed the IUS combination carrying Ulysses just 6 hours 1 minute 42 seconds after leaving the launch pad. Following the deployment of their primary payload, the crew of STS-41 concentrated on the variety of mid-deck and


Ulysses atop of the IUS/PAM-S upper stages is back-dropped against the blackness of deep space at the start of its five-year mission to the Sun

payload bay experiments for the remainder of their short mission. Though the flight of STS-41 lasted only just over 4 days and is one of the shortest missions in the programme, the primary payload mission has lasted much longer. After more than 16 years in space, the Ulysses probe continues to function, transmitting important solar and interplanetary data back to Earth. To a degree, therefore, the “mission” of STS-41 continues.

Just over an hour after the deployment, the first stage of the IUS burned for 110 seconds, boosting the spacecraft from 29,237 kph to 36,283 kph. The second stage burned for 106 seconds, further increasing the speed to 41,158 kph, before the PAM-S fired for 88 seconds, resulting in a speed of 54,915 kph. Ten minutes later, the space­craft was separated from the upper stage to begin its long flight towards the Sun via Jupiter. The probe made its 375 km closest approach to Jupiter on 8 February 1992. Its first southern polar zone pass between 26 June and 6 November reached 80°S (13 September). Its first northern polar pass occurred between 19 June and 30 Sep­tember 1995 and saw the official completion of its primary mission. Its closest approach at 1.34AU occurred on 12 March 1995. It took almost five years from launch to the second polar pass, though it took only 8 hours to journey the 382,942 km from Earth to the orbit of the Moon, a trip that took Apollo astronauts three days to complete. Ulysses completed its second pass of both poles in 2001. Its third southern polar pass is planned for 2006/2007 and its third northern polar pass for 2007/2008.


135th manned space flight 66th US manned space flight 36th Shuttle flight 11th Discovery flight

3rd Shuttle solar system deployment mission 1st three stage IUS deployment mission 1st solar polar probe

1st US Coast Guard officer (Melnick) to fly in space


Flight Crew

MALENCHENKO, Yuri Ivanovich, 32, Russian Air Force, commander MUSABAYEV, Talgat Amangeldyevich, 43, Russian Air Force, flight engineer

Flight Log

The mission was delayed when the launch shroud designed to protect the spacecraft during its ascent through the atmosphere could not be delivered on time. By the end of June, the shroud had arrived and been installed on the vehicle in preparation for the launch. This was the first all-rookie crew since the Soyuz 25 mission in 1977, as mission planners finally began to have confidence both in the Kurs docking system and in the ability of the cosmonauts to take over manual control of the spacecraft if necessary to complete a docking approach. To align Russian operations with the proposed first American astronaut launch to Mir in March 1995, the EO-16 residency would be only for four months. Most of their first few weeks in space were spent in Earth observation photography, in particular of Kazakhstan around the Aral Sea region.

Confidence in the cosmonauts docking to Mir may have increased, but there were still problems in getting the Progress re-supply craft to link up successfully. On 27 August, the first automated docking of Progress M24 failed. Three days later, the craft bumped into Mir’s forward port before drifting away, hitting a solar array as it went by. With onboard supplies running low, the cosmonauts faced the prospect of abandoning Mir in late September and mothballing it for up to four months if they could not get a Progress to dock to the station. If this had been the case, it was hoped that another crew, and fresh supplies, would have been able to reach the station before its stabilisation propellant ran out. However, all this became academic when Malenchenko successfully used the TORU docking system aboard Mir to skilfully dock Progress M24 by remote control. The docking was critical to a number of events planned for the next Progress supply vehicle and if the station had had to be


Malenchenko (left) and Musabayev launched to Mir aboard Soyuz TM19 to operate the sixteenth residency aboard the station

abandoned, Polyakov’s record space flight would have been curtailed. It was also fortunate that Malenchenko had docked M24, because it contained over 275 kg of ESA hardware in preparation for the Euro Mir 94 programme that Ulf Merbold would be running alongside the next resident crew. Without this docking, Merbold’s entire mission would have been in doubt.

