Silver Jubilee: Endeavour’s Missions At A Glance

Named in honour of Captain James Cook’s vessel – which explored the South Pacific and charted the coast of Australia – it was obvious from the outset that Space Shuttle Endeavour would open new horizons…and so she did. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five missions, 148 astronauts and cosmonauts flown, 296 days spent in space, 122 million miles covered, more than 4,600 Earth orbits; the list of accomplishments by NASA’s youngest Space Shuttle, Endeavour, is remarkable and astonishing. As she prepares to leave the Kennedy Space Center for the final time, bound for her retirement home at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, AmericaSpace looks back at each of her missions in brief:

In the first, and so far only, three-person EVA, astronauts Rick Hieb, Tom Akers and Pierre Thuot manhandle Intelsat 603 into Endeavour’s payload bay for the attachment of a new rocket motor. It was a dramatic start to a dramatic career. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 1: STS-49

Launch date: 7 May 1992

Flight duration: 9 days

Crew: Commander Dan Brandenstein, Pilot Kevin Chilton and Mission Specialists Rick Hieb, Bruce Melnick, Pierre Thuot, Kathy Thornton and Tom Akers

Mission objectives: Retrieval of the stranded Intelsat 603 communications satellite, installation of a new rocket motor and deployment back into orbit and EVA evaluation of Space Station assembly tasks.

STS-47’s crew included the first married couple ever to fly together into orbit. Mark Lee and Jan Davis had married during training for the mission. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 2: STS-47

Launch date: 12 September 1992

Flight duration: 8 days

Crew: Commander Robert ‘Hoot’ Gibson, Pilot Curt Brown, Payload Commander Mark Lee, Mission Specialists Jay Apt, Jan Davis and Mae Jemison and Payload Specialist Mamoru Mohri

Mission objectives: Spacelab-J, a joint flight in the life and microgravity sciences, conducted by NASA and the Japanese National Space Development Agency (NASDA). 

Astronauts Greg Harbaugh (with red stripes on the legs of his suit) and Mario Runco perform Space Station dexterity tests during STS-54. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 3: STS-54

Launch date: 13 January 1993

Flight duration: 6 days

Crew: Commander John Casper, Pilot Don McMonagle and Mission Specialists Mario Runco, Greg Harbaugh and Susan Helms

Mission objectives: Deployment of NASA’s sixth Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-F) and an EVA to practice Space Station assembly tasks. 

Astronauts Brian Duffy, Nancy Sherlock and, facing camera, Janice Voss (who died earlier this year) are pictured inside the first commercial Spacehab module during STS-57. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 4: STS-57

Launch date: 21 June 1993

Flight duration: 10 days

Crew: Commander Ron Grabe, Pilot Brian Duffy, Payload Commander David Low and Mission Specialists Nancy Sherlock (later Currie), Jeff Wisoff and Janice Voss

Mission objectives: Retrieval of Europe’s EURECA free-flying satellite, operation of experiments in the first commercial Spacehab module and an EVA to practice Space Station assembly tasks. 

Story Musgrave works at the end of Endeavour’s mechanical arm during activities to service the Hubble Space Telescope. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 5: STS-61

Launch date: 2 December 1993

Flight duration: 11 days

Crew: Commander Dick Covey, Pilot Ken Bowersox, Payload Commander Story Musgrave and Mission Specialists Kathy Thornton, Claude Nicollier, Jeff Hoffman and Tom Akers

Mission objectives: Retrieval of the Hubble Space Telescope and installation of corrective optics, new Wide Field Planetary Camera, new solar arrays and other equipment during five EVAs. 

The first Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-1) in Endeavour’s payload bay. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 6: STS-59

Launch date: 9 April 1994

Flight duration: 11 days

Crew: Commander Sid Gutierrez, Pilot Kevin Chilton, Payload Commander Linda Godwin and Mission Specialists Jay Apt, Michael ‘Rich’ Clifford and Tom Jones.

Mission objectives: This was the first Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-1), with a dedicated mission to mapping Earth’s surface using synthetic aperture radar. 

Originally scheduled for launch on 18 August 1994, STS-68 suffered an on-the-pad shutdown of her three main engines – the first time that such a Redundant Set Launch Sequencer (RSLS) abort ever befell Endeavour. Six weeks later, after extensive repairs, STS-68 finally flew. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 7: STS-68

Launch date: 30 September 1994

Flight duration: 11 days

Crew: Commander Mike Baker, Pilot Terry Wilcutt, Payload Commander Tom Jones and Mission Specialists Steve Smith, Dan Bursch and Jeff Wisoff.

Mission objectives: Second Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-2), continuing the programme of research begun by SRL-1 in a subsequent portion of the year. 

Endeavour concludes STS-67 on 18 March 1995, after 16 days and 15 hours in orbit. At the time, this secured the record for the longest Shuttle mission to date. Endeavour’s achievement was, however, twice eclipsed by her sister Columbia in July and December 1996. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 8: STS-67

Launch date: 2 March 1995

Flight duration: 17 days

Crew: Commander Steve Oswald, Pilot Bill Gregory, Payload Commander Tammy Jernigan, Mission Specialists John Grunsfeld and Wendy Lawrence and Payload Specialists Sam Durrance and Ron Parise.

