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STS 40/SLS 1



The first shuttle mission dedicated to life sciences began at 13:25, June 5, when Columbia lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center Pad 39B. The orbiter also carried 12 Get Away Specials and 7 NASA Orbiter Experiments. The crew itself was the focal point for the Spacelab Life Science (SLS-1) research to determine the causes of space sickness and note physical changes in microgravity conditions. The crew consisted of Commander Bryan D. O'Connor, Pilot Sidney M. Gutierrez, Mission Specialists James P. Bagian, Tamara E. Jernigan, Margaret R. Seddon, and Payload Specialists F. Drew Gaffney and Millie Highes-Fulford. The human crew was accompanied by 29 white rats and 2,500 jellyfish. The astronauts entered the Spacelab module 3 hrs, 44 mns into the flight, kicking off a rigorous work schedule in which they poked, prodded, spun, weighed, sampled, squeezed and monitored. It was the most concentrated life science research conducted in orbit since Skylab; the crew achieved 140% of mission goals. On flight day 2, concern was raised that torn insulation in the cargo bay might prevent the doors from closing. That unease was dispelled and a proposed spacewalk to make repairs was not needed. The 9-day, 2-hr, 14-mn mission ended on Edwards AFB runway 22 at 15:39, June 14.

Alternate Names

  • 21399
  • STS40/SLS1

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1991-06-05
Launch Vehicle: Shuttle
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 11767 kg

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Flight (United States)


  • Life Science
  • Human Crew

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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