- Endeavour (7)
- Pad 39-A (52)
- 65th Shuttle Mission
- 7th Flight OV-105
- 8th Rollback
- RSLS Abort after SSME Ignition (5)
- EAFB Landing (42)
- Michael A. Baker (3), Commander
- Terrence W. Wilcutt (1), Pilot
- Thomas D. Jones (2), Payload Commander
- Steven L. Smith (1), Mission Specialist 1
- Daniel W. Bursch (2), Mission specialist 2
- Peter J.K. Wisoff (2), Mission Specialist 3
- Flow A:
- OPF -- 5/03/94
- VAB -- 7/21/94
- PAD -- 7/27/94
- Flow B (rollback):
- VAB -- 8/24/94
- PAD -- 9/13/94
- SRL-2, CPCG, BRIC, CHROMEX, CREAM, MAST, GAS(x5)
Click here for Press Kit
Click here for Additional Info on STS-68
- During the 10 day mission, the Space Radar Laboratory (SRL) payload
in Endeavour's cargo bay will make its second flight. The SRL
payload, which first flew during STS-59 in April 1994, will again give
scientists highly detailed information that will help them distinguish
between human-induced environmental changes and other natural forms of
- SRL-2 will take radar images of the Earth's surface for Earth system
sciences studies, including geology, geography, hydrology, oceanography,
agronomy and botany.
- The SRL payload is comprised of the Spaceborne Imaging
Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR), and
the Measurement of Air Pollution from Satellite (MAPS). The
German Space Agency (DARA) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI)
are providing the X-SAR instrument.
- The imaging radar of the SIR-C/X-SAR instruments has the
ability to make measurements over virtually any region at any
time, regardless of weather or sunlight conditions. The
radar waves can penetrate clouds, and under certain
conditions, also can "see" through vegetation, ice and
extremely dry sand. In many cases, radar is the only way
scientists can explore inaccessible regions of the Earth's
- The SIR-C/X-SAR radar data provide information about how
many of Earth's complex systems - those processes that control
the movement of land, water, air and life - work together to
make this a livable planet. The science team particularly
wants to study the amount of vegetation coverage, the extent
of snow packs, wetlands areas, geologic features such as rock
types and their distribution, volcanic activity, ocean wave
heights and wind speed. STS-68 will fly over the same sites
that STS-59 observed so that scientists will be able to study
seasonal changes that may have occurred in those areas
between the missions.
- An international team of 49 science investigators and
three associates will conduct the SIR-C/X-SAR experiments.
Thirteen nations are represented: Australia, Austria,
Brazil, Canada, China, the United Kingdom, France, Germany,
Italy, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
- The MAPS experiment will measure the global distribution
of carbon monoxide in the troposphere, or lower atmosphere.
Measurements of carbon monoxide, an important element in
several chemical cycles, provide scientists with indications
of how well the atmosphere can cleanse itself of "greenhouse
gases," chemicals that can increase the atmosphere's
- STS-68 provided a continuation of NASA's Get Away
Special (GAS) experiments program. The project gives a
person or organization a chance to perform experiments in
space on a Shuttle mission. Two universities, North Carolina
A&T State University and University of Alabama in Huntsville,
and the Swedish Space Corp., Soina, Sweden, will have small
self-contained payloads flying during the STS-68 mission.
Other GAS hardware in Endeavour's payload bay will carry
500,000 commemorative stamps for the U.S. Postal Service in
recognition of the 25th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon
- Other payloads aboard Endeavour include the Biological
Research in Canister (BRIC) which will fly for the first
time, and the Military Applications of Ship Tracks (MAST)
which will be making its second flight. BRIC experiments,
sponsored by NASA's Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences
and Applications, are designed to examine the effects of
microgravity on a wide range of physiological processes in
higher order plants and arthropod animals (e.g., insects,
spiders, centipedes, crustaceans). MAST is an experiment
sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and is part
of a five-year research program developed by ONR to examine
the effects of ships on the marine environment.