Mission objectives: ASTRO-2 ultraviolet astronomy mission and the longest single flight in Endeavour’s career. 

Jim Voss performs an EVA on STS-69. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 9: STS-69

Launch date: 7 September 1995

Flight duration: 11 days

Crew: Commander Dave Walker, Pilot Ken Cockrell, Payload Commander Jim Voss and Mission Specialists Jim Newman and Mike Gernhardt.

Mission objectives: First dual satellite deployment and retrieval flight, featuring the Wake Shield Facility and SPARTAN, and an EVA to practice Space Station assembly tasks. 

Japan’s Space Flyer Unit is plucked out of orbit by Endeavour’s robot arm by Japanese Mission Specialist Koichi Wakata. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 10: STS-72

Launch date: 11 January 1996

Flight duration: 9 days

Crew: Commander Brian Duffy, Pilot Brent Jett and Mission Specialists Leroy Chiao, Winston Scott, Koichi Wakata and Dan Barry.

Mission objectives: Retrieval of Japan’s Space Flyer Unit, deployment and retrieval of OAST-Flyer satellite and two EVAs to practice Space Station assembly tasks. 

Spectacular ascent for STS-77, carrying Endeavour’s first Canadian crew member, Marc Garneau. Photo Credit: Canadian Space Agency

Mission 11: STS-77

Launch date: 19 May 1996

Flight duration: 10 days

Crew: Commander John Casper, Pilot Curt Brown and Mission Specialists Andy Thomas, Dan Bursch, Mario Runco and Marc Garneau.

Mission objectives: Scientific and technological research in the commercial Spacehab module and deployment of an inflatable antenna from a SPARTAN satellite. 

Endeavour rolls out to the launch pad, ahead of STS-89, her first and only voyage to the Mir Space Station. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 12: STS-89

Launch date: 22 January 1998

Flight duration: 9 days

Crew: Commander Terry Wilcutt, Pilot Joe Edwards and Mission Specialists Jim Reilly, Mike Anderson, Bonnie Dunbar, Salizhan Sharipov and Andy Thomas.

Mission objectives: Docking with the Mir Space Station, delivery of equipment in the Spacehab cargo module and exchange of astronauts Dave Wolf for Andy Thomas. 

Mounted atop the Orbiter Docking System (ODS) in Endeavour’s payload bay, the first two elements of the International Space Station – the US-built Unity Node (lower) and the Russian-built Zarya (upper) bring the dreams of a dozen nations together at last. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 13: STS-88

Launch date: 4 December 1998

Flight duration: 12 days

Crew: Commander Bob Cabana, Pilot Rick Sturckow and Mission Specialists Jerry Ross, Nancy Currie, Jim Newman and Sergei Krikalev.

Mission objectives: First International Space Station assembly flight, featuring three EVAs to install and activate Unity Node 1 and the Zarya control module. 

Endeavour’s first German crew member, Gerhard Thiele, peers through an overhead flight deck window during STS-99. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 14: STS-99

Launch date: 11 February 2000

Flight duration: 11 days

Crew: Commander Kevin Kregel, Pilot Dom Gorie and Mission Specialists Gerhard Thiele, Janet Kavandi, Janice Voss and Mamoru Mohri.

Mission objectives: Endeavour’s final ‘solo’ mission carried the Space Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), dedicated to advanced mapping of Earth’s surface using synthetic aperture radar and an interferometry mast extended from the payload bay. 

With STS-97, Endeavour saw the first meeting between a Shuttle Commander and an International Space Station Commander in orbit. Here, STS-97 Commander Brent Jett (left) rings the ship’s bell with his counterpart, Expedition-1 Commander Bill Shepherd. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 15: STS-97

Launch date: 30 November 2000

Flight duration: 11 days

Crew: Commander Brent Jett, Pilot Mike Bloomfield and Mission Specialists Joe Tanner, Marc Garneau and Carlos Noriega.

Mission objectives: International Space Station assembly flight, featuring EVAs to install and outfit the first port-side (P-6) solar voltaic array. 

On STS-100, Endeavour included among her crew Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian astronaut ever to perform an EVA. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 16: STS-100

Launch date: 19 April 2001

Flight duration: 12 days

Crew: Commander Kent Rominger, Pilot Jeff Ashby and Mission Specialists Chris Hadfield, John Phillips, Scott Parazynski, Umberto Guidoni and Yuri Lonchakov.

Mission objectives: International Space Station assembly flight, featuring the first EVA by a Canadian astronaut (Hadfield) to install and outfit Canada’s Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS, also known as ‘Canadarm2’). 

STS-108 astronauts Mark Kelly (left) and Dan Tani pose with a collection of miniature US flags, carried aboard Endeavour on the first post-9/11 Shuttle mission. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 17: STS-108

Launch date: 5 December 2001

Flight duration: 12 days

Crew: Commander Dom Gorie, Pilot Mark Kelly, Mission Specialists Linda Godwin and Dan Tani and International Space Station Commander Yuri Onufrienko and Flight Engineers Carl Walz and Dan Bursch.

