Static Camera view of STS-81 Atlantis at Liftoff
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STS-81 Liftoff Status Page

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Shuttle Atlantis Launch Status

Launch 1/12/97 4:27:23.042 am EST. The launch window was 7-10 minutes. The exact launch time was announced about 90 minutes prior to launch following final computation of the location of the Mir Space Station. The RSRM propellant mean bulk temperature (PMBT) was 62 degrees F at liftoff. The Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB's) were successfully seperated from the External Tank (ET) at T+125.723sec. Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) cutoff occured at 511.8 sec.
On 1/10/97, Pad 39-B was cleared to load the onboard cryogenic tanks and reactant loading was completed on schedule by mid-morning. The launch team is evaluating a problem with the hazardous gas dection system on the Mobile Launcher Platform (MLP). The system, used to detect the levels of gaseous oxygen, hydrogen, helium and argon on the shuttle is giving erratic data and may need to be replaced. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 1/10/1997)

On 1/7/97, ordnance operations and pressurization of the Reaction Control System (RCS) were completed. Final stowage of experiments in the Spacehab were underway. The STS-81 crew arrived at the Shuttle Landing Facility at 10p.m. on 1/8/97 and the countdown clock picked up at the T-43 hour mark on schedule on Thursday, 1/9/97 at 7 a.m. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 1/09/1997)

On 1/3/97, All Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) functional tests were complete. The payload bay doors were open and payload operation close-outs continue. Functional tests on Atlantis's C-hatch (EVA hatch) are complete and the hatch is closed for flight. The countdown is expected to begin on January 9, 1997. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 1/03/1997)

On 12/17/96, The STS-81 crew successfully completed the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test and returned to their homes in Houston. Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) calibrations were also completed and the pad was closed for normal access as work began on the loading of hypergolic propellants into Atlantis. Once the pad is opened again, efforts will resume to complete the installation and functional checks of the newly reworked airlock hatch actuators that failed on STS-80. All actuators will be installed by 12/21/96 and functional checks completed by 12/24/96. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 12/18/1996)

On 11/22/96, the new replacement fuel cell No. 2 has been installed and interface connections and testing will be conducted 11/23/96. The payload bay doors are scheduled to be closed as early as Monday night. External tank and solid rocket booster close-outs continue in the Vehicle Assembly Building. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 11/22/1996)

On 11/20/96, removal of fuel cell No. 1 was complete. Due to concerns with marginal pH levels, managers have decided to remove and replace fuel cell No. 2, as well. Today, managers are determining if this work can be done with the Spacehab tunnel adapter in place or if the tunnel must be removed. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 11/20/1996)

On 10/11/96, APU installation was complete. Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) pod functional checkout and fuel cell voltage tests were in work. Close outs continued on the mated left aft and left forward center segments of STS-81's SRB stack in VAB hi-bay 1. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 10/11/1996)

STS-81 Movies and Images

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STS-81 Countdown Last Mission STS-80 Next Mission STS-82


Developed under the direction of the NASA KSC Public Affairs Office
Author: Jim Dumoulin (dumoulin@titan.ksc.nasa.gov) / NASA - Payload Operations
Coordinator: Paula Shawa (Paula.Shawa-1@ksc.nasa.gov) / SHER-10
Last Updated: Wednesday January 29 15:12:31 EDT 1997(J.Dumoulin)

A service of NASA/Kennedy Space Center Public Affairs Office, Hugh Harris,Director (Hugh.Harris-1@kmail.ksc.nasa.gov)