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Mission insignia

Mission statistics
Launch pad: 39-A
Launch: April 29,1985,12:02:18 p.m. EDT
Landing: May 6, 1985,9:11:04 a.m. PDT, Runway 17, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif
Duration:Seven days zero hours, eight minutes, 46 seconds
Orbit altitude:222 nautical miles (411 km)
Orbit inclination: 57.0 degrees
Distance traveled:2,890,383 miles (4,651,621 km)
Crew photo
L-R: Gregory, Overmyer, Lind, Thagard, Thornton, Wang, van den Berg
L-R: Gregory, Overmyer, Lind, Thagard, Thornton, Wang, van den Berg

STS 51-B was the seventeenth flight of a Space Shuttle and the seventh flight of Challenger.


Mission parameters

Mission highlights

The Orbiter Challenger lifted off from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, KSC, at 12:02 p.m. EDT on April 29, 1985. This was the second flight of the Spacelab, the first in a fully operational configuration. Spacelab capabilities for multi-disciplinary research in microgravity were successfully demonstrated. The gravity gradient attitude of the orbiter proved quite stable, allowing the delicate experiments in materials processing and fluid mechanics to proceed normally. The crew operated in two 12 h shifts. Two monkeys and 24 rodents were flown in special cages, the first time American astronauts have flown with live mammals aboard. The astronaut experimenters in orbit were supported 24 hours a day by a temporary Payload Operations Control Center, located at the Johnson Space Center. Challenger landed at Edwards AFB. Wheel motion stopped at 12:11 p.m. EDT on May 6, 1985, after a mission duration of 7 days, 0 hours and 8 minutes . The crew members were Robert F. Overmyer, commander; Frederick D. Gregory, pilot; Don L. Lind, Norman E. Thagard and William E. Thornton, mission specialists; and Lodewijk van den Berg, of EG&G Energy Management, Inc., and Taylor G. Wang, of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, payload specialists. Payload and Experiments. Spacelab 3 carried a large number of experiments, including 15 primary ones, of which 14 were successfully performed. There were five basic discipline areas—materials sciences, life sciences, fluid mechanics, atmospheric physics, and astronomy—with numerous experiments in each. Two Getaway Special experiments required that they be deployed from their canisters, a 'first' in this program. These were NUSAT (Northern Utah Satellite) and GLOMR (Global Low Orbiting Message Relay Satellite). NUSAT deployed successfully, but GLOMR did not deploy and was returned to Earth.

Primary payload was Spacelab-3. First operational flight for Spacelab orbital laboratory series developed by European Space Agency. Five basic discipline areas: materials sciences, life sciences, fluid mechanics, atmospheric physics. and astronomy main mission objective with Spacelab-3 was to provide high quality microgravity environment for delicate materials processing and fluid experiments. Two monkeys and 24 rodents observed for effects of weightlessness. Of 15 Spacelab primary experiments conducted, 14 considered successful. Two Get Away Specials on board.

See also

External links

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