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Discovery April 8, 1993 – April 17, 1993 Mission Duration: 222 hrs 08 mins 24 secs (09d 06h) ITA Experiment: CMIX-2 Hardware Flown:   MDA 4 Flight Units Numerous commercial and industrial experiments including 6 student experiments as part of ITA’s Space Outreach Program Primary Mission Objective:  ATLAS-2 science platform The primary payload of the flight was the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science-2 (ATLAS-2), designed to collect data on the relationship between the sun's energy output and Earth's middle atmosphere and how these factors affect the ozone layer.  This platform was a key element of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth program to study the earth’s environment.  The crew also used the remote manipulator arm to deploy (and later retrieve) the Shuttle Point Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy-201 (SPARTAN-201), a free-flying science instrument platform designed to study velocity and acceleration of the solar wind and observe the sun's corona. The ITA CMIX-2 flew as a secondary payload in a shuttle middeck locker.
STS-56 1993 Night Launch of Discovery
STS-56 ATLAS II in payload bay
STS-56 over Maui
STS-56 the view out back window
STS-56 over Egypt and the Nile river
LAGEOS-2 Deployed
STS-56 Astronaut Ochoa Plays the flute
STS-56 Sunset over Chile
STS-56 Deployment and retrieval of the Shuttle Point Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy-201
STS-56 Shuttle Discovery Lands at KSC