Following nearly a decade of studies and development, the Space Shuttle is beginning its flight test phase. This paper reviews the status of the program, and preparations of the space vehicle and facilities for flight. The launch preparations, including conduct of the Mission Verification Test, which comprises a Flight Readiness Firing prior to the actual launch, is discussed. This simulation was designed to test the readiness of the complete organization and all ground and flight equipment for commitment to the first manned orbital flight. The plan of the orbital flight program is outlined indicating how each succeeding flight is made more complex and severe to incrementally test the Space Shuttle. Completion of this four flight program readies the Space Shuttle for operations in late 1982. Payload performance to orbit is increased as the program progresses through the development flights and on into operations.
Future space missions will require spacecraft that yield the maximum scientific and applications benefit at low cost. A broad range of services will be required to satisfy the user needs in low earth orbit missions. Spacelab, as an earth-orbiting laboratory for scientific research and applications, will provide to its users features that have been available, so far, only in traditional ground based laboratories. In addition to the classical space disciplines like astronomy and solar physics, Spacelab will serve as a platform for new disciplines like Life Sciences and Materials Sciences. In particular, in the Materials Sciences field space will offer new opportunities for commercial development. With the Engineering Model of Spacelab already delivered to NASA and the first Flight Unit scheduled to be delivered to the launch site by October of this year, the development of Spacelab, which represents a significant contribution of Europe to the Space Transportation System, is nearing its completion. This paper summarises the status and the capabilities of Spacelab. Emphasis will be placed on the unique flexibility and versatility of the Spacelab concept supporting a broad spectrum of scientific and applications missions. This paper also briefly addresses the benefit of utilizing - to the maximum extent - existing Spacelab hardware for future space applications as envisaged in ESA's Follow-on-Development Programme.
Spacelab, with its multiplicity of configuration options and associated subsystem capabilities provides the user with a unique set of environments and facilities to conduct scientific investigations in space. This paper provides an insight into the Spacelab resources and their efficient application to payloads and experiment integration for the manned and unmanned options. Subsystem capabilities and constraints for various types of missions and experiments are discussed in terms of structural support, power, thermal conditioning, pointing and stability, and command and data management.
Spacelab (SL) ground processing is active at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The palletized payload for the second Shuttle launch is staged and integrated with interface verification active. The SL Engineering Model is being assembled for subsequent test and checkout activities. After delivery of SL flight elements from Europe, prelaunch operations for the first SL flight start with receipt of the flight experiment packages and staging of the SL hardware. Experiment operations consist of integrating the various experiment elements into the SL racks, floors and pallets. Rack and floor assemblies with the experiments installed, are integrated into the flight module. Aft end-cone installation, pallet connections, and SL subsystems interface verifications are accomplished, and SL-Orbiter interfaces verified. The Spacelab cargo is then transferred to the Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF) in a controlled environment using a canister/transporter. After the SL is installed into the Orbiter payload bay, physical and functional integrity of all payload-to-Orbiter interfaces are verified and final close-out operations conducted. Spacelab payload activities at the launch pad are minimal with the payload bay doors remaining closed. Limited access is available to the module through the Spacelab Transfer Tunnel. After mission completion, the SL is removed from the Orbiter in the OPF and returned to the SL processing facility for experiment equipment removal and reconfiguration for the subsequent mission.
The Space Transportation System (STS) will provide easier access to space for a wider range of users than ever before. Within the capabilities provided by the STS, a new mode of space flight operation will be offered: the Shuttle/Spacelab sortie. The object of this paper is to characterize the flight operations process for a Shuttle mission from planning through execution with particular attention to the Shuttle/Spacelab sortie mode and the involvement of the user. The partnership between the operators of the STS and the user organization will be traced through a typical mission scenario which will describe the functions and responsibilities of the flight operations planning elements, the flightcrew, and the flight control team. A description of the Mission Control Center (MCC) and payload support capabilities will be given to complete the overview of Shuttle flight operations.