- The Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG) experiment,
the Chromosome and Plant Cell Division in Space Experiment
(CHROMEX) and the Cosmic Radiation Effects and Activation
Monitor (CREAM) experiment also will be carried aboard
- Launch September 30, 1994 at 7:16:00.068am EDT from Kennedy Space
Center Launch Pad 39-A. The Launch window opened at 7:16am EDT with a
2 hour 30 minute window. Orbiter weight at liftoff was 247,129 lbs
including payload. Total vehicle weight was 4,510,392lbs. Payload
liftoff weight 27,582lbs. Main Engine Cutoff (MECO) was at an
Apogee of 115nm and a Perigee of 28nm at MET of 8min 35sec with
Endeavour traveling at 25,779 feet per second. No OMS-1 burn was
required. OMS-2 burn was 1min 42sec (164 fps) at MET 33 min.
- The launch was originally scheduled August 18, 1994, but there was a
Redundant Sequence Launch Sequencer (RSLS) abort at T-1.9 sec after
all 3 main engines ignited. This is the fifth time in the shuttle
program where an RSLS abort has occured after main engine ignition.
Previous aborts have occured on 41-D, 51-F, STS-55 and STS-51 . The
automatic abort was initiated by the onboard General Purpose Computers
(GPC) when the discharge temperature on MPS SSME Main Engine #3 High
Pressure Oxidizer Turbopump (HPOT) exceeded its redline value. The
HPOT typically operates at 28,120 rpm and boosts the liquid oxygen
pressure from 422 psia to 4,300 psia. There are 2 sensor channels
measuring temperature on the HPOT. The B channel indicated a redline
condition while the other was near redline conditions. The
temperature at shutdown was at 1563 degrees R. while a normal HPOT
discharge temperature is around 1403 degrees R. The readline limit to
initiatate a shutdown is at 1560 degrees R. This limit increases to
1760 degrees R. at T-1.3 sec (5.3 sec after Main Engine Start). Main
Engine #3 (SN 2032) has been used on 2 previous flights with 2,412
seconds of hot-fire time and a total of 8 starts. This was the first
flight for the HPOT on Main Engine (SSME) #3.
- A new launch date was set for early October and then moved up to
late September. The procedure that has been used on previous aborts
treats an RSLS abort after SSME ignition as a launch and to require a
complete engine reinspection. A rollback of Endeavour to the VAB was
done on 8/24/94. Afterwards, Endeavour SSME's were removed and
inspected. Three flight certified SSME's (removed from the Atlantis
STS-66 mission) were installed on Endeavour and then Endeavour was
rolled back to the launch September 13, 1994. SSME #3 was
shipped to the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi for test stand
firing over the Labor day weekend (9/5/94).
- Transatlantic Abort Landing (TAL) sites for the initial launch
attempt were Zaragoza, Spain, Moron, Spain and Ben Guerir, Morocco.
Abort Once Around landing site was White Sands Space Harbor, N.M.
- Altitude: 120 nm
- Inclination: 57 degrees
- Orbits: 182
- Duration: 11 days, 5 hours, 46 minutes, 8 seconds.
- Distance: 4,703,216 miles
- SRB: BI-067
- SRM: 360W040
- ET : 65/LWT-58
- MLP: 1
- SSME-1: SN-2012
- SSME-2: SN-2034
- SSME-3: SN-2032
- SRB: BI-067
- SRM: 360W040
- ET : 65/LWT-58
- MLP: 1
- SSME-1: SN-2028
- SSME-2: SN-2033
- SSME-3: SN-2026
- Landing October 11, 1994 1:02:09pm EDT. Edwards Air Force Base
concrete Runway 22. Endeavour did an OMS deorbit burn at
12:09 pm EDT about 4,600 miles from the landing strip at Edwards Air
Force Base. The burn lasted 2 min 17 sec which lowered Endeavour's
velocity 232 ft/sec. Astronaut John Casper flew the shuttle training
aircraft at Edwards and said the weather was clear with light winds.