The EO-16 crew completed two EVAs during their short stay on Mir. The first (9 Sep, 5 hours 6 minutes) focused on an inspection of the docking port hit by Progress M24 and the tear in the thermal blanket caused by the Soyuz TM17 incident. During the EVA, Polyakov monitored his two colleagues from within the space station. After replacing cassettes exposed to space on the outside of Kvant 2, the cosmonauts found that the damage caused by TM17, near to where Kristall joined the base block, was very light. They repaired the 30 cm x 40 cm gap in the thermal insulation blanket and subsequently found that Progress M24 had caused no serious damage to the transfer compartment of Mir. The second EVA (14 Sep, 6 hours 1 minute) was another inspection, this time of the movable arrays on Kristall, which were designed to be relocated on Kvant over a series of EVAs. They also looked at the mounting brackets and solar array drives on Kvant, which would house the arrays. Space exposure cassettes were removed from Rapana and the Sofora was inspected before a new amateur radio antenna was erected. Dr. Polyakov once again monitored EVA opera­tions from inside the Mir, as he was not trained for EVA himself.


170th manned space flight

78th Russian manned space flight

25th Russian and 54th flight with EVA operations

19th manned Mir mission

16th Mir resident crew

71st manned Soyuz mission

18th manned Soyuz TM mission


Подпись: Int. Designation Launched Launch Site Landed Landing Site Launch Vehicle Duration Call sign Objective 2000-010A 11 February 2000

Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida 22 February 2000

Runway 33, Shuttle Landing Facility, KSC, Florida OV-105 Endeavour/ET-92/SRB BI-100/SSME #1 2052; #2 2044; #3 2047 11 days 5hrs 39 min 41 sec Endeavour

Acquisition of high-resolution topographical map of Earth’s land masses (between 60°N and 56°S) by radar

Flight Crew

KREGEL, Kevin Richard, 43, civilian, commander, 4th mission Previous missions: STS-70 (1995); STS-78 (1996); STS-87 (1997)

GORIE, Dominic Lee Pudwell, 42, USN, pilot, 2nd mission Previous mission: STS-91 (1998)

THIELE, Gerard Paul Julius, 46, civilian, ESA mission specialist 1 KAVANDI, Janet Lynn, 40, civilian, mission specialist 2, 2nd mission Previous mission: STS-91 (1998)

VOSS, Janice Elaine, 43, civilian, mission specialist 3, payload commander,

5th mission

Previous missions: STS-57 (1993); STS-63 (1995); STS-83 (1997); STS-94 (1997) MOHRI, Mamoru Mark, 52, civilian, Japanese, mission specialist 4,

2nd mission

Previous mission: STS-47 (1992)

Flight Log

The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) used modified versions of the radar instruments that had flown on the two SRL Shuttle missions in 1994. In addition to providing the topographical radar images of Earth, the mission also tested new technologies for the deployment of large, ridged structures in space, and recorded measurements of their distortion to an extremely high precision. Space-borne imaging radar from the Shuttle had previously been flown on STS-2 (SIR-A) in 1981 and STS 41-G (SIR-B) in 1984, as well as a German experiment on STS-9 (Spacelab 1) in 1983 and the two SRL Shuttle missions (SIR-C) in 1994.

The launch date of STS-99 was originally set for 16 September 1999, but was postponed until October due to the Shuttle fleet wiring concerns and the subsequent remedial action. With so much work to do on the wiring issue, it was decided to launch


Part of the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission hardware is photographed through Endeavour’s aft flight deck windows about half-way through the scheduled 11-day SRTM flight. The mast, only partially visible in the centre, is actually 61 metres in length

STS-99 no earlier than 19 November, and for a while, either the radar mission or the Hubble service mission (STS-103) could have flown first. In October, it was decided to fly the Hubble mission before STS-99. The SRTM launch therefore slipped to 13 January 2000 and then, after a review, to 31 January. That attempt was scrubbed at the T — 9 minute mark due to adverse weather. Then the launch moved from 9 to 11 February in order to work on some minor technical issues, three of which had to be addressed during the planned T — 9 minute hold on the day of launch delaying lift-off by about 14 minutes.

