Static view of STS-75 Columbia after landing on Runway 33. Click for NASA Select

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Shuttle Columbia Launch Status

Launch February 22, 1996 3:18:00.061 pm EST. Launch window was 2 hours 30 min. Landed on March 9, 1996 at 8:58:21 am EST on KSC Runway 33.

About four seconds after liftoff, Shuttle Commander Andy Allen reported that his instruments showed that one of the shuttle main engines was operating at only 45% of its normal power level. Flight controllers in Houston quickly responded that all engines were performing nominally. The engines throttled as expected about 1 minute into the launch, and operated normally all the way to main engine cutoff at 8 and a half minutes into the flight. Engineers will look at data from the launch to try to understand the faulty reading. (Reference STS-75 MCC Status Report # 01)

On Tuesday, 2/20/96, the mission management team met briefly to discuss an incident that occurred overnight at Pad 39B. At about 1 a.m., a neutralizing agent, believed to be sodium hydroxide was spilled over the left-hand solid rocket booster and the left side of the external tank. This non-toxic liquid is used to neutralize any potential hazardous vapors that may be present during normal operations to remove covers off the reaction control system thrusters on Columbia. The incident has not seriously delayed the launch countdown. However, engineering evaluations are in work to determine if any concerns exist for the liquid contacting the flight hardware. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 2/21/1996).

The countdown started at 4pm EST at the T-minus 43 hour mark on Monday, 2/19/96 and the payload bay doors were closed. The STS-75 crew arrived at the Shuttle Landing Facility at 3:30pm EST. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 2/20/1996).

On Tuesday, 2/13/96, a faulty wire to one of the pyrotechnic devices at the 17-inch disconnect located between the orbiter and external tank was replaced and tested successfully. Also, problems with the crew hatch were resolved and final testing was successful. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 2/13/1996).

On Friday, 2/9/96, Hypergolic loading operations took place and the Flight Readiness Review (FRR) was conducted. The countdown is scheduled to begin on February 19. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 2/09/1996).

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Last Updated: Friday, Feb 23 12:07:20 EST 1996 (J. Dumoulin)

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