This paper describes the Spacelab Command and Data Management Subsystem and its support capabilities for various types of experiments in terms of data processing, display, recording, and multiplexing. Each User interface is reviewed and the results of early testing with experiments are outlined.
The Spacelab onboard computer and software system offers a myriad of services and capabilities for those who wish to fly instruments without the expense of the new computers and software required for control, data manipulation, and telemetry handling. The needs of a wide variety of potential instrument developers have been taken into account in the development of standard but flexible interfaces from the computer to instruments. An early understanding of the basic software capabilities is advantageous to the potential Spacelab user as he begins his planning. This paper provides an introduction to these capabilities and gives reference to further more detailed technical information which will be needed as instrument planning and requirements mature.
Based on jointly agreed ESA/NASA pointing system requirements, ESA undertook, as part of its Spacelab development, also the provisioning of a three-axes gimballed experimentation facility, called "Instrument Pointing System (IPS)". IPS will serve as the primary operational facility for NASA and will be used on the second Spacelab flight in 1984. Depending on man motion and Orbiter thruster disturbances, payload mass and inertia as well as IPS positioning in the Orbiter cargo bay, the IPS will provide a high stability pointing capability for payloads up to 2000 kg in the range of 1 to 10 arc sec. In order to complement the IPS capabilities in the lower payload mass range of up to 200 kg and recognizing the particular European needs to provide pointing for small payloads, ESA has started the definition of a small"Position and Hold Mount"(PHM). The initial capability of the mount does not provide a better pointing performance than provided by the Orbiter but allows for different pointing directions to be acquired and kept. Although no full scale development of this pointing mount is authorized yet, a functional model to demonstrate basic pointing performance and operational capabilities is now available. Summary descriptions of the IPS and PHM performance capabilities and development status are presented and potential performance improvements of both systems are discussed.
Sperry Flight Systems is developing a high stability space shuttle pointing system for NASA, Marshall Space Flight Center with potential application for the Air Force Sortie Support Experiment Orientation Subsystem. This shuttle attached gimballed system will provide high stability pointing of electro-optical experiments mounted upon it, even in the presence of shuttle disturbances such as rocket firings. Presented in this paper is a description of the system configuration and requirements, photographs of the prototype hardware, system performance predictions and a description of system simulation and test support facilities.
The need to provide early low cost STS flight accommodations for an unusually heavy instrument package requiring no subsystems support led to the design requirements for a special payload carrier. An additional requirement was for multiple reflights of the payload. A carrier, the Mission Peculiar Equipment Support Structure (MPESS), is being developed to meet this need by supporting the OSTA-2 payload for an early NASA/BMFT cooperative materials processing mission. Full utilization of the STS for space research dictates a flexible strategy for the payload integration and mission design, both are supported by the MPESS design. The modular design of the MPESS provides a capability for supporting payloads at multiple locations within the STS Orbiter cargo bay. The design philosophy, development status, and experiment integration concepts for the MPESS carrier are discussed. Early STS missions (OSTA-2 and OAST-l) are used as examples of operational uses of the MPESS.
Spacelab interfaces and services for payloads are advertised in the Spacelab Payload Accommodations Handbook (SPAH). These accommodations are available to the total payload and must be managed and apportioned by a payload integrator. A major part of the integration task is satisfying all instruments/facilities servicing requirements which vary with each item of payload equipment and, when totalled, sometimes exceed the capabilities as defined in SPAH. Such a determination is an output of the integrated payload design and integration effort which consists of analytical assessments based on individual payload equipment requirements inputs, STS and Spacelab available accommodations and constraints, and programmatic considerations. This systems engineering activity spans all engineering disciplines, assesses the module and pallet layouts and simultaneous operation of instrument/facility combinations, and requires a detailed knowledge of the Spacelab design. Introduction of a broad range of payload integrator-provided Mission Peculiar Equipment (MPE) into the Spacelab Mission 1 payload complement was necessary to be added to the Spacelab provisions in order to satisfy the interface and service requirements for each payload developer. This paper provides insight into various aspects of this MPE; including why it is needed, driving design considerations, design and development problems, and conclusions and recommendations for the future. MPE identified for Spacelab Mission 1 begins an inventory that will continue to expand as other mission requirements are identified and the Spacelab flight frequency increases.
