STS-46 EURECA deployment.jpg
Atlantis's Canadarm grapples the European Space Agency's EURECA satellite, prior to its deployment
Mission typeSatellite deployment
COSPAR ID1992-049A
SATCAT no.22064
Mission duration7 days, 23 hours, 15 minutes, 3 seconds[1]
Distance travelled5,344,643 kilometres (3,321,007 mi)
Orbits completed127
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftSpace Shuttle Atlantis
Landing mass94,676 kilograms (208,725 lb)
Payload mass12,164 kilograms (26,817 lb)
Crew size7
Start of mission
Launch date31 July 1992, 13:56:48 (1992-07-31UTC13:56:48Z) UTC
Launch siteKennedy LC-39B
End of mission
Landing date8 August 1992, 13:11:50 (1992-08-08UTC13:11:51Z) UTC
Landing siteKennedy SLF Runway 33
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude425 kilometres (264 mi)
Apogee altitude437 kilometres (272 mi)
Inclination28.45 degrees
Period93.2 min
Sts-46-patch.png Sts-46 crew.jpg
Left to right - Seated: Allen, Shriver; Standing: Ivins, Nicollier, Hoffman, Chang-Diaz, Malerba
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STS-47 →

STS-46 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission using Space Shuttle Atlantis and was launched on 31 July 1992 at 9:56:48 am EDT.


Position Astronaut
Commander United States Loren J. Shriver
Third and last spaceflight
Pilot United States Andrew M. Allen
First spaceflight
Mission Specialist 1 Switzerland Claude Nicollier, ESA
First spaceflight
Mission Specialist 2 United States Marsha S. Ivins
Second spaceflight
Mission Specialist 3 United States Jeffrey A. Hoffman
Third spaceflight
Mission Specialist 4 Costa Rica/United States Franklin R. Chang-Diaz
Third spaceflight
Payload Specialist 1 Italy Franco Malerba, ASI
Only spaceflight

Backup crew

Position Astronaut
Payload Specialist 1 Italy Umberto Guidoni, ASI
First spaceflight

Crew seating arrangements

Seat[2] Launch Landing STS-121 seating assignments.png
Seats 1–4 are on the Flight Deck. Seats 5–7 are on the Middeck.
S1 Shriver Shriver
S2 Allen Allen
S3 Nicollier Hoffman
S4 Ivins Ivins
S5 Hoffman Nicollier
S6 Chang-Diaz Chang-Diaz
S7 Malerba Malerba

Mission highlights

The mission's primary objectives were the deployment of the European Space Agency's EURECA (European Retrievable Carrier) and the joint NASA/Italian Space Agency Tethered Satellite System (TSS). EURECA was deployed a day later than scheduled because of a problem with its data handling system. Seven and a half hours after deployment, the spacecraft's thrusters were fired to boost EURECA to its planned operating altitude of around 310 miles. However, thruster firing was cut to six minutes from 24 minutes because of unexpected attitude data from the spacecraft. The problem was resolved, and EURECA was successfully boosted to its operational orbit on the mission's sixth day. TSS deployment also was delayed one day because of the problems with EURECA. During deployment, the satellite reached a maximum distance of only 860 feet from the orbiter instead of the planned 12.5 miles because of a jammed tether line. After numerous attempts over several days to free the tether, TSS operations were curtailed, and the satellite was stowed for return to Earth. It would be reflown in 1996 on STS-75.

Secondary payloads included the Evaluation of Oxygen Integration with Materials/Thermal Management Processes (EOIM-III/TEMP 2A), Consortium for Materials Development in Space Complex Autonomous Payload (CONCAP II and CONCAP III), IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC), Limited Duration Space Environment Candidate Materials Exposure (LDCE), Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS), Pituitary Growth Hormone Cell Function (PHCF), and the Ultraviolet Plume Instrument (UVPI). The mission was extended by a day in order to complete scientific objectives.

STS-46 marked the 150th human spaceflight to achieve orbit.


See also


  1. ^ "STS-46". NASA. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  2. ^ "STS-46". Spacefacts. Retrieved 4 March 2014.

External links

  • NASA mission summary
  • STS-46 Video Highlights

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.