Approach was from the south west with a right overhead turn of
280 degrees. Nose wheel stop at 13:02:21 EDT. Wheel stop at 1:03:08
EDT. Rollout was approximately 8,495 feet down the runway. Landing
speed at main touchdown was approximately 265mph. Orbiter landing
weight was 222,026lbs. Payload Landing weight was 27,582lbs.
- Landing was originally scheduled for KSC, October 11, 1994 at 11:36
a.m. EDT. The KSC landing attempts on 10/11/94 were waived off due to
cloud cover over the Shuttle Landing Facility.
KSC Home Mission Index
Last Mission STS-64
Next Mission STS-66
- On Friday, September 30, 1994 at 9 a.m. CST, STS-68 MCC Status Report
#1 reports: The Flight Control team in Houston gave the "Go for Orbit
Operations" just before 8 a..m. The crew then began setting up the
experiment and systems hardware aboard Endeavour. The primary payload
on this flight is the Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-2), making its
second flight to study the Earth's environment.
- Experiment operations will be conducted around the clock on this
flight, with the astronauts divided into two teams. Commander Michael
A. Baker, pilot Terrence W. Wilcutt and mission specialist Peter J.K.
Wisoff are the "red team." Mission specialists Daniel W. Bursch,
Thomas D. Jones and Steven L. Smith are the "blue team."
- On Friday, September 30, 1994 at 5 p.m. CDT, STS-68 MCC Status Report # 2
reports: Shortly after 4 p.m. today, flight controllers reported
that the on-orbit checkout of the Spaceborne Imaging Radar (SIR-C) and
the Synthetic Aperture Radar (X-SAR) had been completed, and that the
primary SRL-2 instruments were ready for operation. Throughout the
checkout, data takes were recorded over a number of sites, including
Raco, Michigan; Bermuda; Bebedouro, Brazil; the Northeast Pacific
Ocean and the Juan de Fuca Strait, between the United States and
- In addition to the prime payload, Wilcutt also activated the
Commercial Protein Crystal Growth Experiment, the Cosmic Radiation
Effects and Activation Monitor, and checked on the mouse-ear cress
seedlings growing in the CHROMEX-05 experiment. The crew successfully
engineered an in-flight maintenance procedure to get additional
cooling air to the CPCG apparatus after higher than desired
temperatures were noted by crystal growth sensors.
- On Saturday, October 1, 1994 at 9 a.m. CDT, STS-68 MCC Status Report # 3
reports: Environmental studies continued throughout Saturday
morning aboard Endeavour as six astronauts working around the clock in
two shifts assisted the Space Radar Laboratory science team on the
ground with real-time observations from space.
- While Commander Mike Baker and Pilot Terry Wilcutt made attitude
adjustments of the orbiter to assist in precisely pointing the radar
systems, Mission Specialist Jeff Wisoff provided running commentary
and tape recording assistance for the many ground sites as Endeavour
passed overhead at an altitude of 119 nautical miles. The STS-68
mission's three other crew members -- Steve Smith, Dan Bursch and Tom
Jones -- perform the same duties on the opposite shift, beginning at
about 4:30 this afternoon.
- Late Friday night, Tom Jones sent down some video of a volcano
erupting in Kamchatka. The experiment scientists reported the volcano
began erupting a couple of weeks ago, but the latest "burst" from the
Kliuchevskoi (pronounced clue-chev-skoy) volcano occurred about eight
hours after Endeavour's 6:16 a.m. launch Friday.
- The SRL team is planning a series of data takes using the radar
equipment as Endeavour moves over that area of the world. Those images
will be compared with similar radar images gathered during the STS-59
mission in April, prior to the volcanic activity. Other radar data
gathering of the Earth's surface today included the desert regions of
Africa, both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and mountainous regions
of the East and West coasts of the United States.
- Early Saturday, Mike Baker sent down a short video tape of smudges
and streaks he noticed shortly after launch on several of the forward
flight deck windows. None of the streaks would hamper visual
observations during entry and landing slated for Monday, Oct. 10.
