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STS 67/Astro 2



STS 67 was a US Shuttle spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral. The main cargo on board was the Astro 2 Spacelab that carried 3 UV telescopes.

Astro-2 was the second dedicated Spacelab mission to conduct astronomical observations in the ultraviolet spectral regions. It consisted of three unique instruments - the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT), the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UIT) and the Wisconsin Ultraviolet Photo-Polarimeter Experiment (WUPPE). These experiments will select targets from a list of over 600 and observed objects ranging from some inside the solar system to individual stars, nebulae, supernova remnants, galaxies and active extragalactic objects. These data will supplement data collected on the Astro-1 mission flown on STS-35 in December 1990 aboard Columbia.

Because most ultraviolet radiation is absorbed by Earth's atmosphere, it cannot be studied from the ground. The far and extreme ultraviolet region of the spectrum was largely unexplored before Astro-1, but knowledge of all wavelengths is essential to obtain an accurate picture of the universe. Astro-2 will have almost twice the duration of its predecessor, and a launch at a different time of year allows the telescopes to view different portions of the sky. The mission promises to fill in large gaps in astronomers' understanding of the universe and lay the foundations for more discovery in the future.

On the Middeck, science experiments included the Protein Crystal Growth Thermal Enclosure System Vapor Diffusion Apparatus-03 experiment (PCG-TES-03), the Protein Crystal Growth Single Thermal Enclosure System-02 (PCG-STES-02), the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment-II (SAREX-II), the Middeck Active Control Experiment (MACE), the Commercial Materials Dispersion Apparatus Instrumentation Technology Associates Experiments-03 (CMIX-03) and the Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX).

The Middeck Active Control Experiment (MACE) was a space engineering research payload. It consisted of a rate gyro, reaction wheels, a precision pointing payload, and a scanning and pointing payload that produces motion disturbances. The goal of the experiment was to test a closed loop control system that will compensate for motion disturbances. On orbit, Commander Stephen S. Oswald and William G. Gregory used MACE to test about 200 different motion disturbance situations over 45 hours of testing during the mission. Information from MACE will be used to design better control s ystems that compensate for motion in future spacecraft.

Two Get Away Special (GAS) payloads were also on board. They were the G-387 and G-388 canisters. This experiment was sponsored by the Australian Space Office and AUSPACE ltd. The objectives were to make ultraviolet observations of deep space or nearby galaxies. These observations will be made to study the structure of galactic supernova remnants, the distribution of hot gas in the Magellanic Clouds, the hot galactic halo emission, and emission associated with galactic cooling flows and jets. The two GAS canisters were interconnected with a cable. Canister 1 had a motorized door assembly that exposes a UV telescope to space when opened. UV reflective filters on the telescopes optics determined its UV bandpass. Canister 2 contained two video recorders for data storage and batteries to provide experiment power.

Alternate Names

  • 23500

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1995-03-02
Launch Vehicle: Shuttle
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 13116.0 kg

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Flight (United States)


  • Astronomy
  • Human Crew

Additional Information

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


Related Information/Data at NSSDC

Astro 2

Other Sources of STS 67 Information/Data

STS 67 information (NASA KSC)
STS 67 Press Release images (NASA JSC)

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