Life sciences experiments performed during the STS-43 mission were those classified as Detailed Supplementary Objectives (DSOs). A DSO is a NASA-sponsored investigation performed by Space Shuttle crewmembers, who also serve as test subjects. These studies are designed to require minimal crew time, power and stowage. Biomedical DSOs focus on operational concerns, including space motion sickness, cardiovascular deconditioning, muscle loss, changes in coordination and balance strategies, radiation exposure, pharmacokinetics and changes in the body's biochemistry.
Other payloads carried on board STS-43 included the Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet instrument, the Space Station Heat Pipe Advanced Radiator Element-II, the Optical Communications Through the Shuttle Window, Auroral Photography Experiment-B, Bioserve-Instrumentation Technology Associates Materials Dispersion Apparatus, Investigation into Polymer Membrane Processing experiment, Protein Crystal Growth-III experiment, Space Acceleration Measurement System, Solid Surface Combustion Experiment, and the Tank Pressure Control experiment.
The Space Shuttle Atlantis landed at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on August 11, 1991. This was the first scheduled landing at KSC since STS-61C in January 1986, which was diverted to Edward's Air Force Base in California.