- On Sunday, October 2, 1994 at 9 a.m. CDT, STS-68 MCC Status Report # 4
reports: Radar data gathering today included forest areas of North
Carolina, ocean current patterns in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans,
desert areas in Africa, and mountainous regions of the East and West
coasts of the United States.
- On Monday, October 3, 1994 at 10 a.m. CDT, STS-68 MCC Status Report # 5
reports: Endeavour's Space Radar Laboratory equipment continued to
search the Earth's land masses and oceans for environmental changes
that have occurred since the last SRL mission in April.
- The Red Team of Mike Baker, Terry Wilcutt and Jeff Wisoff will be on
duty throughout much of the day while the Blue Team of Steve Smith,
Dan Bursch and Tom Jones sleeps. Radar data gathering today included
much of the East Coast of the United States, current patterns in the
Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as well as other bodies of water, desert
areas in Africa, and mountainous regions around the world.
- Mission Specialist Jeff Wisoff pinpointed storms, lightning and
fires and relayed the information to the SRL science team. His
observations help correlate and corroborate data collected from the
science instruments, including the Measurement of Air Pollu tion by
Satellite, which measures carbon monoxide levels in the atmosphere.
- Taking such measurements on this flight helps understand changes in
the distribution of carbon monoxide as well as other seasonal changes
in the environment that have occurred since Endeavour's last mission
- On Monday, October 3, 1994 at 5 p.m. CDT, STS-68 MCC Status Report # 6
reports: Endeavour's payload bay cameras sent to Earth damatic video
of the western coast of Oregon and the length of California and the
Baha Peninsula that scientists will compae with radar images
downlinked from Space Radar Laboratory-2 instruments earlier in the
flight. The observations were part of a continuing effort to watch
the Earth below for evidence of environmental changes that have
occurred since the last SRL mission in April. The overall goal of the
mission to better understand the differences in changes caused by
natural processes and compare them to changes brought about by human
activity. Radar data was recorded today over much of the East Coast
of the United States, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Manitoba,
Canada, and French Guyana.
- Special readings were taken with the Measurement of Air Pollution by
Satellite instrument as intentionally set fires were monitored by
scientists from the University of Iowa and the Canadian Forest
Service. The wind field and thermal evolution of the fires will be
analyzed to provide a better interpretation of carbon monoxide
emissions from the burning forest and to help calibrate color
infreared photography taken by the STS-68 crew. These fires were
planned in advance of the mission, and would have been set for forest
management purposes even if the shuttle mission were not in progress.
- Astronauts relayed information about storms, lightning, fires and
clear cutting to the SRL science team that will be used to help
understand the radar images and MAPS data on carbon monoxide levels in
- On Tuesday, October 4, 1994 at 9 a.m. CDT, STS-68 MCC Status Report # 7
reports: STS-68 crew members this morning performed two slight
maneuvers to fine tune Endeavour's orbit to mirror its track on the
first Space Radar Laboratory mission to support a new experiment
called interferometry. The trim burns adjust the orbit to within 30
feet of where it was in April which will allow scientists to make near
identical measurements with the radar equipment to develop a three
dimensional comparison of environmental changes during the six months
separating the two missions -- STS-59 and STS-68.
- On Tuesday, October 4, 1994 at 5 p.m. CDT, STS-68 MCC Status Report # 8
reports: Space Radar Laboratory-2 scientists adjusted their
observation plans to take advantage of an opportunity to train their
instruments on the islands of Japan following a Tuesday night
earthquake there. Endeavour passed over the Sarobetsu, Japan,
calibration site about 3:30 p.m. CDT, and the Synthetic Aperture Radar
sent down real-time data of the area below, allowing scientists to
look for changes in the coastline of the islands that may have been
due to the large tsunami waves associated with the quake. The
Spaceborne Imaging Radar also recorded data on the area.
