Manned Flight nº: 150

Earth orbit Flight nº: 147

USA manned Flight nº: 78

Launch, orbit & landing data:

Designation 21963 / 92026A
Launch date - time 07 May 1992 - 23:40:00 UT
Launch site KSC, LC39B
Launch vehicle  Space Shuttle
Orbiter Endeavour OV-105 (#1)
Primary payload ASEM
Orbiter Liftoff Mass 116,390 kg
Orbiter Mass at Landing 91,464 kg
Payload Mass to orbit 14,786 kg
Payload Returned 3,881 kg
Flight Crew Brandenstein, Chilton, Hieb, Melnick
Thuot, Thornton, Akers
Call Sign 
Earth orbit on :
   - Perigee / Apogee 268 x 341 km
   - Inclination 28.35°
   - Period 90.6 min
Landing date - time 16 May 1992 - 20:57:38 UT
Landing location Edwards AFB, Runway 22
Flight Duration (d:hr:min) 8d 21h 17m (8.89 days)
Nbr orbits 141
Distance traveled 5,948,165 km
STS-49 path

First flight of "Endeavour" Space Shuttle and this was the first use of the Drag-Chute on a Space Shuttle.


Nr. Surname Given name Job Duration
1  Brandenstein  Daniel Charles  CDR 8d 21h 17m 
2  Chilton  Kevin Patrick  PLT 8d 21h 17m 
3  Thuot  Pierre Joseph  MSP 8d 21h 17m 
4  Thornton  Kathryn Cordell Ryan  MSP 8d 21h 17m 
5  Hieb  Richard James  MSP 8d 21h 17m 
6  Akers  Thomas Dale  MSP 8d 21h 17m 
7  Melnick  Bruce Edward  MSP 8d 21h 17m 

Mission details:

Launch from Cape Canaveral (KSC); landing on Edwards AFB; first mission with orbiter Endeavour; first EVA by Thuot and Hieb on 10.05.1992 (3h 43m) to capture the stranded Intelsat VI-F3-satellite (failed); second EVA again by Thuot and Hieb on 11.05.1992 (5h 26m) for the same work, but again failed; third EVA by Akers, Thuot and Hieb on 13.05.1992 (8h 29m) and this time the astronauts were succesful, when they captured Intelsat with their hands and not with the capture bar; it was the first time, that three astronauts performed an EVA at the same time; the satellite was repaired (new perigee kick motor) and then again released into orbit; fourth EVA by Akers and Thornton on 14.05.1992 (7h 45m) to test EVA-tools and structures.

Retrieved Intelsat 6 and attached new SRM. First active dual rendezvous of two orbiting spacecraft (Endeavour and Intelsat-Vl) First deployment of a drag chute on the orbiter fleet. Payloads: Intelsat-Vl reboost mission hardware, Assembly of Station by EVA Methods (ASEM), Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG), Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) Calibration Test, Ultraviolet Plume Instrument (UVPl).

Landed at: Concrete runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base, Cali. Landing Speed: 366 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 660 m. Landing Rollout: 2,892 m. EVA: EVA No. 1, Pierre J. Thuot and Richard J. Hieb, 3 hours, 43 minutes duration; EVA No. 2, Pierre J. Thuot and Richard J. Hieb, 5 hours, 30 minutes duration; EVA No. 3, Pierre J. Thuot, Richard J. Hieb, and Thomas D. Akers, 8 hours, 29 minutes duration (first three-person EVA and longest U.S. spacewalk to date); and EVA No. 4, Kathryn C. Thornton and Thomas D. Akers, 7 hours, 45 minutes duration (most EVAs on a flight to date). During EVAs 1 and 2, Thuot and Hieb attempted unsuccessfully to retrieve the Intelsat-Vl satellite using a capture bar. On EVA 3, Thuot, Hieb, and Akers manually captured the satellite, which was subsequently repaired and redeployed. EVA 4 was used to evaluate Space Station assembly by EVA methods. First active dual rendezvous of two orbiting spacecraft (Endeavour and Intelsat-Vl) First deployment of a drag chute on the orbiter fleet.

