A long preparation

Karl Henize spent almost a decade working on a specific astronomical payload for the Space Shuttle before finally making it to orbit with that same package. A package of proposals for what became Spacelab 2 was first suggested by scientists in 1976. Henize was one of the scientists who nominated experiments for the payload, but his was not compatible and was not selected. It would have been a 0.5-m (twenty-inch) telescope, derived from his earlier work in Gemini and Apollo. Marshall Space Flight Center reviewed the proposal and selected the payload for the mission in 1977, with the first meeting of principal investigators that same year. Karl Henize was nominated as the CB representative to attend these meetings. Though he was not selected to fly the mission until 1983, he had always pretty much expected that this would be his flight... eventually.52

Once assigned to the flight, Henize, in addition to countless meetings and reviews, had a programme of payload training at JSC (five days), KSC (twenty-one days, which he deemed too much) and at Marshall (fifty-six days which, at two days a week, would take him over six months to complete). In addition, he completed over ten

The science crew for Spacelab 2 visits the University of Birmingham in England in 1983 to review some of the payload hardware being prepared there. Left to right: Back-up PS Diane Prinz , PS John-David Bartoe, PS Loren Acton, back-up PS George Simon, MS Tony England, MS Karl Henize, and Professor Peter Wilmore of the University. [Photo credit University of Birmingham.]

The science crew for Spacelab 2 visits the University of Birmingham in England in 1983 to review some of the payload hardware being prepared there. Left to right: Back-up PS Diane Prinz , PS John-David Bartoe, PS Loren Acton, back-up PS George Simon, MS Tony England, MS Karl Henize, and Professor Peter Wilmore of the University. [Photo credit University of Birmingham.]

hours a week on orbiter training for thirty-seven weeks, broken down into 110 hours for Spacelab systems; sixteen hours for entry flight operations; twenty-six hours of proximity operations; sixty-three hours operating the RMS; fourteen hours for ascent flight operations; seventeen hours for orbiter guidance, navigation and control systems; over eleven hours for DPS; thirty-eight hours for orbiter subsystems; and seventy-four hours on crew systems.53

Two of the experiments carried on Spacelab 2 originated from the United Kingdom and required the science crew to visit the UK during 1983 for familiarisation purposes. Tony England was the crew representative for the amateur (ham) radio experiment, and made a couple of visits to a group in Wales who were interested in participating during the mission. Further visits to Birmingham University and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Chilton, England, provided personal contact with those who had developed the experiments and the understanding to be able to interface with that experiment if something went wrong. The science crew also got to

The astronauts of Spacelab 2 inspect the science hardware being developed at the University of Birmingham in England. [Photo credit University of Birmingham.]

know those who would remain on the ground, a key factor in working together in the event of a system failure or problem of some kind during the mission.

Spacelab 2 was the first two-shift operation without a Spacelab laboratory module and this presented its own unique challenges. Because of the close proximity of the STS 51-G crew's training, the 51-F crew were unable to have the correct configuration of the aft flight deck in the fixed-base Shuttle Mission Simulator until after the 51-G mission had flown in June 1985. As a result, it was not possible to conduct full-on training for several complex integrated crew operations until late in the training flow. This led to a more demanding schedule for an already fatigued crew, who recommended that a second simulator should be brought on line to cope with the expected rise in launch rate and the overlapping crew training programmes.

The crew noted that Spacelab training was adequate, but the effort required was much greater than it needed to be, and there were definite weak areas. The simulators only approximated Spacelab systems, with some procedures not available until the week before the flight. However, Henize's experience and association with the Spacelab 2 payload eased the liaison between the PIs and the flight crew.

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