At 337:08:53:42 G.m.t. (approximately liftoff minus 4½ minutes) during the finalcountdown for the planned launch on December 3, 1998, a master alarm wasannunciated for a Launch Commit Criteria (LCC) violation and the countdown was held atthat point (Flight Problem STS-88-V-07). The hydraulic system 1 supply pressure Bdropped to 1636 psia, well below the 2400-psia master-alarm trigger point, duringtransition from low pressure to normal pressure. The backup flight system (BFS) did notreceive the fault message because the pressure recovered prior to the second data scanbelow the lower limit. Data analysis confirmed the expected switching valve operation,and confirmed that an insufficient flow demand did not cause the pressure drop. Areview of the flight data indicated that the system 1 depressurization valve wasmomentarily energized at the time of the pressure drop. Troubleshooting and switchtests on the vehicle documented that switch tease was the most likely cause of themomentary actuation of the depressurization valve. The troubleshooting also showedthat the hydraulic system 1 depressurization switch had good stability in the normal-pressure position. Proper remote power controller (RPC) operation with the switch in thenormal-pressure position was verified on this vehicle during the STS-89 mission. Basedon the results of the data evaluation and the vehicle tests, the decision was made tomake no changes to the vehicle and fly as-is.The STS-88 mission was launched on a inclination of 51.6 degrees at 338:08:35:34.019G.m.t. (3:36 a.m. e.s.t.) on December 4, 1998, following a scrub of the first launchattempt on December 3, 1998. The ascent phase was nominal with the exception ofwater spray boiler 2, which under-cooled the auxiliary power unit (APU) 2 lubrication oil.The lubrication oil outlet temperature reached 325
F prior to the beginning of spraying.This under-cooling condition did not impact APU 2 operations during the remainder of themission.All Space Shuttle main engine (SSME) and Reusable Solid Rocket Motor (RSRM) startsequences occurred as expected and their launch performance was satisfactory in allrespects. First and second stage ascent performance was as expected. The SolidRocket Booster (SRB) separation, entry, deceleration and water impact was nominal.Both SRBs were successfully recovered and were returned to KSC for disassembly andrefurbishment.A determination of ascent propulsion performance was made using vehicle accelerationand preflight propulsion system prediction data. From these data, the average flight-derived engine specific impulse (I
) that was determined for the time period betweenSRB separation and start of 3g throttling was 453.2 seconds. This compares well withthe SSME tag value of 452.73 seconds.An orbital maneuvering subsystem (OMS) assist maneuver was performed duringascent. The maneuver was approximately 102.5 seconds in duration. The OMSperformed satisfactorily during this maneuver.The OMS-2 maneuver was performed at 338:09:19:15.7 G.m.t. [00:00:43:41.7 missionelapsed time (MET)]. The maneuver was 67.2 seconds in duration and provided adifferential velocity (
V) of 102 ft/sec. The resulting orbit was 175 by 87.2 nmi.