STS-29 Fact Sheet

By Cliff Lethbridge

STS-29 — Discovery

28th Space Shuttle Mission

8th Flight of Discovery


Michael L. Coats, Commander

John E. Blaha, Pilot

James F. Buchli, Mission Specialist

Robert C. Springer, Mission Specialist

James P. Bagian, Mission Specialist

Orbiter Preparations:

Tow to Orbiter Processing Facility – October 9, 1988

Rollover to Vehicle Assembly Building – January 23, 1989

Rollout to Launch Pad 39B – February 3, 1989


March 13, 1989 – 9:57:00 a.m. EST. Launch had been scheduled for February 18, 1989 but was delayed due to the replacement of suspect main engine oxidizer turbopumps in Discovery’s three main engines and a faulty master events controller. March 13 launch was delayed 1 hour, 50 minutes due to morning ground fog and upper atmosphere wind conditions.


March 18, 1989 – 6:35:50 a.m. PST at Runway 22, Edwards Air Force Base, California. Rollout distance was 9,339 feet. Rollout time was 53 seconds. Mission duration was 4 days, 23 hours, 38 minutes, 50 seconds. Landing occurred during the 80th orbit.

Mission Summary:

NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-4 (TDRS-4) was deployed to geosynchronous orbit using an Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) booster.

Secondary payloads included 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) and two SSIP experiments.

An Air Force experiment used the Shuttle as a target to calibrate ground-based optical equipment at the Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) in Hawaii. The crew also photographed Earth with a hand-held IMAX camera.