- STS-68 crew members continued to perform slight maneuvers to fine
tune Endeavour's orbit to intersect its track on the SRL-1 mission to
support a new experiment called interferometry. The trim burns
adjusted the orbit to within 30 feet of where it was in April as it
passed over the Mammoth Mountain, Calif., backup supersite. This
should allow scientists to make nearly identical measurements with the
radar equipment to develop a three dimensional comparison of
environmental changes during the six months separating STS-59 and
- Radar images over the Sahara desert and the North Atlantic will help
scientists evaluate global changes and how they affect the climates in
other areas of the world.
- Also today, Payload Commander Tom Jones discussed the significance
of radar systems and the Earth's environment in an interview with
ABC's Good Morning America. Mission Specialist Jeff Wisoff discussed
the mission with CONUS Communications Syndicate affiliates WTKR-TV in
his hometown of Norfolk, Va., and the All-News Channel in Minneapolis.
- On Wednesday, October 5, 1994 at 8 a.m. CDT, STS-68 MCC Status Report # 9
reports: Space Radar Laboratory scientists received some images of
Japan, near the location of Monday nights earthquake, but any
evidence of the natural disaster was not immediately noticeable.
Other radar observations during the night included studies of other
volcanoes including Mt. Pinatubo in the Phillipines, Cotopaxi in
Ecuador, and Teide in the Canary Islands.
- Radar images recently processed on the ground were images of
Pasadena, Ca., with ample clarity to allow the the Rose Bowl to be
distinguishable, and images of Washington State and Yellowstone
National Park, both showing scars from forest fires.
- During the night, the crew reported a missing thermal tile around
one of the overhead windows of the orbiter. The tile apparently came
off recently since crew members look out the window often to perform
the visual observations that accompany radar operations. Flight
controllers report that, while the tile is missing, the underlying
thermal blanket is still intact.
- Astronaut Linda Godwin, who served as the payload commander on the
first Space Radar Laboratory mission in April, briefed the crew from
the payload control room about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, commemorating the
tenth anniversary of Challenger's 41-G mission, which carried the
Spaceborne Imaging Radar (SIR-B) and the Measurement of Air Pollution
by Satellite (MAPS). She also noted the first flight aboard a Shuttle
of that radar-imaging equipment on Columbia in November 1981.
- On Wednesday, October 5, 1994 at 4 p.m. CDT, STS-68 MCC Status Report # 10
reports: Mission to Planet Earth observations by Endeavour's
payload bay radar instruments were being suspended temporarily
Wednesday afternoon to save fuel while flight controllers work to fix
a minor problem involving the shuttle's small reaction control system
- One of the small rocket engines which help control the pointing of
the Shuttle was turned off because of a temperature sensor problem.
That caused all of the vernier jets, used for delicate pointing
control, to be turned off and the larger steering jets to be used.
The flight control team late Wednesday decided to allow the Shuttle's
pointing to vary over a wider range to save thruster fuel while the
initial problem was being addressed. A software change which will
disregard the failed temperature sensor should be in place within 24
hours. Radar operations will be resumed once the update is made.
- The radar instruments earlier Wednesday collected images over the
Kliuchevskoi volcano in Kamchatka, Russia, which erupted about 8 hours
after Endeavour's launch Friday. Images also were collected over
Yellowstone National Park, Wyo.; Chickasha, Okla.; Ruiz, Columbia;
Cuprito, Nevada; Colima, Mexico; the Galopagos Islands and San Juan,
Argentina. Observations with the Measurement of Air Pollution from
Satellite were taken, with one particular target being line fires in
British Columbia, Canada.
- On Thursday, October 6, 1994 at 8 a.m. CDT, STS-68 MCC Status Report # 11
reports: Endeavour's small steering jets are now back in
continuous operation and Space Radar Laboratory observations are
continuing on schedule after Mission Control sent a software update to
the shuttle about 3:30 a.m. today.
- The software patch accommodated a failed temperature sensor in one
of the vernier jets and allows Endeavourís onboard computers to
track the operation of the jet via a second sensor located near the
failed sensor. While the patch was being developed and tested in
simulators, observations by the Space Radar Laboratory continued at a
- These small jets were used only when Mission Control had solid,
stable communications with the orbiter when ground controllers could
monitor the jet firings. The jets were turned off when communications
with the shuttle were unavailable or intermittent, a common occurrence
during standard shuttle operations.
