Author Topic: What Spacelab missions were cancelled due to Shuttle/Mir?  (Read 2552 times)

Offline nethegauner

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In the 90s, a number of Spacelab missions was cancelled in order to create flight opportunities for the Shuttle/mir program. I know of the following Spacelabs (both modules and pallets) that at one point were planned to occur during the period of the S/MMs -- and then disappeared from the manifest:


I know that SLS-04 flew as Neurolab and that SL-D3 and SL-E1 are the same mission -- a mission that was cancelled due to budgetary reasons. But what about the others? Were they victims of the S/MMs? Are there more cancelled Spacelab flights not on the list?

Edit: I have a feeling that STS-78/LMS was a combined SLS-03/MSL-02. Can anyone confirm that?

Offline Ben E

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RE: What Spacelab missions were cancelled due to Shuttle/Mir?
« Reply #1 on: 12/21/2005 12:13 PM »
STS-78, the LMS mission, was actually a combination of SLS-3 and IML-3, flying a mixture of life and microgravity science experiments. Many of LMS' experiments - including the Bubble Drop and Particle Unit and the Advanced Protein Crystallisation Facility - were originally scheduled for a subsequent IML. After IML-2, it was realised that - other than MSL-1 - there would be a conspicuous 'gap' in Spacelab research flights before the ISS.

There was, I believe, also a USMP-5 planned, although this was upgraded and for a time renamed the Microgravity Science Payload (MSP-1). I could be wrong here, but I think it might have flown on one of the "research missions" pencilled-in for Columbia in the late 1990s.

The Shuttle High Energy Astrophysics Laboratory (SHEAL), originally scheduled for 1992, was 'kind-of' cancelled, although its constituent parts - the Broad-Band X-Ray Telescope and the Diffuse X-Ray Spectrometer - were split up and put onto different missions: BBXRT onto STS-35 and DXS onto STS-54. The SDI's Starlab laser-tracking mission was cancelled and there was also a Spacelab-E2, which, according to the Shuttle manifest published on April 28th 1993, was assigned to STS-106/Atlantis in August 1999. I have heard a hint of something called the Space Plasma Laboratory (SPL), as a pallet-only payload, but have found little else out about that one.

Originally, the intention was to fly ATLAS missions every year throughout the Sun's 11-year cycle of activity, but that was later reduced to flying SSBUV every so often. I don't know how much the SMM project influenced the cancellation of those flights. Purely academic now, of course, but interesting.

Going back to pre-Challenger days, there was an ASTRO-2 mission planned for January 1987 and an ASTRO-3 mission planned for July 1987. Actually, Payload Specialists were named for both missions: after flying ASTRO-1 together in March 1986, Sam Durrance and Ron Parise would each have flown with Ken Nordsieck - Parise on ASTRO-2 and Durrance on ASTRO-3. Nordsieck, I believe, would have flown both ASTRO-2 and ASTRO-3 - so all three would have gotten two missions apiece in less than a year. Also, there was a plan to refly the solar telescopes from Spacelab-2 on a mission called SUNLAB sometime late in 1987. The backup Spacelab-2 Payload Specialists - Dianne Prinz (now deceased) and George Simon - would have flown on that mission.