Mission objectives: International Space Station utilisation flight, featuring an EVA, an exchange of crew members and delivery of equipment and supplies aboard the Italian-built Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM). 

On STS-111, Franklin Chang-Diaz became only the second human being to record as many as seven distinct voyages into orbit. He also performed his first career EVAs on the mission. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 18: STS-111

Launch date: 5 June 2002

Flight duration: 14 days

Crew: Commander Ken Cockrell, Pilot Paul Lockhart, Mission Specialists Philippe Perrin and Franklin Chang-Diaz and International Space Station Commander Valeri Korzun and Flight Engineers Sergei Treschev and Peggy Whitson.

Mission objectives: International Space Station utilisation flight, featuring an exchange of crew members, delivery of equipment and supplies aboard the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) and three EVAs to install and outfit the Mobile Base System (MBS). 

The landing of STS-113 on 7 December 2002 ushered in what was expected to be a new era of International Space Station operations. Little could anyone have foreseen that tragedy would engulf the fleet only weeks after this image was taken…and the Shuttle’s death knell would irrevocably sound. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 19: STS-113

Launch date: 23 November 2002

Flight duration: 14 days

Crew: Commander Jim Wetherbee, Pilot Paul Lockhart, Mission Specialists Mike Lopez-Alegria and John Herrington and International Space Station Commander Ken Bowersox and Flight Engineers Nikolai Budarin and Don Pettit.

Mission objectives: International Space Station utilisation flight, featuring an exchange of crew members and three EVAs to install and outfit the first port-side (P-1) truss segment. 

Originally selected as backup to Challenger teacher Christa McAuliffe, Barbara Morgan later underwent full NASA Mission Specialist training and flew on STS-118 in August 2007. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 20: STS-118

Launch date: 8 August 2007

Flight duration: 13 days

Crew: Commander Scott Kelly, Pilot Charlie Hobaugh and Mission Specialists Tracy Caldwell, Rick Mastracchio, Dave Williams, Barbara Morgan and Al Drew.

Mission objectives: International Space Station assembly flight, featuring EVAs to install and outfit the starboard-side (S-5) spacer truss segment. 

As well as bringing former and present Chief Astronauts Peggy Whitson and Bob Behnken (in blue shirts) together on STS-123, Endeavour was also commanded by several other chiefs of the office: Dan Brandenstein, Robert ‘Hoot’ Gibson, Bob Cabana, Ken Cockrell and Kent Rominger. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 21: STS-123

Launch date: 11 March 2008

Flight duration: 16 days

Crew: Commander Dom Gorie, Pilot Greg Johnson, Mission Specialists Bob Behnken, Mike Foreman, Takao Doi and Rick Linnehan and International Space Station Flight Engineer Garrett Reisman.

Mission objectives: International Space Station assembly flight, featuring an exchange of crew members and EVAs to install and outfit the starboard-side (S-5) spacer truss segment. 

The STS-126 crew, commanded by Chris Ferguson (far right), prepares to board the Astrovan for their ride to the launch pad. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 22: STS-126

Launch date: 14 November 2008

Flight duration: 16 days

Crew: Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Eric Boe, Mission Specialists Don Pettit, Steve Bowen, Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper and Shane Kimbrough and International Space Station Flight Engineer Sandy Magnus.

Mission objectives: International Space Station assembly flight, featuring an exchange of crew members and EVAs to install hardware and outfit the station for six-crew capability. 

Astonishing view of STS-127’s ascent on 15 July 2009. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 23: STS-127

Launch date: 15 July 2009

Flight duration: 16 days

Crew: Commander Mark Polansky, Pilot Doug Hurley, Mission Specialists Chris Cassidy, Julie Payette, Tom Marshburn and Dave Wolf and International Space Station Flight Engineer Tim Kopra.

Mission objectives: International Space Station assembly flight, featuring an exchange of crew members and EVAs to install hardware and outfit the station for six-crew capability. 

Endeavour undergoes processing for STS-130, her mission to deliver the Tranquillity Node and the Cupola. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 24: STS-130

Launch date: 8 February 2010

Flight duration: 13 days

Crew: Commander George Zamka, Pilot Terry Virts and Mission Specialists Kay Hire, Steve Robinson, Nick Patrick and Bob Behnken.

Mission objectives: International Space Station assembly flight, featuring EVAs to install hardware and outfit the Tranquillity Node and Cupola. 

Endeavour makes landfall under her own power for the final time on 1 June 2011, closing out a remarkable chapter in human space exploration. Photo Credit: NASA

Mission 25: STS-134

Launch date: 16 May 2011

Flight duration: 16 days

Crew: Commander Mark Kelly, Pilot Greg Johnson and Mission Specialists Edward ‘Mike’ Fincke, Roberto Vittori, Greg Chamitoff and Drew Feustel.

Mission objectives: International Space Station assembly flight, featuring EVAs to install equipment and outfit the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.

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