- The observations using the radar systems that were missed while the
software patch was being put in place, had been performed at least
once previously during the mission and are scheduled for observation
again later in the flight. SRL scientists say the impact of the
temporary pause is minimal on the scientific investigations under way.
- One observation completed during the night was of a controlled oil
spill in the North Sea designed to test the radar's ability to
discern oil spills from the naturally produced film caused by fish and
plankton in the water. In addition to the 106 gallons of diesel oil
placed in the water, 26 gallons of algae products were placed in the
water nearby for radar comparison. The ground team expected to have
the oil spill cleaned up within about two hours using oil-recovery
ships in the area. The experiment was conducted to prove the
usefulness of radar systems to more rapidly detect spills allowing
quicker clean up.
- On Thursday, October 6, 1994 at 5 p.m. CDT, STS-68 MCC Status Report # 12
reports: Endeavour's astronauts this afternoon sent down
spectacular videotape views of the west coast of California recorded
as the shuttle passed about 115 nautical miles overhead on its 103rd
orbit. The scenes covered the San Joaquin Valley, San Francisco Bay,
Monterey Bay, Los Angeles, Vandenberg Air Force Base and San Diego
- During the next few days, scientists will test a new technique
called "interferometry" as the earth observations data collection
continues. The technique is expected to yield topographic information
of unprecedented clarity by using slightly different shuttle positions
to provide three-dimensional images of the terrain below.
- Among the Space Radar Laboratory observations today were the North
Sea, where scientists intentionally released small oil and algae
spills to see how well the SRL-2 instruments could track them, as well
as observations of Bebedouro, Brazil; the Western and Northeast
Pacific Ocean; Chickasha, Oklahoma; the Gulf of Mexico; Ruiz,
Colombia; Sena Madureira, Brazil; Weddell Sea; the Kliuchevskoi
Volcano in Kamchatmka; Stovepipe Wells, California; and the Galapagos
- Earlier today, the Mission Management Team extended STS-68 by one
day to allow additional science. Endeavour is now expected to land at
the Kennedy Space Center.at about 10:36 a.m. Tuesday.
- The orbiter continues to perform well. The only problem reported
during the day was the failure of a primary reaction control system
jet. The jet problem is not expected to have any effect on the mission
since the orbiter has two other jets thrusting in the same direction.
- On Friday, October 7, 1994 at 8 a.m. CDT, STS-68 MCC Status Report # 13
reports: Observations made during the night included the volcano
Merapi on the Indonesian island of Java; Duke Forest in North
Carolina; the Gulf of St. Lawrence; Sydney, Australia; and the
volcano Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines.
- Tom Jones, the Payload Commander for this second flight of SRL,
spent some time this morning explaining the importance of the radar's
volcanic studies. Demonstrating with three common types of volcanic
rock, Jones explained how the radar's various frequencies allow it to
map lava and ash flows around volcanoes. The work one day may lead to
a permanent radar platform in orbit for use in assisting predictions
of impending volcanic eruptions and safeguarding people living near
- Late Thursday, Endeavour's astronauts sent down spectacular views
of the west coast of California recorded as the shuttle passed about
115 nautical miles overhead on its 103rd orbit. The scenes included
the San Joaquin Valley, San Francisco, Monterey Bay, Los Angeles,
Vandenberg Air Force Base and San Diego.
- On Friday, October 7, 1994 at 5 p.m. CDT, STS-68 MCC Status Report # 14
reports: Astronauts aboard Endeavour and Space Radar Laboratory-2
scientists on the ground today began in earnest to test the new
technique of "interferometry" to produce even richer images of the
- From an altitude of 111 nautical miles, the Spaceborne Imaging Radar
and Synthetic Aperture Radar recorded long swaths of interferometric
data over central North America, the Amazon forests of central Brazil,
and the volcanoes of the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia.
