Space Shuttle: Discovery
Launch Pad: 39A
Launch Weight: 240,062 pounds
Launched: September 12, 1991, 7:11:04 p.m. EDT
Landing Site: Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Landing: September 18, 1991, 12:38:42 a.m. PDT
Landing Weight: 192,780 pounds
Rollout Distance: 9,513 feet
Rollout Time: 50 seconds
Mission Duration: 5 days, 8 hours, 27 minutes, 38 seconds
Returned to KSC: September 26, 1991
Orbit Altitude: 313 nautical miles
Orbit Inclination: 57 degrees
Miles Traveled: 2.2 million
Image above: STS-48 Crew photo with Commander John O. Creighton, Pilot Kenneth S. Reightler, Jr., Mission Specialists Mark N. Brown, Charles D. Gemar and James F. Buchli. Image Credit: NASA
The primary payload, the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), was deployed on the third day of the mission. During its planned 18-month mission, the 14,500-pound observatory will make the most extensive study ever conducted of the Earth's troposphere, the upper level of the planet's envelope of life sustaining gases which also include the protective ozone layer. UARS has ten sensing and measuring devices: Cryogenic Limb Array Etalon Spectrometer (CLAES); Improved Stratospheric and Mesospheric Sounder (ISAMS); Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS); Halogen Occultation Experiment (HALOE); High Resolution Doppler Imager (HRDI); Wind Imaging Interferometer (WlNDII); Solar Ultraviolet Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SUSIM); Solar/Stellar Irradiance Comparison Experiment (SOLSTICE); Particle Environment Monitor (PEM) and Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor (ACRIM II).
The secondary payloads were: Ascent Particle Monitor (APM); Middeck 0-Gravity Dynamics Experiment (MODE); Shuttle Activation Monitor (SAM); Cosmic Ray Effects and Activation Monitor (CREAM); Physiological and Anatomical Rodent Experiment (PARE); Protein Crystal Growth II-2 (PCG II-2); Investigations into Polymer Membrane Processing (IPMP); and the Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) experiment.
The STS-48 crew portrait includes (front row left to right): Mark N. Brown, mission specialist; John O. Creighton, commander; and Kenneth S. Reightler, pilot. Pictured on the back row (left to right) are mission specialists Charles D. (Sam) Gemar, and James F. Buchli. The crew of five launched aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery on September 12, 1991 at 7:11:04 pm (EDT). The primary payload of the mission was the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS).
Launch of Discovery on mission STS-48.
This STS-48 onboard photo is of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) in the grasp of the RMS (Remote Manipulator System) during deployment, September 1991. UARS gathers data related to the chemistry, dynamics, and energy of the ozone layer. UARS data is used to study energy input, stratospheric photo chemistry, and upper atmospheric circulation. UARS helps us understand and predict how the nitrogen and chlorine cycles, and the nitrous oxides and halo carbons which maintain them, relate to the ozone balance. It also observes diurnal variations in short-lived stratospheric chemical species important to ozone destruction. Data from UARS enables scientists to study ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere.
Frams von STS-48 Discovery Mission NASA-Video: