Discovery launches on STS-53
|Mission type||Satellite deployment|
|Mission duration||7 days, 07 hours, 19 minutes, 17 seconds|
|Distance travelled||4,800,000 kilometres (3,000,000 mi) approx.|
|Spacecraft||Space Shuttle Discovery|
|Landing mass||87,565 kilograms (193,048 lb)|
|Payload mass||11,860 kilograms (26,150 lb)|
|Members||David M. Walker
Robert D. Cabana
Guion S. Bluford
Michael R. Clifford
James S. Voss
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||2 December 1992, 13:24:00UTC|
|Launch site||Kennedy LC-39A|
|End of mission|
|Landing date||9 December 1992, 20:43:17UTC|
|Landing site||Edwards Runway 22|
|Perigee||365 kilometres (227 mi)|
|Apogee||376 kilometres (234 mi)|
|Commander||David M. Walker
|Pilot||Robert D. Cabana
|Mission Specialist 1||Guion S. Bluford
|Mission Specialist 2||Michael R. Clifford
|Mission Specialist 3||James S. Voss
Discovery carried a classified primary payload for the United States Department of Defense, two unclassified secondary payloads and nine unclassified middeck experiments.
Discovery's primary payload, USA-89 NSSDC ID 1992-086B is also known as "DoD-1", and was the shuttle's last major payload for the Department of Defense. The satellite was the third launch of a Satellite Data System-2 military communications satellite, after USA-40 on STS-28 and STS-38's deployment of USA-67.
Secondary payloads contained in or attached to Get Away Special (GAS) hardware in the cargo bay included the Orbital Debris Radar Calibration Spheres (ODERACS) and the combined Shuttle Glow Experiment/Cryogenic Heat Pipe Experiment (GCP).
Middeck experiments included Microcapsules in Space (MIS-l); Space Tissue Loss (STL); Visual Function Tester (VFT-2); Cosmic Radiation Effects and Activation Monitor (CREAM); Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME-III); Fluid Acquisition and Resupply Experiment (FARE); Hand-held, Earth-oriented, Real-time, Cooperative, User-friendly, Location-targeting and Environmental System (HERCULES); Battlefield Laser Acquisition Sensor Test (BLAST); and the Cloud Logic to Optimize Use of Defense Systems (CLOUDS).
The five stars and three stripes of the insignia symbolize the flight's numerical designation in the Space Transportation System's mission sequence.
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