After a problem-free ride into orbit, O'Connor and Gutierrez fired the Shuttle's OMS engines for two minutes to establish their spacecraft in a 260 x 240 km orbit, inclined 39 degrees to the equator. ''Thanks for a great ride,'' O'Connor told Mission Control. ''We appreciate it.'' Normally, the first few hours of any mission are a flurry of activity, and this one was no exception; but on most Spacelab missions, which operate a dual-shift system, half of the crew generally scurries to the middeck to begin their first sleep period very soon after reaching orbit.
That did not happen on STS-40, which operated just a single-shift system,
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