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The space shuttle’s cargo bay is more than just a shipping container. It’s also a workspace for spacewalkers. (NASA)

The Truck

Satellites, experiments, space station parts - the space shuttle hauled it all.

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(Continued from page 1)

Three of NASA’s four Great Observatories rode to orbit in the space shuttle. The Hubble Space Telescope went up in April 1990, followed by the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory in April 1991, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory in July 1999. (The fourth, the Spitzer Space Telescope, went up in 2003 on a Delta rocket.) Chandra was the heaviest of the four at 43,000 pounds, which included a 30,000-pound double upper stage.

    Shuttle Primary Payloads
  • Aerodynamic Coefficient Identification Package
  • Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications Experiment
  • Plant Lignification Experiment
  • Electrophoresis Verification Test
  • Monodisperse Latex Reactor
  • German Shuttle Pallet Satellite
  • INSAT
  • Spacelab
  • Westar
  • Palapa-B
  • Magnum Satellite (DOD)
  • Long-Duration Exposure Facility
  • Satellite Business Systems
  • Earth Radiation Budget Satellite
  • Telesat
  • Telstar 3
  • Arabsat
  • American Satellite Company
  • AUSSAT
  • Morelos
  • Satcom Ku
  • Defense Satellite Communications System (DOD)
  • Tracking and Data Relay Satellites
  • Lacrosse 1 Reconnaissance Satellite (DOD)
  • Magellan
  • Satellite Data System (DOD)
  • Galileo
  • Magnum Reconnaissance Satellite (DOD)
  • Syncom IV
  • Misty Reconnaissance Satellite (DOD)
  • Hubble Space Telescope
  • Ulysses
  • Ultraviolet Astronomy Telescope
  • Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory
  • Infrared Background Signature Survey
  • Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite
  • Defense Support Program Satellite
  • International Microgravity Laboratory
  • Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science
  • U.S. Microgravity Laboratory
  • Tethered Satellite System
  • Laser Geodynamic Satellite
  • Advanced Communications Technology Satellite
  • Wake Shield Facility
  • Space Radar Laboratory
  • Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment
  • KidSat
  • Shuttle Pointed Research Tool for Astronomy
  • Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescopes for the Atmosphere
  • Neurolab
  • Chandra X-Ray Observatory
  • Shuttle Radar Topography Mission
  • Space Experiment Module 8
  • Space Station
  • Solar Arrays
  • Mobile Base System
  • Starboard-zero Central Integrated Truss Structure
  • Joint Airlock and High-Pressure Gas Tanks
  • Space Station Remote Manipulator System (Canadarm 2)
  • Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Raffaello
  • Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Leonardo
  • U.S. Laboratory Destiny
  • Pressurized Mating Adapter n Z1 Truss
  • SPACEHAB
  • U.S. Node Unity
  • U.S. Node Harmony
  • European Laboratory Columbus
  • Dextre Robotics System
  • Japanese Kibo Logistics Module
  • Japanese Remote Manipulator System
  • Kibo Pressurized Module
  • Port Truss Structures
  • Starboard Truss Structures
  • Kibo Japanese Experiment Logistics Module Exposed Section
  • Kibo Japanese Experiment Module Exposed Facility
  • Light-weight
  • Multi-Purpose Experiment Support Structure Carrier
  • EXPRESS Logistics Carrier
  • Cupola
  • U.S. Node Tranquility
  • Multi-Purpose Logistics Module
  • Russian Mini- Research Module Rassvet

Paul Hoversten is the executive editor of Air & Space/Smithsonian.

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