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STS 29



The shuttle Discovery lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center pad 39B carrying a 5-man crew, a communications satellite and 6 onboard experiments. The 28th shuttle mission, the eighth for Discovery, was commanded by Michael L. Coats and piloted by John E. Blaha. Also onboard were mission specialists James F. Buchli, Robert C. Springer and James P. Bagian. Total liftoff weight was 2,049,888 kg, 119,269 kg of which was the orbiter and cargo. The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) was deployed 6 hrs, 13 mns after liftoff. With 2 TDRS's fully operational (F1 launched in April 1983; F3 in September 1988), STS 29/ground communications were uninterrupted over 85% of each orbit -- a fourfold improvement over pre-TDRS system shuttle flights. Following TDRS deployment (the mission's primary aim), the crew monitored experiments, assisted in calibration tests with the Air Force Maui Optical Site and filmed earth with an IMAX camera. One experiment, the Space Station Heat Pipe Advanced Radiator Element, a test of a new cooling system, failed when the cooling medium failed to move through the 15.7-m pipe. Discovery executed 5 somersaults on mission day 5 in an attempt to get the fluid moving, to no avail. The experiment is being redesigned for future flight tests. Discovery landed on Edwards AFB runway 22 at 14:36, March 18, after 4 days, 23 hrs, 39 mns in orbit.

Alternate Names

  • 19882
  • STS29

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1989-03-13
Launch Vehicle: Shuttle
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 17280 kg

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Flight (United States)


  • Human Crew

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. H. Kent Hills



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail

Related Information/Data at NSSDCA


Other Sources of STS 29 Information/Data

STS 29 information (NASA KSC)
STS 29 Press Release images (NASA JSC)

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