NASA Official Mission Narrative

Mission Name: STS-49 (47)
Endeavour (1)
Pad 39-B (19)
47th Shuttle Mission
1st Flight OV-105

Daniel C. Brandenstein (4), Commander
Kevin P. Chilton (1), Pilot
Pierre J. Thuot (2), Mission Specialist 1
Kathryn C. Thornton (2), Mission Specialist 2
Richard J. Hieb (2), Mission Specialist 3
Thomas D. Akers (2), Mission Specialist 4
Bruce E. Melnick (2), Mission Specialist 5

OnDock KSC: 5-7-91
VAB: 5-8-91 to complete mfg.
OPF: 7-25-91 to begin processing for STS-49
VAB: 3-7-92
PAD: 3-13-92

Mission Objectives:

May 7, 1992, 7:40 p.m. EDT. First flight of orbiter Endeavour. Launch originally scheduled for May 4 at 8:34 p.m. EDT, but was moved to May 7 for an earlier launch window opening at 7:O6 p.m. EDT which provided better lighting conditions for photographic documentation of vehicle behavior during the launch phase. Launch delayed 34 minutes due to TAL site weather conditions. Launch Weight: 256,597 lbs.
Altitude: 195 nm
Inclination: 28.35 degrees
Orbits: 141
Duration: 8 days, 21 hours, 17 minutes, 38 seconds.
Distance: 3,696,019 miles

Hardware: (Flow-A FRF-07)
ET :
SSME-1: SN-2035
SSME-2: SN-2033
SSME-3: SN-2034 (Flow-B)
SRB: BI-050
SRM: 360L022
ET : 43/LWT-36
MLP : 2
SSME-1: SN-2030
SSME-2: SN-2015
SSME-3: SN-2017

May 16, 1992, 6:57:38 p.m. EDT, Runway 22, EAFB, CA. Rollout distance 9,49O feet, no braking. First use of a drag chute during landing. Orbiter returned to KSC on May 30, 1992. Landing Weight: 201,649 lbs.

Mission Highlights:
INTELSAT VI (F-3) satellite, stranded in an unusable orbit since launch aboard a Titan vehicle in March 199O, was captured by crewmembers during an EVA (extravehicular activity) and equipped with a new perigee kick motor. The Satellite was subsequently released into orbit and the new motor fired to put the spacecraft into a geosynchronous orbit for operational use.
The capture required three EVAs: a planned one by astronaut
Pierre J. Thuot and Richard J. Hieb who were unable to attach a capture bar to the satellite from a position on the RMS; a second unscheduled but identical attempt the following day; and finally an unscheduled but successful hand capture by Pierre J. Thuot and fellow crewmen
Richard J. Hieb and Thomas D. Akers as commander Daniel C. Brandenstein delicately maneuvered the orbiter to within a few feet of the 4.5-ton communications satellite. An ASEM structure was erected in the cargo bay by the crew to serve as a platform to aid in the hand capture and subsequent attachment of the capture bar.
A planned EVA also was performed by astronauts Kathryn C. Thornton and Thomas D. Akers as part of the Assembly of Station by EVA Methods (ASEM) experiment to demonstrate and verify maintenance and assembly capabilities for Space Station Freedom. The ASEM space walk, originally scheduled for two successive days, was cut to one day because of the lengthy INTELSAT retrieval operation.
Other "payloads of opportunity" experiments conducted included: Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG), Ultraviolet Plume Imager (UVPI) and the Air Force Maui Optical Station (AMOS) investigation. Mission was extended two days to complete objectives.
The following records were set during the STS-49 mission:
* First EVA involving three astronauts.
* First and second longest EVA to date: 8 hours and 29 minutes and 7 hours and 45 minutes.
* First Shuttle mission to feature four EVAs.
* EVA time for a single Shuttle mission: 25 hours and 27 minutes, or 59:23 person hours.
* First Shuttle mission requiring three rendezvous with an orbiting spacecraft.
* Attached a live rocket motor to an orbiting satellite.
* First use of a-drag chute during a Shuttle landing.

STS-49 landing

Space Shuttle STS-49 landing

STS-49 landing STS-49 with Drag Chute

STS-49 with Drag Chute

Credit: Hartenstein pictures

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