Manned Flight nº: 121

Earth orbit Flight nº: 118

USA manned Flight nº: 57

Launch, orbit & landing data:

Designation 19547 / 88091A
Launch date - time 29 Sep 1988 - 15:37:00 UT
Launch site KSC, LC39B
Launch vehicle  Space Shuttle
Orbiter Discovery OV-103 (#7)
Primary payload TDRS-3
Mass (kg) 
Flight Crew Hauck, Covey, Lounge
Hilmers, Nelson
Call Sign 
Earth orbit on :
   - Perigee / Apogee  km
   - Inclination 28.5°
   - Period  min
Landing date - time 03 Oct 1988 - 16:37:11 UT
Landing location Edwards AFB, Runway 17
Flight Duration (d:hr:min) 4d 01h 00m
Nbr orbits 64


Nr. Surname Given name Job Duration
1  Hauck  Frederick Hamilton "Rick"  CDR 4d 01h 00m 
2  Covey  Richard Oswalt  PLT 4d 01h 00m 
3  Lounge  John Michael  MSP 4d 01h 00m 
4  Nelson  George Driver "Pinky"  MSP 4d 01h 00m 
5  Hilmers  David Carl  MSP 4d 01h 00m 

Mission details:

Launch from Cape Canaveral (KSC); landing on Edwards AFB; first flight of a space shuttle after the Challenger-disaster; deploying of U.S. communications satellite TDRS-C; different scientific experiments, as Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) and Infrared Communications Flight Experiment (IRCFE).

29 September 1988 15:50 GMT. Duration: 4.04 days. Call Sign: Discovery. LV Configuration: STS-26R. Payload: Discovery F07 / PDP. Mass: 21,082 kg. Perigee: 301 km. Apogee: 306 km. Inclination: 28.5 deg. Period: 90.6 min.

Manned five crew. First shuttle reflight after Challenger disaster. Deployed TDRS 3. Payloads: Deploy IUS (lnertial Upper Stage) with Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)-C. 3M's Physical Vapor Transport Organics Solids 2 experiment (PVTOS), Automated Directional Solidification Furnace (ADSF), Infrared Communi-cations Flight Experiment (lRCFE), Protein Crystal Growth Il (PCG), Isoelectric Focusing (ISF)-2, Phase Partitioning Experiment (PPE), Aggrega-tion of Red Blood Cells (ARC)-2, Mesoscale Lightning Experiment (MLE)-1, Earth Limb Radiance (ELRAD), Orbiter Experiments (OEX), Autonomous Supporting Instrumentation System (OASlS)-I, two Shuttle Student Involvement Project (SSIP) experiments.

Orbits of Earth: 63. Distance traveled: 2,703,697 km. Orbiter Liftoff Mass: 115,487 kg. Orbiter Mass at Landing: 88,078 kg. Payload to Orbit: 21,082 kg. Payload Returned: 4,066 kg. Landed at: Runway 17 dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, . Landing Speed: 346 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 761 m. Landing Rollout: 2,271 m.

STS-26 Discovery, IUS / TDRS-3 deployment - Credit: NASA.

NASA Official Mission Narrative

Mission Name: STS-26 (26)
Pad 39-B (7)
26th Shuttle mission
7th Flight OV-103

Frederick H. Hauck (3), Commander
Richard O. Covey (2), Pilot
John M. Lounge (2), Mission Specialist 1
George D. Nelson (3), Mission Specialist 2
David C. Hilmers (2), Mission Specialist 3

OPF - Oct. 30, 1986
VAB - June 21, 1988
PAD - July 4, 1988

Mission Objectives:

September 29, 1988,11:37:00 a.m. EDT. Launch delayed one hour, 38 minutes to replace fuses in cooling system of two of crew's flight pressure suits, and due to lighter than expected upper atmospheric winds. Suit repairs successful and countdown continued after waiver of wind condition constraint. Launch Weight: 254,606 lbs.
Altitude: 203nm
Inclination: 28.5degrees
Orbits: 64
Duration: Four days, one hour, zero minutes, 11 seconds.
Distance: 1,680,000 miles

STS-26 STS-26 - STS-26 Discovery, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 103, IUS / TDRS-3 deployment - Credit: NASA. 15,354 bytes. 473 x 473 pixels.

SRB: BI-029
SRM: 360L001
ET : 28/LWT-21
MLP : 2
SSME-1: SN-2019
SSME-2: SN-2022
SSME-3: SN-2028

October 3, 1988, 9:37:11 a.m. PDT, Runway 17, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Rollout distance: 7,451 feet. Rollout time: 49 seconds. Orbiter returned to KSC Oct. 8,1988. Landing Weight: 194,184 lbs.

STS-26STS-26 - STS-26 crewmembers eat on middeck as TAGS printout drifts among them - Credit: NASA. 49,172 bytes. 621 x 621 pixels.

Mission Highlights:
Primary payload, NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-3 (TDRS-3) attached to an Inertial Upper Stage (IUS), became second TDRS deployed. After deployment, IUS propelled satellite to geosynchronous orbit. Secondary payloads: Physical Vapor Transport of Organic Solids (PVTOS); Protein Crystal Growth (PCG); Infrared Communications Flight Experiment (IRCFE); Aggregation of Red Blood Cells (ARC); Isoelectric Focusing Experiment (IFE); Mesoscale Lightning Experiment (MLE); Phase Partitioning Experiment (PPE); Earth-Limb Radiance Experiment (ELRAD); Automated Directional Solidification Furnace (ADSF) and two Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSIP) experiments. Orbiter Experiments Autonomous Supporting Instrumentation System-I (OASIS-I) recorded variety of environmental measurements during various inflight phases of orbiter. Ku-band antenna in payload bay deployed; however, dish antenna command and actual telemetry did not correspond. Also, orbiter cabin Flash Evaporator System iced up, raising crew cabin temperature to mid-80s.
STS-26 STS-26 - STS-26 launch and entry suits (LESs) freefloat on OV-103's middeck - Credit: NASA.

STS-26 STS-26 - STS-26 crewmembers in Hawaiian shirts and sunglasses pose for group portrait - Credit: NASA.

STS-26 STS-26 - STS-26 MS Nelson adjusts ADSF power cable on Discovery's middeck - Credit: NASA.

STS-26 STS-26 - STS-26 Commander Hauck with launch and entry suits (LESs) on OV-103's middeck - Credit: NASA.

Ref.: #1, #7, #8, #16 - update: 19.03.06 Home