- This morning, Endeavour's orbit was lowered from 117 nautical
miles to 112 nautical miles to support a new technique called
"interferometry." The technique is expected to yield topographic
information of unprecedented clarity by using slightly different
shuttle positions to provide three- dimensional images of the terrain
- The Measurement of Air Pollution from Satellite experiment also
continues to function well, and the crew's infrared film, used to
provide complementary still images of fires investigated by MAPS, has
been expended. Controlled "line fires" in Ontario, Canada, were set as
planned and observed by the crew in an effort to help calibrate the
- On Saturday, October 8, 1994 at 5 a.m. CDT, STS-68 MCC Status Report # 15
reports: As Endeavour's seventh mission in space reaches the home stretch,
scientific observations turn to the gathering of near three-dimensional
views of various sites around the world to better understand climatic
changes. The six crew members discussed the mission and the future of
radar observations of the Earth during a news conference this morning.
- The radar array aboard the shuttle began a series of observations
above volcanoes, glaciers and other sites designed to create 3-D
images. These spaceborne radar images, produced regularly on a
long-term basis, eventually could provide scientists with insight into
movements of the Earth's surface as small as a fraction of an inch.
- Such close monitoring may allow scientists to detect pre-eruptive
changes in volcanoes and movements in fault lines that precede
earthquakes, providing an early warning of imminent natural hazards.
Other future applications could include tracking the rate of global
warming by monitoring the movement of glaciers and the tracking of
floods and mudslides.
- Earlier this morning, Mission Specialist Dan Bursch took a break
from his work to provide a television tour of the crew's orbital home
office, explaining the shuttle's displays, controls, computers and
cameras, as well as living accommodations.
- On Sunday, October 9, 1994 at 9 a.m. CDT, STS-68 MCC Status Report # 16
reports: It has seemed like deja vu on board Endeavour as the crew
spent much of the last 24 hours precisely repeating many Space Radar
Laboratory observations to provide scientists with duplicate images
for highly accurate three-dimensional maps of volcanoes, glaciers and
- Overnight, Mission Specialists Jeff Wisoff and Steve Smith replaced
one of three payload recorders which malfunctioned yesterday. The
procedure, which the two astronauts trained for prior to the mission,
was completed in about an hour and a half. Although only two of the
payload high data rate recorders were functioning, the planned
observations by the radar lab were not interrupted. The two recorders
alone were sufficient for retaining the radar data obtained during the
overnight shift of astronauts Smith, Dan Bursch and Tom Jones.
- Small engine firings by Endeavour late yesterday aligned the
spacecraft's trajectory to within an estimated 65 feet of what had
been planned when the spacecraft's orbit was lowered on Friday. This
permits the precise repeat observations by the radar.
- During the night, Bursch and Smith took a break from their
environmental studies to talk with KGO Radio in San Francisco. The
interview included phone-in questions from area children.
- On Monday, October 10, 1994 at 10 a.m. CDT, STS-68 MCC Status Report # 16
reports: In low Earth orbit, Endeavour's systems are being checked
out today to ensure they are healthy and ready to support landing
Tuesday. The flight control surfaces will be tested using one of the
hydraulic systems called an Auxiliary Power Unit, and ground station
communications checks will be done.
- Interferometry data gathering with the radar instruments in the
orbiter's payload bay continued throughout the night and morning prior
to the scheduled deactivation of the X- band Synthetic Aperture Radar.
Interferometry will allow scientists to overlay radar images of the
same site taken on successive days forming a three dimensional image
of the Earth's surface. These topographical images can be used to
create a baseline used to understand the changes in the environmental
and ecological climate around the world.
- Landing of Endeavour remains scheduled for Tuesday morning about
10:36 a.m. CDT. Two landing opportunities are available at the prime
landing site at Florida's Kennedy Space Center.and two are available
in California at the Edwards Air Force Base Facility.
Last Updated Friday June 29 11:21:08 EDT 2001
Jim Dumoulin (firstname.lastname@example.org)