Once in orbit, the crew configured the vehicle for its orbital science mission. This included extending the SRTM to its full mast length of 61 metres from the payload bay over Endeavour’s left wing. After checking out the orbiter and payload, the mapping began some 12 hours into the mission. The crew worked in two 12-hour shifts, with Kregel, Thiele and Kavandi as Red Shift and Gorie, Voss and Mohri as Blue Shift, and the mission was flown using an attitude hold period for radar mapping and flying the orbiter in a tail-first configuration. One pair of radar antennas were in the payload bay, with the other pair at the end of the boom, providing stereo images of the ground the vehicle flew over in C-band and X-band wavelengths, recording data in two wavelengths from two locations simultaneously. This would also provide 3D maps after the mission that were thirty times more accurate than any previous attempts.

Tests were also made on gas jets located at the end of the boom to absorb the firing of the orbiter’s thrusters. Alignment of the radar sensors was vital for accurate data, but it was essential to reduce the strain on the mast when the vehicle was moved. By firing a brief RCS burn, the mast deflected slightly backwards and then rebounded forward. Once returned to vertical, a stronger RCS thrust was applied, arresting the mast’s motion but increasing the orbital speed of the vehicle. It was noted on FD 2 that orbiter propellant usage had been higher than expected due to the failure of a cold gas thruster system on the end of the mast to offset the gravity gradient torque. This meant that more propellant was being used to maintain the attitude of the vehicle for data sweeps. Measurements were taken to reduce fuel expenditure and it was deter­mined that enough propellant could be saved to complete the full mission as planned.

At the end of data gathering on FD 10, a total of 222 hours and 23 minutes of mapping had been achieved, covering 99.98 per cent of the planned mapping area once and 94.6 per cent of it twice. There remained only 207,000 km2 (80,000 miles2) in scattered areas uncovered, but most of this was in North America, which had previously been well-mapped. Over 123.2 million km2 (47.6 million miles2) had been mapped, with enough data on 32 high-density tapes aboard Endeavour to fill 20,000 CDs, or the entire book content of the US Library of Congress. It was estimated that it would take over two years to fully process the data.

Also aboard Endeavour was a student experiment called EarthKam, which took 2,715 digital photos during the mission through an overhead flight deck window. Students from 84 participating middle schools around the world could select photo targets and receive images via the Internet, supporting their class work in Earth science, geography, maths and space sciences. The landing was achieved on the second opportunity at KSC, with the first attempt having been waived off due to high crosswinds at the SLF.


215th manned space flight

127th US manned space flight

97th Shuttle mission

14th flight of Endeavour

5th Shuttle mission featuring imaging radar


On a bright spring day in April 1961, a young Russian pilot climbed aboard a new type of vehicle – a manned spacecraft. He was about to attempt what no one had tried before. A former ballistic missile, adapted for carrying a man but not totally safe from error, was going to blast him on an eight-minute ride from Earth into space. For 108 minutes he would fly around his home planet, then endure, inside his protective spacecraft, the fiery heat of re-entry, before ejecting to descend by parachute to his native soil. In those 108 minutes, Yuri Gagarin moved from obscurity to one of the most famous names in human history. No matter how many people follow his trail from Earth, he will always be the first, the pioneer, the one who took mankind’s first step out of the cradle. On any listing of most space experience in the 45 years since that flight, Gagarin’s name will appear at the very bottom, but his achievement, his courage and his very persona will forever fly higher than any record book can show.

In the Cold War race for technical and national supremacy between America and the Soviet Union, their Arms Race spawned another race, to place the first person into space. Once that was done, their eyes turned towards our nearest solar neighbour, the Moon. This time, the Americans would win the race, but they would also come out losers. Though other missions under the Vostok, Voskhod, Mercury and Gemini programmes were planned it is probable that nothing more would have been achieved that could not have been achieved by later programmes, probably far more safely.

America’s triumph with Apollo was short lived. In the spirit of determination and achievement that Kennedy’s famous speech had engendered in the American psyche, great plans were laid for what would happen after the Moon landing goal had been achieved. The potential for extended duration missions in Earth orbit, orbital research and development flights, and reaching further targets was all lost in a wave of public apathy and political debate on the value of Apollo lunar programme once Apollo 11 had achieved Kennedy’s goal. An expanded lunar exploration programme was abandoned, even with some of the hardware built and paid for. That hardware was placed in museums or left to rot, bygone icons of a forgotten era. America had other more pressing goals at home to think about that seemed to better justify, or at least consumed, the tax dollar.

For the Soviets, losing the Moon race was painful, but they turned their attention to a new target, the creation of a long term space station. Over the next thirty years, their programme and understanding of what it took to spend significant amounts of time in space grew, culminating with the Mir programme. Mir remained in orbit 15 years, and was permanently occupied for almost ten of them. Successive crews battled with shortages, failures and set backs, as well as huge success and hard-won achieve­ment in stretching the human space experience from days and weeks, to months and years. If Apollo was the shining star of the first era of pioneering manned space exploration, then surely Mir was as bright a star in the second period as humans truly began to understand how to live and work in space.

Over in the United States America turned to the Space Shuttle. As with earlier programmes, this was envisaged as just one part pf a large space infrastructure. Grandiose plans included Earth and lunar orbital space bases, a lunar base, manned flights to Mars and even hotels and factories in orbit, all foreseen long before Shuttle ever flew. When it did, the reality of what it could actually do became readily apparent. And dreams remained dreams. The Shuttle could fly short research missions, capture, repair and redeploy space satellites, and fly mixed cargos into and out of space, but it could not do it as regularly or as cheaply as once thought. Shuttle could not reduce the cost per kilogram of reaching orbit, fly every two weeks, and launch everything America, and most of the world wanted to assign to it. And with no orbiting platform to deliver this cargo to, it became little more than an expensive and risky space truck. The loss of Challenger and her crew of seven was the final straw. Soon the commercial customers and military chiefs backed away from Shuttle as a new goal was set – a space station so large that it would need an international group of partners to build, support, and pay for it.

Space Station Freedom was another dream born from those visions of huge space cities in the 1950s and early 1960s. It was one thing aiming for a space station of this complexity, however, but quite another to build and pay for it. Costs, complications and problems grew to bursting point and by the early 1990s, the Space Shuttle, the space station, and even NASA itself, looked in dire straits. In Russia, years of papering over the cracks in both the space programme and the national economy finally caught up with them and the once-mighty Soviet Union and most of the communist world collapsed in an expensive and tragic mess.

Born from the turmoil was a new cooperative programme in space. Russia would join what was now the International Space Station programme. There was still a decade or so of hard work and sometimes fraught discussions, but one thing the ISS programme has shown, as anyone involved in it will underline, is that international teamwork and cooperation can achieve such a global and extensive goal. And the Shuttle could finally prove that it was capable of the task originally envisioned for it way back in those grandiose plans – supplying and constructing a space station. The loss of Columbia in 2003 has dealt a final blow to a Shuttle programme that has been flying for 25 years, although the infrastructure created by ISS will keep the programme going for a while longer.

By the 45th year of human space flight, the Shuttle was on the road to its second recovery, the crew complement of ISS was restored, tourists were paying a lot of money for the chance of making one short flight around the Earth, and a new player had entered the scene – China. The success of ISS is that it has been “international” and perhaps that is the way forward. Large national space programmes are relics of the past and cooperation across the globe in space may help with cooperation across the globe for more terrestrial goals. This book therefore records the trail from Gagarin to this 45th year; the successes and the failures, the milestones and the tragedies. We hope that it provides a handy reference of what has gone before as we stand on the edge of what could be about to happen.

As the 50th anniversaries of these first space flights approach between 2011 and 2021 – the first manned space flights, first EVAs, first docking, first lunar flights, first extended flights, and first space station – the future of human space flight seems to be forward-looking once again. Though the flight path may be unsteady, contingencies and back up plans have to be prepared, and mission objectives may change, Gagarin’s trail is still bright and strong. And, as he said at the moment his rocket left Earth for the stars… “Poyekhali! … Off we go!”


In the history of manned space flight, there have been numerous designs for systems to carry people into space. Many have reached the point of almost making a manned space launch, but have been cancelled prior to the event. Between 1961 and 2006, there have been just two “rocket planes” (X-15 and Spaceship One) that have touched space, while only eight launch systems (seven rockets and the Shuttle) have actually achieved manned space launcher status.


