STS-72 Day 1 Highlights
Return to STS-72 Mission Summary
- On Thursday, January 11, 1996, 6:30 a.m. CST, STS-72 MCC Status Report # 01
- Endeavour lit up the Florida sky as it rocketed into orbit at 3:41
a.m. CST today on a Japanese satellite retrieval mission. The launch
was delayed 23 minutes due to communication configuration problems
between the Mission Control Center in Houston and ground control
stations near the launch site. The problems were quickly resolved and
Endeavour embarked on its 10th flight and the first flight of the new
year. Today's launch also marked the 74th shuttle launch in the
- At launch time, the Japanese Space Flyer Unit satellite was over
central Australia, about 7,961 nautical miles ahead of Endeavour. The
six member crew is expected to grapple and capture the satellite early
- Once on orbit, the astronauts began to configure Endeavour for
on-orbit operations. The shuttle's payload bay doors were opened
about 90 minutes into the flight, followed by a 'go' for
on-orbit operations from flight director Jeff Bantle.
- During the nine day mission, the international crew will retrieve the
SFU, a science satellite launched by the Japanese last
March. Additionally, the crew will deploy and retrieve a second
spacecraft carrying NASA-sponsored experiments. Later in the mission
crew members Dan Barry, Leroy Chiao and Winston Scott, will conduct
two six-hour spacewalks to test tools and procedures that will be used
in the assembly and maintenance of the International Space Station.
- The astronauts will begin an eight-hour sleep period at 11:11
a.m. CST, and will receive a wake-up call from Mission Control at 7:11
p.m. today to begin their first full day on orbit. All systems on
board Endeavour are performing well with the shuttle traveling around
the Earth in a 246 x 95 nautical mile orbit.
- On Thursday, January 11, 1996, 5 p.m. CST, STS-72 MCC Status Report # 02
- After a flawless launch, Endeavour is well on its way toward the
first primary objective of its flight -- the retrieval on Saturday of
the Japanese Space Flyer Unit satellite and its cargo of long-term
- The crew -- Commander Brian Duffy, Pilot Brent Jett and Mission
Specialist Leroy Chiao, Winston Scott, Koichi Wakata and Dan Barry --
set up shop in orbit early today and checked out systems that will be
used during the SFU retrieval. Wakata put the shuttle's mechanical arm
through its paces in a thorough check out, finding all of the
equipment in good shape. Duffy checked out the aft cockpit controls he
will use to rendezvous with the satellite and found them ready and
able as well.
- The crew also activated many of the secondary experiments aboard
Endeavour, including the Get-Away Special packages in the cargo bay,
the Shuttle Laser Altimeter and the Commercial Protein Crystal
Growth. Duffy also completed the first in the series of engine firings
that, during the next two days, will culminate in Endeavour's
rendezvous with the SFU.
- The small engine firing slightly raised the low point of Endeavour's
orbit, adjusting the rate at which the shuttle is closing in on the
satellite. At 5 p.m. CST, Endeavour was trailing the SFU by about
8,100 nautical miles, continuing to close in at a rate of more than
750 nautical miles with each 90 minute orbit of Earth.
- The crew began an eight-hour sleep period at 11:11 a.m. CST and will
awaken for Day 2 of STS-72 at 7:11 p.m. CST. The Johnson Space Center
newsroom will be closed from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. CST today. Mission
commentary on NASA Television will resume at crew wakeup.
Go to STS-72 Flight Day 2 Highlights: