Encyclopedia Astronautica
SPAS



10061197.jpg
STS-7
Challenger's RMS arm grasps SPAS-01 during proximity operations
Credit: NASA
10061217.jpg
STS-7
Full view of Challenger in space taken by the SPAS satellite
Credit: NASA
10061218.jpg
STS-7
Full views of Challenger in space taken by the SPAS satellite
Credit: NASA
10061222.jpg
STS-7
Full views of Challenger in space taken by the SPAS satellite
Credit: NASA
American military strategic defense satellite. 6 launches, 1983.06.18 (SPAS-01) to 1997.08.07 (CRISTA).

The SPAS (Shuttle Pallet Satellite) satellite was a reusable free-flying vehicle built by Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm, which could be deployed and then retrieved by the US Space Shuttle's Remote Manipulator System arm.

The original SPAS, with materials processing and SDI-related sensor payloads, was used on several missions (STS-7, STS-11, STS-39). An experiment-carrying truss (USS) based on the original SPAS structure (but without the avionics and attitude control) was flown on the Spacelab D-1 and D-2 missions.

ORFEUS-SPAS, the Orbiting and Retrievable Far and Extreme UV Spectrometer, was a German astronomical satellite. It was be deployed by the shuttle remote manipulating system arm and retrieved after six days of free flight. The main instrument was a 1 meter telescope with extreme ultraviolet (400-1150 Angstroms) and far ultraviolet (900-1250 Angstrom) spectrometers of high spectral resolution. Also carried was the Princeton Interstellar Medium Absorption Profile Spectrograph which studied the fine structure of ultraviolet absorption lines in stellar spectra caused by interstellar gas. The ORFEUS program was managed by the German space agency.

CRISTA-SPAS, equipped for observation of the earth's atmosphere, was flown on two missions.

AKA: Shuttle Pallet Satellite).
Gross mass: 3,230 kg (7,120 lb).
First Launch: 1983.06.18.
Last Launch: 1997.08.07.
Number: 6 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Shuttle The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Shuttle American winged orbital launch vehicle. The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. Redesign of the shuttle with reliability in mind after the Challenger disaster reduced maximum payload to low earth orbit from 27,850 kg to 24,400 kg. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • MBB German manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm GmBh, Munich, Germany. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Report (Internet Newsletter), Harvard University, Weekly, 1989 to Present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Shuttle and ISS Mission Press Kits and News Releases, NASA, 1981-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA GSFC Orbital Parameters,
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC39B Shuttle, Saturn V, Saturn I launch complex. LC39A and LC39B, part of the Kennedy Space Center, were built on Merritt Island (north/northwest of the Cape) to support the Saturn V/Apollo lunar landing program in 1963-1966. The sites were modified in the last half of the 1970s to support the manned Space Shuttle program. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC39A Shuttle, Saturn V launch complex. LC39A and LC39B, part of the Kennedy Space Center, were built on Merritt Island (north/northwest of the Cape) to support the Saturn V/Apollo lunar landing program. The sites were modified in the last half of the 1970s to support the manned Space Shuttle program. Construction began in December 1963. Complex 39A was completed on 4 October 1965. Complex 39A supported two unmanned and nine manned Saturn V/Apollo missions between 9 November 1967 and 8 December 1972. The site also supported the launch of the Skylab space station on 14 May 1973. Both complexes were modified to support Space Shuttle missions later on. Complex 39A supported the first Space Shuttle launch on 12 April 1981. More...

SPAS Chronology


1983 June 18 - . 11:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-7.
  • SPAS-01 - . Payload: Challenger F2 / SPAS 1. Nation: USA. Agency: MBB. Class: Military. Type: Strategic defense satellite. Spacecraft: SPAS. Decay Date: 1983-06-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 14142 . COSPAR: 1983-059F. Apogee: 300 km (180 mi). Perigee: 295 km (183 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 90.50 min. Ten experiments mounted on Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS-01) performed research in forming metal alloys in microgravity and use of remote sensing scanner. Orbiter's small control rockets fired while SPAS-01 held by remote manipulator system to test movement on extended arm.

1984 February 3 - . 13:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle 41-B.
  • SPAS 1A - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Class: Military. Type: Strategic defense satellite. Spacecraft: SPAS. Decay Date: 1984-02-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 14681 . COSPAR: 1984-011xx. Apogee: 294 km (182 mi). Perigee: 270 km (160 mi). Inclination: 28.6000 deg. Period: 90.20 min. Summary: German-built Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS), first flown on STS-7, became first satellite refurbished and flown again. SPAS remained in payload bay due to electrical problem with Remote Manipulator System (RMS)..

1991 April 28 - . 11:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-39.
  • SPAS-II - . Payload: SPAS. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Class: Military. Type: Strategic defense satellite. Spacecraft: SPAS. COSPAR: 1991-031xx. Apogee: 263 km (163 mi). Perigee: 248 km (154 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 89.60 min. Summary: Shuttle Pallet Satellite-II (SPAS-II) experiments were carried out on this classified mission. No details on whether SPAS was released or nature of experiments..

1993 September 12 - . 11:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-51.
  • ORFEUS-SPAS - . Payload: ASTRO-SPAS 01. Mass: 3,202 kg (7,059 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: DARA. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: SPAS. Decay Date: 1993-09-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 22798 . COSPAR: 1993-058C. Apogee: 331 km (205 mi). Perigee: 301 km (187 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 90.90 min. Summary: Deployed from STS-51..

1994 November 3 - . 16:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-66.
  • CRISTA-SPAS - . Mass: 3,260 kg (7,180 lb). Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Class: Earth. Type: Atmosphere satellite. Spacecraft: SPAS. Decay Date: 1994-11-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 23341 . COSPAR: 1994-073B. Apogee: 309 km (192 mi). Perigee: 294 km (182 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 90.55 min. Summary: Released by STS-66 11/4/94; retrieved 11/12/95; atmospheric research..

1997 August 7 - . 14:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-85.
  • CRISTA - . Payload: ASTRO-SPAS. Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Manufacturer: Bremen. Class: Earth. Type: Atmosphere satellite. Spacecraft: SPAS. Decay Date: 1997-08-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 24890 . COSPAR: 1997-039B. Apogee: 296 km (183 mi). Perigee: 282 km (175 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 90.30 min. Summary: Recaptured August 16..

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use