The Top 5 Longest Space Shuttle Flights

  Flight Date of Flight Duration of mission
1 STS - 80 Columbia Nov 19th to Dec 7th, 1996 17 days, 8 hours, 53 minutes
2 STS - 78 Columbia Jun 20th July 7th, 1996 16 days, 21 hours, 48 minutes
3 STS - 67 Endeavour Mar 2 to Mar 18th, 1995 16 days, 15 hours, 9 minutes
4 STS - 73 Columbia Oct 20th to Nov 5th, 1995 15 days, 21 hours, 53 minutes
5 STS - 90 Columbia Apr 17th to May 3rd, 1998 15 days, 21 hours, 15 minutes
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 Facts
  1. Extended duration missions began in 1992 when the orbiter Columbia, outfitted with Extended Duration Orbiter (EDO) hardware, embarked on the longest shuttle flight to date at that time, Mission STS-50. Endeavour later became the second orbiter in the fleet to be outfitted with EDO hardware for longer flights. Typical shuttle flights last about 10 days; extended duration flights initially lasted up to about 13 days and now can be approximately 16 days in length. (a.)
  2. STS stands for "Space Transportation System". (a.)
  3. Astronauts have fewer red blood cells while they are in space. Most of the iron absorbed from food goes into new red blood cells. If astronauts were to eat foods high in iron, the iron would be stored in their bodies and could cause health problems. (a.)
  4. While in orbit, the space shuttle circles the planet at some 17,500 miles (28,000 kilometres) an hour, which means that the crew sees a sunrise or sunset every 45 minutes. (b.)
  5. The last mission disaster for the space shuttle program to date was on February 1st, 2003 when STS-107 Columbia was lost during entry. Seven astronauts lost their lives. The cause of the disaster was blamed on vertical tail fin failure. The reason for the failure: apparently the left wing was hit by a piece of foam from the Space Shuttle External Tank during launch. Mission STS - 107 was the 113th Space Shuttle launch. The space shuttle program was put on hold until July 26, 2005 when missions resumed with STS-114. (a.)
Top 5 facts sources:
  1. NASA. (2011). "NASA Facts". Retrieved Jan, 2011.
  2. National Geographic. (2011). "Space Shuttle Program". Retrieved Jan, 2011 from: http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/space-exploration/space-shuttle-program.html
Tags: Space & The Universe, Science & Technology, Top 5 Longest

Sources:  Various.

List Notes: List last updated January 22, 2011.
Longest Space Shuttle Flights

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