STS-72 Fact Sheet

By Cliff Lethbridge

STS-72 — Endeavour

74th Space Shuttle Mission

10th Flight of Endeavour


Brian Duffy, Commander

Brent W. Jett, Jr., Pilot

Daniel T. Barry, Mission Specialist

Leroy Chiao, Mission Specialist

Winston E. Scott, Mission Specialist

Kiochi Wakata, Mission Specialist

Orbiter Preparations:

Tow to Orbiter Processing Facility – September 18, 1995

Rollover to Vehicle Assembly Building – November 30, 1995

Rollout to Launch Pad 39B – December 6, 1995


January 11, 1996 – 4:41:00 a.m. EST. Launch was delayed 23 minutes due to communications glitches between various ground sites and to avoid a potential collision with orbiting space debris.


January 20, 1996 – 2:41:41 a.m. EST at Runway 15, Kennedy Space Center. Rollout distance was 8,770 feet. Rollout time was 66 seconds. Mission duration was 8 days, 22 hours, 1 minute, 47 seconds. Landing occurred during the 141st orbit.

Mission Summary:

The orbiting Japanese Space Flyer Unit (SFU) was retrieved using the Shuttle’s remote manipulator system. The scientific satellite was launched on March 18, 1995 aboard a Japanese H-2 rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center.

The Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology-Flyer (OAST-Flyer) scientific platform was deployed to a distance of about 45 miles from Endeavour. It was retrieved after conducting two days of “free-flying” experiments.

OAST-Flyer tested a satellite’s exposure to contamination, the space-based potential of the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite array, laser ordnance devices and amateur radio communications technology.

On January 15, 1996 astronauts Chiao and Barry conducted a spacewalk lasting 6 hours, 9 minutes to evaluate a new portable work platform and a rigid umbilical, both of which may be employed in space station construction operations.

On January 17, 1996 astronauts Chiao and Scott conducted a spacewalk lasting 6 hours, 54 minutes to again test the portable work platform, plus a utility box designed to hold avionics and fluid line connectors. Scott also evaluated his spacesuit’s warmth in a severe cold environment.

Additional payloads included the Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SSBUV) instrument to measure ozone concentrations in the upper atmosphere. A Hitchhiker carrier held the Shuttle Laser Altimeter-01 (SLA-01)/GAS payload.

SLA-01 remote sensors accurately measured the distance between the Shuttle and the earth’s surface. Five other GAS canisters held a variety of experiments.

Other payloads included the Physiological and Anatomical Rodent Experiment/National Institutes of Health-Rodents (PARE/NIH-R3) rodent experiments and Space Tissue Loss/National Institutes of Health-C (STL/NIH-C5) to study microgravity’s effects on bone, muscle and cells.

Also flown were the Protein Crystal Growth-Single Locker Thermal Enclosure (PCG-STES) to grow high-quality protein crystals and the Commercial Protein Crystal Growth-8 (CPCG-8) payload which grew crystals of a new form of recombinant human insulin.