STS-59 – SRL-1 – Gutierreez, Chilton, Godwin, Clifford, Apt, Jones Mission Patch NASA – Space Shuttle Patch 4 x 4 in. USED
STS-59 was a Space Shuttle program mission that took place in 1994. The launch was chronicled by the 1994 Discovery Channel special about the Space Shuttle program.
Endeavour began its sixth mission on the morning of 9 April 1994 with an on-time launch at 7:05 am Eastern time. Soon after, the six astronauts began activating the sensitive radar equipment in the payload bay that would be operated around the clock during the next ten days.
By 8 pm, the Space Radar Laboratory-1 experiments of NASA’s Mission to Planet Earth were all activated and began their study of the earth’s ecosystem.
STS-59 ground controllers finished activating the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C (SIR-C) and began processing its first images of the Earth, while engineers working with the X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (X-SAR) worked their way through some initial activation problems.
Meanwhile, the Measurement of Air Pollution from Satellite (MAPS) instrument took data on the carbon monoxide content and distribution in the atmosphere since shortly after launch.
During the initial activation of the X-SAR, controllers reported they were unable to fully power up the amplifier that provides power to the radar. The problem was in the low voltage circuit internal to the power amplifier. Engineers were not immediately able to explain the problem, so they turned off the power amplifier for about three hours. The problem was traced to an oversensitive protection circuit, a type of circuit breaker. The radar lab engineers bypassed the protection circuit and turned on the instrument at about 4:20 pm Saturday. It worked without incident, completing 100 percent of its scheduled observations overnight.
Thereafter, X-SAR controllers continued a deliberate, step-by-step check of the instrument, and successfully bounced X-band radar pulses off the Earth and recorded data. All of the instrument’s circuits recorded normal readings. The crew also activated Space Tissue Loss investigations on the middeck, and the Getaway Special experiments in the cargo bay.
STS-59 details courtesy of Wikipedia.