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STS-53 launch.jpg
Discovery is launched on STS-53
Mission type Satellite deployment
Operator NASA
COSPAR ID 1992-086A
SATCAT № 22259
Mission duration 7 days, 07 hours, 19 minutes, 17 seconds
Distance travelled 4,800,000 kilometres (3,000,000 mi) approx.
Orbits completed 116
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft Space Shuttle Discovery
Landing mass 87,565 kilograms (193,048 lb)
Payload mass 11,860 kilograms (26,150 lb)
Crew size 5
Members David M. Walker
Robert D. Cabana
Guion S. Bluford
Michael R. Clifford
James S. Voss
Start of mission
Launch date 2 December 1992, 13:24:00 (1992-12-02UTC13:24Z) UTC
Launch site Kennedy LC-39A
End of mission
Landing date 9 December 1992, 20:43:17 (1992-12-09UTC20:43:18Z) UTC
Landing site Edwards Runway 22
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Perigee 365 kilometres (227 mi)
Apogee 376 kilometres (234 mi)
Inclination 57.0 degrees
Period 92.0 min
STS-53 patch.svg

Sts-53 crew.jpg
Left to right - Front: Bluford, Voss; Back: Walker, Cabana, Clifford

Space Shuttle program
← STS-52 STS-54

STS-53 was a Space Shuttle Discovery mission in support of the United States Department of Defense. The mission was launched on 2 December 1992 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida.


Position Astronaut
Commander David M. Walker
Third spaceflight
Pilot Robert D. Cabana
Second spaceflight
Mission Specialist 1 Guion S. Bluford
Fourth and Last spaceflight
Mission Specialist 2 Michael R. Clifford
First spaceflight
Mission Specialist 3 James S. Voss
Second spaceflight

Mission highlights

Discovery carried a classified primary payload for the United States Department of Defense, two unclassified secondary payloads and nine unclassified middeck experiments.

Discovery's primary payload, USA-89 NSSDC ID 1992-086B is also known as "DoD-1", and was the shuttle's last major payload for the Department of Defense. The satellite was the third launch of a Satellite Data System-2 military communications satellite, after USA-40 on STS-28 and STS-38's deployment of USA-67.

Secondary payloads contained in or attached to Get Away Special (GAS) hardware in the cargo bay included the Orbital Debris Radar Calibration Spheres (ODERACS) and the combined Shuttle Glow Experiment/Cryogenic Heat Pipe Experiment (GCP).

Middeck experiments included Microcapsules in Space (MIS-l); Space Tissue Loss (STL); Visual Function Tester (VFT-2); Cosmic Radiation Effects and Activation Monitor (CREAM); Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME-III); Fluid Acquisition and Resupply Experiment (FARE); Hand-held, Earth-oriented, Real-time, Cooperative, User-friendly, Location-targeting and Environmental System (HERCULES); Battlefield Laser Acquisition Sensor Test (BLAST); and the Cloud Logic to Optimize Use of Defense Systems (CLOUDS).

Mission insignia

The five stars and three stripes of the insignia symbolize the flight's numerical designation in the Space Transportation System's mission sequence.

See also

External links

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