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The First International Microgravity Mission (IML-1) was the first in a series of missions with payloads dedicated to life science and microgravity science research. It was flown aboard Space Shuttle Discovery, STS-42; it was the 45th Shuttle flight and the 15th flight of Discovery. The primary objective of IML-1 was to conduct science and technology investigations that required the low-gravity environment of space, with emphasis on experiments that studied the effects of microgravity on materials and processes and living organisms. IML-1 was a cooperative effort involving six space research institutions: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the European Space Agency (ESA), the West German Research and Development Institute for Air and Spacecraft (DLR), the French National Center for Space Studies (CNES), and the Japanese National Development Agency (NASDA). More than 200 scientists from 16 countries participated in the investigations. The crew aboard STS-42 consisted of a flight crew composed of the commander, pilot, and a mission specialist; a payload crew composed of two mission specialists; and two payload specialists. The IML-1 payload consisted of 9 materials science investigations and 7 life science experiments most of which were maintained in the onboard Spacelab Long Module. The Long Module, which measured 7 m in length and was connected to the middeck of Discovery by a 5.8 m long tunnel, contained 12 Spacelab racks (10 of which held experiments and stowage containers), and 14 overhead stowage lockers. The Orbiter middeck lockers housed additional experiments and ancillary equipment.

Alternate Names

  • International Microgravity Laboratory 1
  • IML1

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1992-01-22
Launch Vehicle: Shuttle
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 10440 kg

Funding Agencies

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (United States)
  • Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (France)
  • Canadian Space Agency (Canada)
  • Deutsche Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) (Federal Republic of Germany)
  • National Space Development Agency (NASDA) (Japan)
  • European Space Agency (International)


  • Life Science
  • Microgravity

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. R. Wayne RichieProgram ManagerNASA Headquarters
Mr. Robert O. McBrayerMission ManagerNASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Dr. Robert S. SnyderMission ScientistNASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Dr. Robert S. SokolowskiProgram ScientistNASA Headquarters
Mr. John L. FrazierDeputy Mission ManagerNASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Dr. Ronald J. WhiteProgram ScientistNASA Headquarters

Selected References

  • First International Microgravity Laboratory experiment descriptions, NASA TM-4353, First Edition, edited by T. Y. Miller, Marshall SFC, Alabama, Feb. 1992.
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