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Outline of the Mission
Major Accomplishments of STS-79
Real time Radiation Monitoring Device (RRMD)
Crew of STS-79
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Outline of the Mission


National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) has performed Space Radiation Environment Measurement Experiment in September 1996. Real time Radiation Monitoring Device (RRMD) on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-79) which was launched on September 16 was used and the experiment was terminated on 26 September. This experiment was planned for the purpose of applying its results for planning the measures used to avoid the effect of space radiation in the International Space Station (ISS) by monitoring the space radiation environment under similar orbital environment as the ISS.

Shuttle/Mir mission is being promoted as the first step of the International Space Station (ISS) with the primary effort by USA and Russia. The purpose of this mission is to mitigate the technical risks of constructing and operating the ISS prior to the actual activities by checking technical issues, extracting problems and accumulating international space activities experiences. Shuttle/Mir mission activities include docking Space Shuttle with Russian Space Station Mir and to navigate cooperatively each other, transferring crew and supplying goods from Shuttle, performing extravehicular activities (EVA) by astronauts from both countries and promoting scientific researches which are inevitable prior to the utilization activities of the ISS.

From 1995 through 1998 nine missions have been assigned for Shuttle/Mir mission, and STS-79 is the one of them.

Mission summary of STS-79
Orbiter Atlantis (17th flight)
Launch date and time September 16 1996 4:54 a.m. (EDT)
Launch site NASA Kennedy Space Center
Initial orbital altitude 300km
Orbital inclination 51.6 degrees
Orbital period 90 min
Mission duration 10days 3hr 19min
Landing date and time September 26 1996 8:13 a.m. (EDT)
Landing site NASA Kennedy Space Center

Major Accomplishments of STS-79


Space radiation measurement was conducted by RRMD aboard STS-79 on the scheduled orbit of the International Space Station. Of radiation particles, those which are heavier than carbon were selected as objects of priority measurement of radiation doses. As a result, it was found that the absorbed dose rate in the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) zone is far much more higher than those in other zones, and that the incidence of high-energy space radiation increases at the time of passage above the polar proximity zone. An experiment was also conducted on the biological effect by space radiation using such specimens as colitis germs and genetic DNA. The finding of this experiment reconfirmed the experiment result obtained on the FMPT mission to the effect that a specific ferment activator is required for repair of DNA damages by space radiation.

Last Updated : March 27, 1998


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