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The Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS) was a joint scientific program between NASA and the DARA, the German Space Agency. The SPAS was developed by Messerschmitt-Boelkow-Blohm (MBB) in Germany, and was employed as a reusable carrier for short-duration missions. The Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescopes (CRISTA)-SPAS was co-manifested with the third flight of the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science (ATLAS 3) on the Space Shuttle. CRISTA-SPAS was deployed from the Shuttle cargo bay using the Remote Manipulator System (RMS) and executed a series of pre-programmed mission objectives. The carrier was powered by batteries and data were stored on tape. The CRISTA-SPAS was retrieved by the RMS at the end of the mission and returned to Earth. The CRISTA-SPAS consisted of two instruments: (1) the Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescopes (CRISTA) from Germany for observing the atmospheric limb; and (2) the Middle Atmospheric High Resolution Spectrograph Investigation (MAHRSI) from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory for dayglow studies. Both CRISTA and MAHRSI were integrated into the ATLAS 3 Science Plan.

Alternate Names

  • 23341

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1994-11-04
Launch Vehicle: Shuttle
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 3260 kg

Funding Agencies

  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)
  • German Space Agency (Federal Republic of Germany)


  • Earth Science

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Prof. Dirk OffermannProject ScientistUniversitat-Gesanthochschule
Dr. Dixon M. ButlerProgram ScientistNASA Headquarters
Dr. Earl J. MontoyaProgram ManagerNASA Headquarters
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