The intent of this paper is to highlight extensions/improvements to the baseline Spacelab system. Emphasis will be on the so-called "near-term" improvements which are presently under investigation in Europe in the frame of a Phase B study, and which cover mainly resource increases as well as extending the mission duration capability. Furthermore, an overview will be given on future Spacelab application e.g. as an element of a platform and as a free-flying element. NASA proposed platform concepts like SASP (Science and Application Space Platform) and SAMSP (Science and Application Manned Space Platform) are briefly addressed and the role of Spacelab elements in these platform concepts described.
The first four flights of the Space Shuttle will primarily test and evaluate the performance and systems of the Space Transportation System (STS). A secondary objective of these first orbital flight tests will be to demonstrate the Shuttle's operational capability of providing a platform for scientific and applications research. The first scientific and applications payload to fly on the Shuttle will be carried on its second test flight. This first payload is called OSTA-1 for NASA's Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications which provided most of its experiments. The experiments selected for the OSTA-1 payload are primarily concerned with remote sensing of land resources, atmospheric phenomena and ocean conditions. Instrument development is complete and final preparations are underway for the integration of OSTA-1 for the second Shuttle flight. Functional tests are being conducted at the Kennedy Space Center in preparation for installation of the payload into the Shuttle.
The Spacelab development program is a joint undertaking of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA). The purpose of Spacelab is to include in the space transportation system (STS) a payload carrier with maximum flexibility to accommodate payloads of all scientific disciplines. The first Spacelab mission is a jointly planned mission between NASA and ESA which is currently planned for launch in June 1983. The mission is multidisciplinary in nature and has two main objectives. The first and primary objective of the flight is the verification of Spacelab performance and its interfaces with the Space Shuttle/orbiter. Second, the mission is to perform scientific investigations in a variety of science disciplines to demonstrate the broad capability of Spacelab for space research. Currently, there are 38 experiments and/or experiment facilities under development and test for flight on Mission 1. These experiments cover a variety of science disciplines including atmospheric research, life science, space plasma research, materials sciences, astronomy and technology. In addition to the experiments, the final design of the integrated payload has been completed, and the necessary integration hardware has been designed and is presently in fabrication. During the course of this paper, the current status of design and accommodation will be presented. Additionally, the planning and status of the ground and flight operations activities will be discussed. As the various elements in the planning and implementation of the mission are discussed, the paper will attempt to focus on the lessons learned to date in integrating the first Spacelab mission.
The Spacelab is a flexible laboratory system, featuring an array of interchangeable components -- pressurized manned laboratories, unpressurized platforms, and related support systems -- that can be assembled in several different configurations of pallets and pressurized modules depending on the specific scientific requirements of the mission. The first two flights of Spacelab are designed to verify the flexibility and utility of all the elements of the Spacelab inventory. Spacelab Mission 2 will constitute the first flight of the pallet-only configuration of Spacelab. The major objective of Mission 2 is the verification of the performance of Space-lab systems and subsystems in this operating mode. The system performance will be verified using a complement of verification flight instrumentation and by operating a complement of scientific instrumentation to obtain scientific data. This paper describes the evolution of Spacelab Mission 2 including a discussion of the verification requirements and instrumentation, the experiments requirements and instrumentation, the major mission peculiar equipment to integrate the payload, and the general mission planning for the flight. Finally, the current status of the mission will be discussed with emphasis on hardware and software development, and on major activities yet to be completed.
The defined objectives of the Snacelab Mission D 1, under preparation in Germany, are presented and their relations to the relevant elements of the German space program are explained. This includes the asnects of the utilization disciplines materials science and life science as well as the spaceflight technologies and operational capabilities. Finally the actual status of the project is reported briefly.