Throughout the space age, there has been a worldwide uncertainty as to precisely where the atmosphere ends and space begins. Some say 50 miles (80.45 km), others 62 miles (100 km), and there are those who claim it doesn’t happen until you are in orbit. However, the X-15 rocket plane reached altitudes of between 50.70 and 66.75 miles


An X-15 is launched from beneath a B-52 bomber

(81.59 and 107.42km) on thirteen “astro-flights” by eight pilots between July 1962 and August 1968. In the early 1960s, the USAF decided that a military pilot making a flight over 50 miles (80.45 km) would be eligible for the rating of Air Force Astronaut Pilot and awarded Astronaut Wings to those who achieved it. The five US Air Force pilots were awarded Astronaut Wings at the time, but the three civilian pilots had to wait until 2006 to receive theirs. The award should also therefore be given to Mike Melvill and Brian Binnie, who flew the space tourist prototype vehicle Spaceship One in 2004.

The X-15 flights used the B-52 aircraft to “air-launch” the rocket research plane by dropping it from beneath the wing, usually at about 45,000 ft (13,716 m), where it began its descent to the ground either as a glide flight or by igniting its engines and completing its mission. Spaceship One was carried to 13,716 m and 14,356m by the White Knight launch aircraft for its two record-breaking missions.


Подпись: Int. Designation Launched Launch Site Landed Landing Site Launch Vehicle Duration Callsign Objective 1962 alpha upsilon 1 (Vostok 3), alpha nu 1 (Vostok 4) 11 (Vostok 3) and 12 (Vostok 4) August 1962 Pad 1, Site 5, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan (both vehicles)

15 August 1962

South of Karaganda, Kazakhstan (Vostok 3), Vostok 4

landed a further 190 km away

R7 (8K72K); spacecraft serial number (11F63/3KA)

#5 (Vostok 3); and #6 (Vostok 4)

3 days 22hrs 22 min (Vostok 3); 2 days 22hrs 57 min (Vostok 4)

Sokol (Falcon) – Vostok 3; Berkut (Golden Eagle) – Vostok 4

Simultaneous extended-duration flight of two spacecraft

Flight Crew

NIKOLAYEV, Andrian Grigoryevich, 32, Soviet Air Force, pilot Vostok 3 POPOVICH, Pavel Romanovich, 31, Soviet Air Force, pilot Vostok 4

Flight Log

The dual flight of Vostok 3 and 4 resulted from a desire to demonstrate the ability to control two separate spacecraft in orbit at the same time (crucial to Soviet plans for multi-spacecraft exploration of the Moon and the creation of space stations) and to monitor the condition of two cosmonauts simultaneously during and after relatively long duration flights. This was not seen as the prime objective publicly, however, which was proved by the spectacular and ill-informed coverage of the missions in the western media in expectation of a space docking by the two spacecraft, and which only served to perpetuate the myth of a Soviet lead in space technology.

Vostok 3, with pilot Andrian Nikolayev, was launched at 13: 30 hrs Baikonur time on 11 August and was soon in a 64.93° orbit, with an apogee of 227 km (141 miles). The mission was described as a long-duration one by Soviet officials, who sprang a shock in the west at 13 : 02 hrs the following day by launching Vostok 4 crewed by Pavel Popovich, as Vostok 3 flew overhead. As Vostok 4 entered orbit, it passed to within 6.5 km (4 miles) of Vostok 3. The relatively close encounter was brief, and with no manoeuvring ability it was impossible to achieve a rendezvous in space. The western media, however, lapped it all up. The dual mission of “Nik and Pop”, as the cosmonauts were dubbed, was described as a rendezvous in space and the mission as a huge leap forward by the Soviets towards a manned landing on the Moon in a matter of years.


Nikolayev (Vostok 3, top) and Popovich (Vostok 4, bottom) shown inside their respective spacecraft during their historic “group flight”, demonstrating the wonders of microgravity.

In their individual orbits – Vostok 4’s apogee was 234 km (146 miles), with a 64.98° inclination – Nikolayev and Popovich monitored their health and were allowed to undo their straps to float about freely in the rather spacious cockpit. This was not merely a luxury, but an experiment to see whether the unrestrained movement would bring about inner ear disturbance and cause nausea, which in the case of Nikolayev and Popovich it did not. They ate proper packaged food, such as cutlets, pies and fruit, and Nikolayev was the first cosmonaut to be featured on national TV programmes

from his cockpit. The official objectives of the two missions were to maintain radio contact with Earth; carry out regular psychological, physiological and vestibular tests; orientate the spacecraft using attitude control thrusters; make observations using binoculars and the naked eye; float free during the fourth and each second orbit for a period of between 50 to 60 minutes at a time; regulate cabin atmosphere; conduct biological experiments; take food four times a day; and record in a log book and tape recorder their observations and progress of the flight plan.

