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STS-85 Discovery - Flown Insulation Blanket
Item #: FLOWN-STS85-DISCOVERY

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STS-85 Discovery - Flown Insulation Blanket

12" x 8" Launch Presentation

This Flown Insulation Blanket presentation depicts the Space Shuttle Discovery lifting off from the launch pad. STS-85 was a Space Shuttle Discovery mission to perform multiple space science packages. It was launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 7 August 1997.

  • Flown Piece of Thermal Insulation Blanket
  • Interesting Information Sheet about the Shuttle
  • Copies of the Original NASA Scrap Tags
  • Comes with a Certificate of Authenticity


  • The deployment and retrieval of a satellite designed to study Earth's middle atmosphere along with a test of potential International Space Station hardware highlighted NASA's sixth Shuttle mission of 1997. The prime payload for the flight, the Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescopes for the Atmosphere-Shuttle Pallet Satellite-2 (CRISTA-SPAS-2) made its second flight on the Space Shuttle (previous flight STS-66 in 1994) and was the fourth mission in a cooperative venture between the German Space Agency (DARA) and NASA.

    During the flight, Davis used Discovery's robot arm to deploy the CRISTA-SPAS payload for about 9 days of free-flight. CRISTA-SPAS consists of three telescopes and four spectrometers that measured trace gases and dynamics of the Earth's middle atmosphere. Davis also operated the robot arm for CRISTA-SPAS retrieval. The Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS) on which the scientific instruments were mounted is a self-contained platform that provides power, command, control and communication with Discovery during free-flight.

    Two other instruments mounted on the SPAS also studied the Earth's atmosphere. The Middle Atmosphere High Resolution Spectrograph Instrument (MAHRSI) measured hydroxyl and nitric oxide by sensing UV radiation emitted and scattered by the atmosphere, while the Surface Effects Sample Monitor (SESAM) was a passive carrier for state-of-the-art optical surfaces to study the impact of the atomic oxygen and the space environment on materials and services.

    The crew also supported the Manipulator Flight Demonstration (MFD) experiment being sponsored by NASDA, the Japanese Space Agency. MFD consists of three separate experiments located on a support truss in the payload bay. The primary objective was to demonstrate the newly designed dexterous robot arm in the space environment, before installing on the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) of the International Space Station.

    Several Hitchhiker payloads, including the Technology Applications and Science Payload (TAS-01), the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker (IEH-02), and the Ultraviolet Spectrograph Telescope for Astronomical Research (UVSTAR) were housed in Discovery's payload bay, operating independently of crew support during the flight.

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STS-85 Discovery - Flown Insulation Blanket