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Mission emblem
Mission emblem STS-104
Mission dates
Mission: STS-104
COSPAR-ID : 2001-028A
Crew: 5
Begin: July 12, 2001, 09:03:59  UTC
Starting place: Kennedy Space Center , LC-39B
Space station: ISS
Coupling: July 14, 2001, 03:08:00 UTC
Decoupling: July 22, 2001, 04:54:00 UTC
Duration on the ISS: 8d 1h 46min 0s
Landing: July 25, 2001, 03:38:55 UTC
Landing place: Kennedy Space Center, Lane 15
Flight duration: 12d 18h ​​34min 56s
Earth orbits: 200
Track height: 226 - 444 km
Covered track: 8.5 million km
Payload: Airlock Quest
Team photo
v.  l.  No.  seated in front: Charles Hobaugh, Steven Lindsey;  standing in the back: Michael Gernhardt, Janet Kavandi, James Reilly
v. l. No. seated in front: Charles Hobaugh, Steven Lindsey; standing in the back: Michael Gernhardt, Janet Kavandi, James Reilly
◄ Before / After ►
STS-100 STS-105

STS-104 ( english S pace T ransportation S ystem ) is the mission designation for a flight of the US Space Shuttle Atlantis (OV-104) of NASA . The launch took place on July 12, 2001. It was the 105th space shuttle mission, the 24th flight of the space shuttle Atlantis and the 10th flight of a shuttle to the International Space Station (ISS).


Mission overview

The highest priority on this flight was the delivery and installation of an airlock christened Quest . The Canadarm2 manipulator arm supplied with the STS-100 was used to safely move the 6.5 tonne system. To connect the lock to the energy and cooling system as well as the assembly of external tanks, 3 exits were made from the shuttle.

Mission history

After a problem-free start, the Atlantis docked with the International Space Station on July 14th. The main task of the five-person shuttle crew was the assembly of the US exit module Quest at the Unity node (starboard side). Quest is a 6064 kg module with a volume of 34 cubic meters that serves as an exit lock for outboard work. It is made of aluminum, has a total length of 5.5 meters and a largest diameter of 4.0 meters and can be used by both US and Russian space travelers. Quest consists of two sections. In the first, larger device section, the space travelers prepare to exit, put on their suits and test their correct function. After the exit, maintenance work on the suits is also carried out here. This includes charging the batteries and refilling the oxygen tanks. The second, slimmer section is the actual airlock. Before the outer hatch is opened, the air is evacuated into a tank using special vacuum pumps. Otherwise, this part of the module corresponds to the locks previously used in US shuttles. Two large oxygen and two nitrogen tanks were installed on the outside of the lock. They have a diameter of 0.9 m, a mass of 545.4 kg each, are made of carbon fiber composite material, hold 0.42 cubic meters of high-pressure gas and are equipped with a multi-layered meteorite protection. In addition, the lock module has platforms and brackets as well as power and communication connections.

Lock module Quest

The module was installed on July 15th. First, a protective cap and several covers were removed from the coupling bolts and the power supply for the internal heating of the lock module. The module was then lifted out of the loading bay with the station's manipulator and maneuvered to the intended coupling point. The exiting space travelers Gernhardt and Reilly (5:59 h) served as pilots. In addition, Voss and Helms, who operated the control panel of the manipulator in the Destiny laboratory module , were able to orientate themselves using video images. After coupling the module, it was connected to the power supply and to the station's cooling circuit. Then several covers and the brackets for the gas tanks to be attached outside were installed.

During the second outboard operation by Gernhardt and Reilly on July 18 (6:29 hours), two oxygen tanks and one nitrogen tank were attached to the outside of the crew section of the Quest lock module. The second nitrogen tank was installed on July 21st. The two astronauts (Gernhardt and Reilly, 4:02 h) got out of the station's new airlock for the first time. They also inspected a swivel joint on a solar cell panel and a measuring device (floating potential probe) during this outboard operation.

After docking the lock module, its correct connection was checked before the hatch to the station was opened for the first time. It showed that cooling water had leaked. The crew spent several hours sealing the leak and performing the necessary cleaning work. A defective valve between Unity and Quest was later replaced. Due to the problems, the Atlantis visit was extended by one day and the third exit was postponed.

Other important tasks of the Atlantis crew were the delivery of supplies and water for the station. In addition, another experiment was brought to the ISS with PCG-EGN ( Protein Crystal Growth - Enhanced Gaseous Nitrogen Dewar). At the same time, three experiments were transported back to Earth. This included the defective Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA) and the PCG-STES crystallization apparatus (units 9 and 10). With the completed AdvAsc (Advanced Astroculture) biosystem, a complete growth cycle was completed from sowing the seeds to obtaining new ones.

After uncoupling, the Atlantis flew around the station, taking detailed photographs of the lock module. The routine scientific examinations of the STS-104 mission included medical tests for the reactivation of viruses latent in the astronauts' organism , for the function of the immune system, and for the effects of sleep interruptions on alertness and mental performance. Due to the bad weather at the landing site, the flight was extended by another day.

See also

Web links

Commons : STS-104  - album with pictures, videos and audio files