The missions were eagerly used by Premier Nikita Khrushchev for propaganda purposes, hammering home the Soviet lead over the USA. By the end of the Vostok 3 mission, after 64 orbits, Vostok 4 had drifted 2,720 km (1,690 miles) away. Nikolayev landed south of the town of Karaganda at T + 3 days 22 hours 22 minutes on 15 August, and the same day, Popovich landed 190 km (118 miles) away at T + 2 days 22 hours 57 minutes. Neither had succumbed to space sickness and this led to the conclusion that the affliction was experienced by only some space travellers and not all who made long journeys. Even longer Vostok missions were then planned.


7th and 8th manned space flights 3rd and 4th Soviet manned space flights 3rd and 4th Vostok manned flights 1st joint manned space flight 1st in-flight public TV

Int. Designation



12 April 1985

Launch Site

Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida


19 April 1985

Landing Site

Runway 33, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Launch Vehicle

OV-103 Discovery/ET-18/SRB BI-018/SSME #1 2109;

#2 2018; #3 2012


6 days 23 hrs 55 min 23 sec




Satellite deployment mission

Flight Crew

BOBKO, Karol Joseph, 47, USAF, commander, 2nd mission Previous mission: STS-6 (1983)

WILLIAMS, Donald Edward, 42, USN, pilot GRIGGS, Stanley David, civilian, mission specialist 1 HOFFMAN, Jeffrey Alan, 40, civilian, mission specialist 2 SEDDON, Margaret Rhea, 37, civilian, mission specialist 3 GARN, Edwin Jacob “Jake”, 52, US Senator, payload specialist 1 WALKER, Charles David, 36, civilian, payload specialist 2, 2nd mission Previous mission: STS 41-D (1984)

Flight Log

This mission was originally designated STS-14or STS41-F. After the STS 41-D abort, much of the 41-F cargo was incorporated into a new flight attempt and the mission was re-designated as STS 51-E with a TDRS satellite as the primary payload. This flight was to use the original 41-F crew and the orbiter Challenger, plus two unique payload specialists, Frenchman Patrick Baudry and US Senator Jake Garn, the first space passenger-observer. The fated 41-F/51-E mission was again cancelled, this time because a fault was found in the TDRS satellite, due for launch in February. Challenger was rolled back to the VAB to be configured for a later mission, while 51-E and its crew took on the planned 51-D mission mantle, ousting that crew and now assigned both new payloads and a new orbiter, Discovery.

In the ensuing mammoth crew reshuffle for 1985 flights, Baudry was replaced by an original 51-D McDonnell Douglas payload specialist, Charlie Walker, making a unique second space flight. The new launch date was set as 12 April 1985, but when it arrived it was so dark and gloomy that observers were resigned to a launch scrub as the count was inevitably held for 55 minutes, following a short hold due to a stray ship in the SRB splashdown zone. With just 55 seconds of the launch window remaining, the

STS 51-D

The crew of STS 51-D display the “fly swatter” devices they fabricated to activate the Leasat satellite

go-ahead was given to proceed with the count, surprising most observers including astronaut John Young, who was reporting rain drops on the window of the Shuttle training aircraft prowling the skies over the launch pad. Discovery disappeared into thick clouds seconds after lifting off in gloom at 08: 59 hrs local time.

The routine deployment of Anik was followed by that of Leasat. Deployment from the payload bay should have activated a spring on the satellite to initiate spin-up and antenna deployment, but clearly this had not happened and yet another Shuttle – deployed satellite was in deep trouble. A contingency EVA was suggested, during which Jeff Hoffman and David Griggs would manually deploy the spring by pulling an arming pin on the side of the satellite while Discovery performed an extremely close station-keeping manoeuvre. This was deemed far too risky and instead the crew manufactured a “fly swatter” device using on-board materials, which could be placed on the end of the RMS during an EVA so that the robot arm could pull the pin.

