Encyclopedia Astronautica

STS-31 Discovery, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 103, lifts off from KSC LC Pad 39B
Credit: NASA
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
STS-31 crew monitors Hubble Space Telescope (HST) from OV-103's flight deck
Credit: NASA
STS-31 MS Sullivan wearing EMU prepares for contingency EVA in OV-103 airlock
Credit: NASA
STS-31 Mission Specialist (MS) Sullivan dons EMU in OV-103's airlock
Credit: NASA
Hubble Space Telescope (HST) above OV-103's PLB during STS-31 deployment
Credit: NASA
Hubble Space Telescope Deploy, Eastern Cuba, Haiti
Credit: NASA
STS-31 Hubble Space Telescope (HST) (SA & HGA deployed) is grappled by RMS
Credit: NASA
STS-31 Hubble Space Telescope (HST) drifts away from OV-103's RMS
Credit: NASA
STS-31 Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is released by RMS over Andes Mountains
Credit: NASA
Sun glint and Florida Peninsula, USA
Credit: NASA
Thunderstorm, Texas Gulf Coast, USA
Credit: NASA
Eastern Egypt, Red Sea and Saudi Arabia
Credit: NASA
West Coast, United States and Mexico
Credit: NASA
Crew: Bolden, Hawley, McCandless, Shriver, Sullivan. Deployed HST (Hubble Space Telescope).

Deployed HST (Hubble Space Telescope). Payloads: Deployment of Hubble Space Telescope, IMAX camera in payload bay and in crew compartment, Protein Crystal Growth III-03, Investigation Into Polymer Membrane Process-ing- 01, Air Force Maui Optical Site-05, Radiation Monitoring Equipment III-01, Student Experiment 82-16, and Ascent Particle Monitor 01.

Orbits of Earth: 76. Distance traveled: 3,328,466 km. Orbiter Liftoff Mass: 112,993 kg. Orbiter Mass at Landing: 85,780 kg. Payload to Orbit: 13,005 kg. Payload Returned: 2,162 kg. Landed at: Concrete runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base, Cali. Landing Speed: 328 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 393 m. Landing Rollout: 2,704 m.

NASA Official Mission Narrative

Mission Name: STS-31 (35)
Pad 39-B (14)
35th Shuttle mission
10th Flight OV-103

Loren J. Shriver (2), Commander
Charles F. Bolden, Jr. (2), Pilot
Steven A. Hawley (3), Mission Specialist 1
Bruce McCandless II (2), Mission Specialist 2
Kathryn D. Sullivan (2), Mission Specialist 3

OPF - Dec. 5, 1989
VAB - March 5, 1990
PAD - March 15, 1990

Mission Objectives:

April 24, 1990, 8:33:51 a.m, EDT. Launch scheduled for April 18, then April 12, then April 10, following Flight Readiness Review (FRR). First time date set at FRR was earlier than that shown on previous planning schedules. Launch April 10 scrubbed at T-4 minutes due to faulty valve in auxiliary power unit (APU) number one. APU replaced and payload batteries recharged. Countdown briefly halted at T-31 seconds when computer software failed to shut down a fuel valve line on ground support equipment. Engineers ordered valve to shut and countdown continued. Launch Weight: 249,109 lbs.
Altitude: 330nm
Inclination: 28.45 degrees
Orbits: 80
Duration: 5 days, 1 hour, 16 minutes, 6 seconds.
Distance: 2,068,213 miles

SRB: BI-037
SRM: 360Q/W010
ET : 34/LWT-27
MLP : 2
SSME-1: SN-2011
SSME-2: SN-2031
SSME-3: SN-2107

April 29, 1990, 6:49:57 a.m. PDT, Runway 22, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Rollout distance: 8,874 feet. Rollout time: 61 seconds. First use of carbon brakes at landing. Orbiter returned to KSC on May 7,1990. Landing Weight: 189,118 lbs.

Mission Highlights:
Primary payload, Hubble Space Telescope, deployed in a 380- statute-mile orbit. Secondary payloads: IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC) to document operations outside crew cabin and hand-held IMAX camera for use inside crew cabin; Ascent Particle Monitor (APM) to detect particulate matter in payload bay; Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) to provide data on growing protein crystals in microgravity; Radiation Monitoring Equipment III (RME III) to measure gamma ray levels in crew cabin; Investigations into Polymer Membrane Processing (IPMP) to determine porosity control in microgravity environment; Shuttle Student involvement program (SSIP) experiment to study effects of near-weightlessness on electrical arcs, and Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) experiment.

AKA: Discovery.
First Launch: 1990.04.24.
Last Launch: 1990.04.29.
Duration: 5.05 days.

More... - Chronology...

Associated People
  • McCandless McCandless, Bruce II (1937-) American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-41-B, STS-31. Made first untethered space walk. More...
  • Shriver Shriver, Loren James (1944-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-51-C, STS-31, STS-46. Grew up in Paton, Iowa. More...
  • Bolden Bolden, Charles Frank Jr 'Charlie' (1946-) African-American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-61-C, STS-31, STS-45, STS-60. More...
  • Sullivan Sullivan, Dr Kathryn Dwyer 'Kathy' (1951-) American geologist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-41-G, STS-31, STS-45. Geologist, first American woman to walk in space. As of 1999 Ms Sullivan was Director of the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio. More...
  • Hawley Hawley, Dr Steven Alan (1951-) American astronomer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-41-D, STS-61-C, STS-31, STS-82, STS-93. Was married to astronaut Sally Ride. More...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Discovery American manned spaceplane. 39 launches, 1984.08.30 to 2011.02.24. More...

See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...
  • NASA Houston American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. Houston, Houston, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • STS The Space Transportation System (Space Shuttle) was conceived originally as a completely reusable system that would provide cheap, routine access to space and replace all American and civilian military launch vehicles. Crippled by technological overreach, political compromise, and budget limitations, it instead ended up costing more than the expendable rockets it was to have replaced. STS sucked the money out of all other NASA projects for half a century. The military abandoned its use after the Challenger shuttle explosion in the 1980's. More...

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...

STS-31 Chronology

1990 April 24 - . 12:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-31R.
  • STS-31 - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Bolden; Hawley; McCandless; Shriver; Sullivan. Payload: Discovery F10 / Hubble Space Telescope. Mass: 13,005 kg (28,671 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bolden; Hawley; McCandless; Shriver; Sullivan. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-31. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 5.05 days. Decay Date: 1990-04-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 20579 . COSPAR: 1990-037A. Apogee: 615 km (382 mi). Perigee: 585 km (363 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 96.70 min. Deployed HST (Hubble Space Telescope). Payloads: Deployment of Hubble Space Telescope, IMAX camera in payload bay and in crew compartment, Protein Crystal Growth III-03, Investigation Into Polymer Membrane Process-ing- 01, Air Force Maui Optical Site-05, Radiation Monitoring Equipment III-01, Student Experiment 82-16, and Ascent Particle Monitor 01.

1990 April 29 - .
Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use