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Mission or Study ID:   STS-43
Shuttle Program
Launch/Start Date:
Landing/End Date:
9 days
STS-43 Crew Patch

The STS-43 mission was the ninth flight of the Space Shuttle Atlantis and the 42nd Space Shuttle mission. The crewmembers were Commander John E. Blaha, Pilot Michael A. Baker, and Mission Specialists Shannon W. Lucid, James C. Adamson, and G. David Low. The shuttle launched from Kennedy Space Center on August 2, 1991, carrying the fourth Tracking and Data Relay Satellite into orbit to update the satellite tracking network. This resulted in two operational satellites plus a complement of two spares in the space network. The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite system, in operation since the eighth Space Shuttle flight, provides almost uninterrupted communications with Earth-orbiting shuttles and satellites. This system is vastly superior to the intermittent coverage provided by remote ground tracking stations used during the early space program.

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.

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