Hoffmann (EV1) and Griggs (EV2) did their job during a 3 hour 10 minute EVA on 16 April, and it was left to Rhea Seddon operating the RMS to try to pull the pin on Leasat as Discovery closed in. The attempt was useless and Leasat was left stranded. Observers noted that Jake Garn was missing from most of the in-flight TV broadcast and assumed correctly that the senator was having a rather uncomfortable time in the mid-deck getting used to weightlessness. His payload specialist colleague, Charlie Walker, busied himself operating CFES for a second time.

Discovery made the fourth consecutive landing at the Kennedy Space Center on runway 33 at T + 6 days 23 hours 55 minutes 23 seconds, damaging its brakes and bursting a tyre as commander Karol Bobko tried to compensate for crosswinds. Maximum altitude of the 28° orbit was 401 km (249 miles).


104th manned space flight

47th US manned space flight

16th Shuttle mission

4th flight of Discovery

1st flight with unscheduled EVA

1st flight of a political observer

1st re-flight of a payload specialist

21st US and 30th flight with EVA operations


Flight Crew

VIKTORENKO, Alexandr Stepanovich, 44, Russian Air Force, commander, 3rd mission

Previous missions: Soyuz TM3 (1987), Soyuz TM8 (1989)

KALERI, Alexandr Yuriyevich, 35, civilian, flight engineer FLADE, Klaus-Dietrich, 39, German Air Force, cosmonaut researcher

Flight Log

The fully automated docking of TM14 to Mir was final confirmation that the Kurs rendezvous system had been repaired. After being bumped off the crew for TM13, Kaleri finally made it to Mir, alongside German cosmonaut Klaus Flade who con­ducted fourteen German experiments during his week aboard the station. His programme included materials processing experiments and Flade would also provide baseline biomedical data in preparation for extended orbital operations on the ESA Columbus laboratory, part of the Freedom Space Station programme. He would return to Earth with Volkov and Krikalev in the TM13 spacecraft, after they had spent the week briefing the new resident crew and packing their equipment for the return to Earth.

At this time, there was a strong possibility that the cash-starved Russian Space Agency might be forced to temporarily abandon Mir until new funds could be secured to support further manned operations. The EO-11 crew were therefore never sure when they might be called back to Earth. This residency was also very “quiet”, with the cosmonauts continuing the on-going programme of Earth observations, materials processing, biomedical studies and astrophysical observations, balanced with routine maintenance, housekeeping and unloading the Progress supply vehicles. The docking of Progress M13 was aborted on 2 July due to a fault in the onboard software, but


Formal crew portrait of the TM14 cosmonauts. L to r: German cosmonaut Flade, EO-11 commander Viktorenko and EO-11 FE Kaleri

reprogramming by operators on the ground resolved the problem, allowing a safe docking two days later to deliver some of the experiments for the upcoming French mission.

On 8 July, the crew performed the only EVA of their residency (of 2 hours 3 minutes) to examine the gyrodynes on the outside of Kvant 2. A dozen gyrodynes stabilised the station as it orbited the Earth. Similar to gyroscopes, these spinning devices generated angular momentum to maintain Mir’s orientation to the Sun, which was essential for the solar arrays to be able to absorb energy to produce electricity for use on the station. Though the gyrodynes consumed considerable power to start with, once they were spinning, they would run for some time with minimal energy con­sumption. Five of the six units on Kvant 1 had exceeded their five-year design life but four of the six on Kvant 2 had failed. During this EVA, the cosmonauts wielded large shears to cut through thermal insulation on Kvant 2 to reach the gyrodynes and inspected and photographed the units for engineers back on the ground as part of an evaluation for future EVA operations to remove and replace them. The cosmonauts also evaluated binoculars that were compatible with the Orlan suit’s visor to allow inspection of the more remote areas of Mir, where it would be difficult, if not impossible, for a cosmonaut to get to.

This was a quiet tour of duty on the space station. The two cosmonauts completed a programme of agricultural photography and spectral observation before dividing

their time between these commitments and their astrophysical observations. As the crew completed these studies, the onboard furnaces were being run in semi­automated mode. Towards the end of their residency the crew received the EO-12 cosmonauts and French cosmonaut researcher Michel Tognini, who would complete his own research programme during a 12-day hand-over period, and return with the EO-11 cosmonauts.


