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1993 s54 TDRS-F.jpg
Endeavour deploys the TDRS-F satellite.
NamesSpace Transportation System-53
Mission typeTDRS-F satellite deployment
COSPAR ID1993-003A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.22313
Mission duration5 days, 23 hours, 38 minutes, 19 seconds
Distance travelled4,000,000 km (2,500,000 mi)
Orbits completed96
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftSpace Shuttle Endeavour
Launch mass0 kg (0 lb)
Landing mass92,988 kg (205,003 lb)
Payload mass18,559 kg (40,916 lb)
Crew size5
Start of mission
Launch dateJanuary 13, 1993, 13:59:30 UTC
RocketSpace Shuttle Endeavour
Launch siteKennedy Space Center, LC-39B
ContractorRockwell International
End of mission
Landing dateJanuary 19, 1993, 13:37:47 UTC
Landing siteKennedy Space Center,
SLF Runway 33
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Perigee altitude302 km (188 mi)
Apogee altitude309 km (192 mi)
Inclination28.45 degrees
Period90.60 minutes
  • Commercial General Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGPA)
  • Chromosome and Plant Cell Division
  • Diffuse X-ray Spectrometer (DXS)
  • Physiological and Anatomical Rodent Experiment (PARE)
  • Space Acceleration Measurement Equipment (SAMS)
  • Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE)
STS-54 mission patch
Sts-54 crew.jpg
Runco, Casper, McMonagle, Helms, Harbaugh
← STS-53 (52)
STS-56 (54) →

STS-54 was a NASA Space Transportation System (Space Shuttle) mission using Space Shuttle Endeavour. This was the third flight for Endeavour, and was launched on January 13, 1993 with Endeavour returning to the Kennedy Space Center on January 19, 1993.


Position Astronaut[1]
Commander John Casper
Second spaceflight
Pilot Donald R. McMonagle
Second spaceflight
Mission Specialist 1 Mario Runco Jr.
Second spaceflight
Mission Specialist 2 Gregory J. Harbaugh
Second spaceflight
Mission Specialist 3 Susan Helms
First spaceflight

Mission highlights[edit]

Harbaugh and Runco during the EVA

The primary payload was the fifth TDRS satellite, TDRS-F, which was deployed on day one of the mission.[2] It was later successfully transferred to its proper orbit by the Inertial Upper Stage (IUS).[3] Also carried into orbit in the payload bay was a Hitchhiker experiment called the Diffuse X-ray Spectrometer (DXS). This instrument collected data on X-ray radiation from diffuse sources in deep space.[4]

Other middeck payloads to test the effects of microgravity included the Commercial General Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGPA) for-life sciences research; the Chromosome and Plant Cell Division in Space Experiment (CHROMEX) to-study plant growth; the Physiological and Anatomical Rodent Experiment (PARE) to examine the skeletal system and the adaptation of bone to space flight; the Space Acceleration Measurement Equipment (SAMS) to measure and record the microgravity acceleration environment of middeck experiments; and the Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE) to measure the rate of flame spread and temperature of burning filter paper.[1]

Also, on day five, mission specialists Mario Runco Jr. and Gregory J. Harbaugh spent nearly 5 hours in the open cargo bay performing a series of space-walking tasks designed to increase NASA's knowledge of working in space. They tested their abilities to move about freely in the cargo bay, climb into foot restraints without using their hands and simulated carrying large objects in the microgravity environment. The EVA completed after 4 hours, 28 minutes.[1]

The EVA was a late addition to the mission plan as part of NASA's objectives to hone EVA skills required for hardware assembly anticipating the International Space Station.[5]

The mission completed on January 19, 1993 with a landing at Kennedy Space Center.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "STS-54 Endeavour". Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  2. ^ "TDRS-F". Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  3. ^ "Space Shuttle STS-54 Mission Archives". NASA. Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  4. ^ "Diffuse X-ray Spectrometer (DXS)". Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  5. ^ Evans, Ben (January 15, 2018). "'Tumbling Off Into Space': 25 Years Since Endeavour's Vanilla-to-Chocolate STS-54 Mission". AmericaSpace. Retrieved December 26, 2022.

External links[edit]