Launch from Cape Canaveral (KSC
landing on Edwards AFB
. Originally the launch was planned for November
03, 1994. Due to bad weather at the emergency landing places in Portugal, Spain
and Morocco the launch was delayed.
STS-66 carried out the mission "ATLAS
-3". It continued the series of Spacelab flights
to study the energy of the sun and how it affects the Earth's climate and
means Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications
and Sciences. The
-03 mission made the first detailed measurements
from the Shuttle of the Northern Hemisphere's middle atmosphere in late fall.
The timing of the flight, when the Antarctic ozone hole is diminishing, allowed
scientists to study possible effects of the ozone hole on mid-latitudes, the
way Antarctic air recovers, and how the northern atmosphere changes as the
winter season approaches.
The crew of the Atlantis deployed the
platform and retrieved it after a freeflight of
of more than eight days. It was mounted on the Shuttle Pallet Satellite, the
payload was designed to explore the variability of the atmosphere and provide
measurements that will complement those obtained by the Upper Atmosphere
Research Satellite launched aboard Discovery in 1991.
(Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometer Telescope for
Atmosphere) instrument gathered first global information about medium and small
scale disturbances in trace gases in middle atmosphere, which could lead to
better models of the atmosphere and Earth's energy balance.
was a joint U.S./German experiment. Experiments
in the areas of solar and atmospheric physics were done. For retrieval of
, a different approach method to the spacecraft
was successfully tested as prelude to upcoming U.S. Shuttle/Russian Space
Station MIR docking flights. Called R-Bar approach, it is expected to save
propellant while reducing risk of contamination to Mir systems from orbiter
thruster jet firings
Due to high winds and rain showers at Cape
Canaveral STS-66 was diverted to the Edwards