148th manned space flight

73rd Russian manned space flight

21st Russian and 45th flight with EVA operations

14th Soyuz flight to Mir

11th main Mir crew

9th visiting crew (Flade)

66th Soyuz manned mission 13th Soyuz TM manned mission

Viktorenko celebrates his 45th birthday in space (29 Mar) Kaleri celebrates his 36th birthday in space (13 May)


Подпись: Int. Designation Launched Launch Site Landed Landing Site Launch Vehicle Duration Call sign Objective 1996-001A 11 January 1996

Pad 39B, Kennedy Space Center, Florida 20 January 1996

Runway 15, Shuttle Landing Facility, KSC, Florida OV-105 Endeavour/ET-75/SRB BI-077/SSME #1 2028; #2 2039; #3 2036 8 days 22 hrs 1 min 47 sec Endeavour

Retrieval of Japanese Space Flyer Unit; deployment and retrieval of OAST-Flyer; EDFT-03

Flight Crew

DUFFY, Brian, 42, USAF, commander, 3rd mission Previous missions: STS-45 (1992); STS-57 (1993)

JETT Jr., Brent Ward, 37, USN, pilot

CHIAO, Leroy, 35, civilian, mission specialist 1, 2nd mission

Previous mission: STS-65 (1994)

SCOTT, Winston Elliott, 45, USN, mission specialist 2 WAKATA, Koichi, 32, civilian, Japanese mission specialist 3 BARRY, Daniel Thomas, 42, civilian, mission specialist 4

Flight Log

The launch of STS-72 was delayed for 23 minutes due both to problems with ground sites and the need to avoid a potential collision with an item of space debris. On FD 3, Japanese MS Wakata used the RMS to grasp the Japanese Space Flyer Unit (SFU), which had originally been launched in March 1995 aboard an H-2 rocket from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan. Over a ten-month period, more than a dozen onboard instruments and experiments had been operating in a research programme that encompassed materials and biological science. Prior to grappling the unit with the RMS, the twin solar arrays had to be jettisoned after it was found that they were not correctly retracted.

The next day, the Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology Flyer (OAST – Flyer) was deployed, again by Wakata using the RMS, on an independent two-day flight that extended to approximately 72 km from Endeavour. Attached to the SPARTAN platform were four experiments that investigated spacecraft contamina­tion, global positioning technology, laser ordnance devices and an amateur radio package. The flyer was retrieved on FD 6. In addition to the deployment and retrieval operations, the crew had a programme of payload bay and mid-deck secondary


The Japanese Space Flyer Unit (SFU) is retrieved using the Shuttle’s RMS. The yet-to-be – deployed OAST Flyer satellite is seen in the payload bay at bottom centre

experiments to conduct, which mainly consisted of studies in ozone concentrations in the atmosphere, a laser to accurately measure the distance between the Earth’s surface and the orbiter, and a range of biological and biomedical experiments.

The crew also completed two EVAs as part of the EDFT programme of prep­aration for extensive EVA activities during ISS construction. During the first EVA (15 Jan, 6 hours 9 minutes), astronauts Chiao (EV1) and Barry (EV2) evaluated a new portable work platform and the Rigid Umbilical Structure, which was being devel­oped as a possible retention device for ISS fluid and electrical lines. During the second EVA (17 Jan, 6 hours 54 minutes), this time conducted by Chiao and Scott (EV3), the portable work platform was again evaluated and the astronauts also tested the design of a utility box, another item under development for ISS, which would hold avionics and fluid line connections. During the EVA, Scott tested his suit in severe cold temperatures of up to —75°C, to find out whether the revised design would keep him warm during the test. In fact, the 35-minute test resulted in temperatures of — 122°C being recorded, providing a tough test of the suit’s extremities (fingers and feet) and coolant loop bypass system. Scott reported that he was aware of the low temperatures but remained comfortable and though had he been working rather than staying still, he determined that he would have felt warmer in either situation.


185th manned space flight

104th US manned space flight

74th Shuttle mission

10th flight of Endeavour

33rd US and 60th flight with EVA operations

3rd EDFT exercise