The mission D1 is the first complete SL mission in the framework of the German Manned Space Program. This Mission will be under the mission management responsibility of the German Space Agency DFVLR. Its primary objective is to support basic and applied research in the following fields: materials processing, fluid physics, medicine, biology, botany. A further mission objective is to test: instrument reflyability (reuse of FSLP equipment, efficiency of crew operations in space and economies possible in crew operations. An important spin-off will be establishment of the management capability to implement and control complex manned space programs. This paper describes how the D1 project is implemented under German mission management responsibility. The major project tasks as they will be performed using German facilities, in particular all D1 unique aspects, will be addressed.
This manuscript summarizes the events leading to the first Spacelab mission dedicated exclusively to life sciences experimentation. This mission is currently planned for a Space Shuttle flight in the 1984-1985 time frame. Following publication of a NASA Announce ment of Opportunity in 1978, approximately 400 proposals were received from researchers in universities, government laboratories, and industrial firms both in the U. S. and abroad. In 1979, 87 candidate experiments were selected for definition studies to identify the detailed resources which would need to be accommodated by the Spacelab. These proposals addressed problems encountered in man's previous space flight experience, such as space motion sickness, cardiovascular deconditioning, muscle wasting, calcium loss and a reduction in red cell mass. Additionally, experiments were selected in areas of bioengineering, behavior and performance, Plant physiology, and cell biology. Animal species (rodents and small primates) to be investigated will be housed in a specially-developed animal holding facility which will provide all life support requirements for the animals. Human subjects will consist of a Mission Specialist Astronaut and up to four Payload Specialists. Plant species will be housed in Plant Growth Units. A general purpose work station and biological containment facility will provide the working area for much of the in-space experimentation. A comprehensive array of flight qualified laboratory equipment will be made available by NASA to Principal Investigators for in-flight use by the Payload Specialists. This equipment includes microscopes, biotelemetry systems, cameras, centrifuges, refrigerators, and similar equipment. All of this equipment has been designed for use in weightlessness. The process to develop a primary payload of about 20 experiments is now underway for Spacelab mission number four, the first dedicated life sciences flight. Under the overall guidance of NASA Headquarters, responsibility for carrying out this program rests with NASA and contractor scientists, physicians, engineers hind technicians at the Johnson Space Center, Ames Research Center, and the Kennedy Space Center. Spacelab-4 will be the first of a series of dedicated life sciences missions; future dedicated missions are planned at 18-month intervals.
A Wolter type I X-ray telescope, intended both for astronomical observations and to serve as a prototype module for the Large Area Modular Array of Reflectors (LAMAR) mission, is now in definition study under NASA's Spacelab program. The 5 mirror telescope presently being designed is to have a,blur circle radius of 20 arc sec rd an effective area of about 400 cm at 1/4 keV, 200 cm4 in the 0.5-2 keV range and 50 cm between 2 and 5 keV. Future expansion to a full 10 mirror telescope will approximately double these effective areas. A rotary interchange mechanism will allow either of two imaging proportional counters (IPCs) to be placed at the telescope focus; one operating between 0.15 and 2 keV and the other optimized for the 0.6 - 6 keV energy range. During flight, the telescope will utilize an instrument pointing system for a series of observations lasting from 6 minutes to several hours. This investigation has dual objectives: the primary objective is scientific and involves observational study of galactic and extragalactic X-ray sources, extending the work of the Einstein Observatory to much fainter sources and to higher energies. The second objective is to provide an assessment of the cost and improved performance of utilizing Wolter Type I X-ray optics for the LAMAR mission and to extend the technology for producing these optics to still higher angular resolution and toward lower cost.
The ultraviolet light coronagraph being developed for Shuttle by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics is described. Effects of Shuttle contaminants on ultraviolet coronagraphic observations are discussed and column densities for acceptable attenuation are provided which are generally applicable to high spectral resolution measurements in the 600 A 1700 A spectral range.