Jump to content


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Atlantis's Canadarm grapples the European Space Agency's EURECA satellite, prior to its deployment.
NamesSpace Transportation System-46
Mission typeEURECA satellite deployment
COSPAR ID1992-049A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.22064
Mission duration7 days, 23 hours, 15 minutes, 3 seconds[1]
Distance travelled5,344,643 km (3,321,007 mi)
Orbits completed127
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftSpace Shuttle Atlantis
Launch mass116,134 kg (256,032 lb)
Landing mass94,676 kg (208,725 lb)
Payload mass12,164 kg (26,817 lb)
Crew size7
Start of mission
Launch dateJuly 31, 1992, 13:56:48 UTC
RocketSpace Shuttle Atlantis
Launch siteKennedy Space Center, LC-39B
ContractorRockwell International
End of mission
Landing dateAugust 8, 1992, 13:11:50 UTC
Landing siteKennedy Space Center,
SLF Runway 33
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Perigee altitude425 km (264 mi)
Apogee altitude437 km (272 mi)
Period93.20 minutes
  • Consortium for Materials Development in Space Complex Autonomous Payload (CONCAP II and CONCAP III)
  • Evaluation of Oxygen Integration with Materials/Thermal Management Processes (EOIM-III/TEMP 2A)
  • IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC)
  • Limited Duration Space Environment Candidate Materials Exposure (LDCE)
  • Pituitary Growth Hormone Cell Function (PHCF)
  • Ultraviolet Plume Instrument (UVPI)

STS-46 mission patch

Standing: Ivins, Nicollier, Hoffman, Chang-Díaz, Malerba
Seated: Allen, Shriver
← STS-50 (48)
STS-47 (50) →

STS-46 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission using Atlantis and was launched on July 31, 1992, and landed on August 8, 1992.


Position Astronaut
Commander United States Loren Shriver [a]
Third and last spaceflight
Pilot United States Andrew M. Allen
First spaceflight
Mission Specialist 1 Switzerland Claude Nicollier, ESA
First spaceflight
Mission Specialist 2 United States Marsha Ivins
Second spaceflight
Mission Specialist 3 United States Jeffrey A. Hoffman
Third spaceflight
Mission Specialist 4 Costa Rica/United States Franklin Chang-Díaz
Third spaceflight
Payload Specialist 1 Italy Franco Malerba, ASI
Only spaceflight

Backup crew[edit]

Position Astronaut
Payload Specialist 1 Italy Umberto Guidoni, ASI
First spaceflight

Crew seating arrangements[edit]

Seat[3] Launch Landing
Seats 1–4 are on the Flight Deck. Seats 5–7 are on the Middeck.
S1 Shriver Shriver
S2 Allen Allen
S3 Nicollier Hoffman
S4 Ivins Ivins
S5 Hoffman Nicollier
S6 Chang-Díaz Chang-Díaz
S7 Malerba Malerba

Mission highlights[edit]

The mission's primary objectives were the deployment of the European Space Agency's European Retrievable Carrier (EURECA) and the joint NASA/ASI (Italian Space Agency) Tethered Satellite System (TSS-1). EURECA was deployed a day later than scheduled because of a problem with its data handling system. Seven and a half hours after deployment, the spacecraft's thrusters were fired to boost EURECA to its planned operating altitude of around 500 km (310 mi). However, thruster firing was cut to six minutes from twenty-four minutes because of unexpected attitude data from the spacecraft. The problem was resolved, and EURECA was successfully boosted to its operational orbit on the mission's sixth day. TSS-1 deployment also was delayed one day because of the problems with EURECA. During deployment, the satellite reached a maximum distance of only 260 m (850 ft) from the orbiter instead of the planned 20 km (12 mi) because of a jammed tether line. After numerous attempts over several days to free the tether, TSS-1 operations were curtailed, and the satellite was stowed for return to Earth. It would be reflown in 1996 on STS-75, with astronauts Allen, Hoffman, Nicollier and Chang-Díaz also flying again on that mission.

Secondary payloads included the Evaluation of Oxygen Integration with Materials/Thermal Management Processes (EOIM-III/TEMP 2A), Consortium for Materials Development in Space Complex Autonomous Payload (CONCAP II and CONCAP III), IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC), Limited Duration Space Environment Candidate Materials Exposure (LDCE), Pituitary Growth Hormone Cell Function (PHCF), and the Ultraviolet Plume Instrument (UVPI). The mission was extended by a day in order to complete scientific objectives.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Robert L. Gibson had originally been selected to command STS-46, however, after he was involved in an air race collision, he was suspended from training for this mission.[2] Gibson would fly again on STS-47.


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  1. ^ Ryba, Jeanne (March 31, 2010). "STS-46". NASA. Retrieved February 9, 2022.
  2. ^ Harwood, William (July 9, 1990). "Two shuttle commanders disciplined, grounded". UPI Archive. Retrieved January 18, 2022. Gibson also was barred from T-38 jet trainer flights for one year while Walker was grounded for 60 days. Neither pilot will be eligible for reassignment to a shuttle mission until they are back on T-38 flight status.
  3. ^ "STS-46". Spacefacts. Retrieved March 4, 2014.

External links[edit]