Mission: Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-4 (TDRS-4)
Space Shuttle: Discovery
Launch Pad: 39B
Launch Weight: 256,357 pounds
Launched: March 13, 1989, 9:57:00 a.m. EST
Landing Site: Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Landing: March 18, 1989, 6:35:50 a.m. PST
Landing Weight: 194,789 pounds
Rollout Distance: 9,339 feet
Rollout Time: 53 seconds
Mission Duration: 4 days, 23 hours, 38 minutes, 50 seconds
Returned to Kennedy Space Center: March 24, 1989
Orbit Altitude: 184 nautical miles
Orbit Inclination: 28.5 degrees
Miles Traveled: 2 million
Image above: STS-29 Crew photo with Commander Michael L. Coats, Pilot John E. Blaha, Mission Specialists James P. Bagian, James F. Buchli and Robert C. Springer. Image Credit: NASA
The launch manifested for February 18 was reassessed for a late February/early March launch to replace suspect liquid oxygen turbopumps on Discovery's three main engines and faulty master events controller. The launch on March 13 was delayed 1 hour, 50 minutes due to morning ground fog and upper winds.
The primary payload, Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-4 (TDRS-4) which was attached to an Inertial Upper Stage (IUS), became the third TDRS to be deployed. After deployment, the IUS propelled the satellite to a geosynchronous orbit. Secondary payloads: Orbiter Experiments Autonomous Supporting Instrumentation System-1 (OASIS-1); Space Station Heat Pipe Advanced Radiator Experiment (SHARE); Protein Crystal Growth (PCG); Chromosomes and Plant Cell Division (CHROMEX); two Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSIP) experiments; and Air Force experiment using orbiter as calibration target for ground-based experiment for Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) in Hawaii. Crew also photographed Earth with a hand-held IMAX camera.
Five astronauts composed the STS-29 crew. Standing (left ot right) are James P. Bagian, mission specialist 1; Robert C. Springer, mission specialist 3; and James F. (Jim) Buchli, mission specialist 2. Seated (left to right) are John E. Blaha, pilot, and Michael L. Coats, commander. STS-29 launched aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery on March 13, 1989 at 9:57 am (EST). The primary payload was the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite- 4 (TDRS-4).
James P. Bagian, STS-29 mission specialist, gets in some training in 1988 on the operation of one of the IMAX cameras for his flight aboard Discovery.
STS-29 mission onboard photo depicts the External Tank (ET) falling toward the ocean
after separation from the Shuttle orbiter Discovery. Credit: NASA
STS-29 :: March 13-18, 1989
The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) was deployed into Earth’s orbit from space shuttle Discovery during the STS-29 mission, launched on March 13. Commanding the mission was Michael L. Coats, and his crew was Pilot John E. Blaha and Mission Specialists James P. Bagian, James F. Buchli and Robert C. Springer. Discovery landed at Edwards Air Force Base on March 18.
S29-11-024 (13-18 March 1989) --- Astronaut Michael L. Coats, STS-29 commander, stretches across the forward flight deck of the space shuttle Discovery during a rare moment of leisure on the busy five-day mission. Photo credit: NASA
Frams von STS-29 Discovery Mission NASA-Video: