Manned Flight n: 142

Earth orbit Flight n: 139

USA manned Flight n: 72

Launch, orbit & landing data:

Designation 21399 / 91040A
Launch date - time 05 Jun 1991 - 13:24:51 UT
Launch site KSC, LC39B
Launch vehicle  Space Shuttle
Orbiter Columbia OV-102 (#11)
Primary payload Spacelab SLS 1
Mass (kg) 
Flight Crew O'Conner, Gutierrez, Bagian, Jernigan
Seddon, Gaffney, Hughes-Fulford
Call Sign 
Earth orbit on :
   - Perigee / Apogee  km
   - Inclination 39°
   - Period  min
Landing date - time 14 Jun 1991 - 15:39:11 UT
Landing location Edwards AFB, Runway 22
Flight Duration (d:hr:min) 9d 02h 14m
Nbr orbits 146

Carried Spacelab life sciences module, 7 astronauts


Nr. Surname Given name Job Duration
1  O'Connor  Bryan Daniel  CDR 9d 02h 14m 
2  Gutierrez  Sidney McNeill  PLT 9d 02h 14m 
3  Bagian  James Philipp  MSP 9d 02h 14m 
4  Jernigan  Tamara Elizabeth "Tammy"  MSP 9d 02h 14m 
5  Seddon  Margaret Rhea  MSP 9d 02h 14m 
6  Gaffney  Francis Andrew "Drew"  PSP 9d 02h 14m 
7  Hughes-Fulford  Millie Elizabeth  PSP 9d 02h 14m 

Hughes-Fluford was first female Payload Specialist.

Mission details:

Duration: 9.09 days. Payload: Columbia F11 / GBA-2. Mass: 11,767 kg. Perigee: 287 km. Apogee: 296 km. Inclination: 39.0 deg. Period: 90.4 min.

. Payloads: Spacelab Life Sciences (SLS)-1 with long module, getaway special bridge assembly with 12 getaway specials, Physiological Monitoring System (PMS), Urine Monitoring System (UMS), Animal Enclosure Modules (AEM), Middeck Zero-gravity Dynamics Experiment (MODE), 7 Orbiter Experiments Program experiments.

Orbits of Earth: 146. Distance traveled: 6,083,223 km. Orbiter Liftoff Mass: 113,578 kg. Orbiter Mass at Landing: 102,752 kg. Payload to Orbit: 11,767 kg. Payload Returned: 11,767 kg. Landed at: Concrete runway 22 at Edwards AFB, California. Landing Speed: 370 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 452 m. Landing Rollout: 2,876 m.

NASA Official Mission Narrative

Mission Name: 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
M. Rhea Seddon (2), Payload Commander
James P. Bagian (2), Mission Specialist 2
Tamara E. Jernigan (1), 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:

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).

Ref.: #1, #7(JR75), #8, #16 - update: 08.09.11 Home