Encyclopedia Astronautica
STS-41-B



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STS-41-B
Aerial view of the Vehicle Assembly Building and associated complex
Credit: NASA
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STS-41-B
Views of the STS-11 launch from pad 39A on Feb. 3, 1984
Credit: NASA
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STS-41-B
View of the Challenger from the fixed camera in McCandless's helmet
Credit: NASA
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STS-41-B
Close-up view of Astronaut McCandless during his EVA
Credit: NASA
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STS-41-B
View of the Challenger from the fixed camera in McCandless's helmet
Credit: NASA
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STS-41-B
View of Astronaut Bruce McCandless during EVA
Credit: NASA
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STS-41-B
View of retrieval of foot restraint which strayed from Challenger
Credit: NASA
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STS-41-B
Astronauts McNair and Stewart prepare for re-entry
Credit: NASA
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STS-41-B
View of the Palapa-B and the Shuttle Challenger after deployment
Credit: NASA
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STS-41-B
View of Astronaut Bruce McCandless during EVA
Credit: NASA
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STS-41-B
Views of the extravehicular activity during STS 41-B
Credit: NASA
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Views of the extravehicular activity during STS 41-B
Credit: NASA
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Views of the extravehicular activity of Astronaut Stewart during STS 41-B
Credit: NASA
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Views of the extravehicular activity during STS 41-B
Credit: NASA
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Views of the extravehicular activity during STS 41-B
Credit: NASA
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STS-41-B
View of Astronaut Bruce McCandless during EVA
Credit: NASA
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STS-41-B
View of Astronaut Bruce McCandless during EVA
Credit: NASA
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View of Astronaut Bruce McCandless during EVA
Credit: NASA
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STS-41-B
Views of the Challenger landing at Kennedy to end shuttle mission 41-B
Credit: NASA
Crew: Brand, Gibson, McCandless, McNair, Stewart. First untethered space walk. First shuttle landing at Kennedy Space Center. Manned five crew. Deployed Westar 6, Palapa B2; tested Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU). O-ring erosion in both the right hand nozzle joint and the left SRB forward field joint.

Manned five crew. Deployed Westar 6, Palapa B2; tested Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU). Payloads: PALAPA-B2 (Indonesian communications satellite) with Payload Assist Module (PAM)-D and WESTAR (Western Union communications satellite)-Vl with PAM-D. Both satellites were deployed but the PAM-D in each satellite failed to ignite, leaving both satellites in earth orbit. Both satellites were retrieved and returned to earth for renovation on the STS-51-A mission. The manned maneuvering unit (MMU) was tested with extravehicular astronauts as free flyers without tethers as far as 98 m from the orbiter. Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS)-01 experiments, Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR), Isoelectric Focusing Experiment (lEF), Acoustic Containerless Experiment System (ACES), Cinema 360 cameras, five getaway specials (GAS), Aerodynamic Coefficient Identification (ACIP)/High Resolution Accelerom-eter Package (HIRAP).

Orbits of Earth: 127. Distance traveled: 5,329,147 km. Orbiter Liftoff Mass: 113,527 kg. Orbiter Mass at Landing: 91,278 kg. Payload to Orbit: 15,362 kg. Payload Returned: 8,620 kg. Landed at: Runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Landing Speed: 363 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 585 m. Landing Rollout: 3,296 m. EVA: Bruce McCandless and Robert Stewart. EVA No. 1 duration 5 hours, 35 minutes, EVA No. 2 duration 6 hours, 2 minutes. First flight of the manned maneuvering unit (MMU). Bruce McCandless operating time one hour, 55 minutes; Robert Stewart, 44 minutes.

NASA Official Mission Narrative

Mission Name: 41-B (10)
CHALLENGER (4)
Pad 39-A (22)
10th Shuttle mission
4th Flight OV-099
1st KSC landing

Crew:
Vance D. Brand (3), Commander
Robert L. Gibson (1), Pilot
Bruce McCandless II (1), Mission Specialist
Ronald E. McNair (1), Mission Specialist
Robert L. Stewart (1), Mission Specialist

Milestones:
OPF - Sept. 10, 1983
VAB - Jan.6, 1984
PAD - Jan. 12, 1984

Payload:
PALAPA-B2,WESTAR-6,ACES,IEF,RME,MLR(4),SSIP(x1),IRT,GAS(x5)
Mission Objectives:

Launch:
February 3, 1984, 8:00:00 a.m, EST. Launch set for Jan. 29 postponed five days while orbiter still in OPF to allow changeout of all three auxiliary power units (APUs), a precautionary measure in response to APU failures on previous STS-9 mission. Launch Weight: 250,452 lbs.
Orbit:
Altitude: 189nm
Inclination: 28.5 degrees
Orbits: 128
Duration: 7 days, 23 hours, 15 minutes, 55 seconds.
Distance: 3,311,380 miles

Hardware:
SRB: BI-010
SRM: 010MW(HPM)
ET : 10/LWT-3
MLP : 2
SSME-1: SN-2109
SSME-2: SN-2015
SSME-3: SN-2012

Landing:
February 11, 1984, 7:15:55 a.m, EST, Runway 15, Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Rollout distance: 10,815 feet. Rollout time: 67 seconds. First end-of-mission landing at KSC. Landing Weight: 201,238 lbs.

Mission Highlights:
First untethered space walks by McCandless and Stewart, using manned maneuvering unit. WESTAR-VI and PALAPA-B2 satellites deployed, but failure of Payload Assist Module-D (PAM-D) rocket motors left them in radical low-Earth orbits. German-built Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS), first flown on STS-7, became first satellite refurbished and flown again. SPAS remained in payload bay due to electrical problem with Remote Manipulator System (RMS). RMS manipulator foot restraint first used, practice procedures performed for Solar Maximum satellite retrieval and repair planned for next mission. Integrated Rendezvous Target (IRT) failed due to internal failure. Five Get Away Special canisters flown in cargo bay and Cinema-360 camera used by crew. Other payloads: Acoustic Containerless Experiment System (ACES); Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR); and Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME), and Isoelectric Focusing (IEF) payload.

AKA: Challenger.
First Launch: 1984.02.03.
Last Launch: 1984.02.11.
Duration: 7.97 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Brand Brand, Vance DeVoe (1931-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Apollo (ASTP), STS-5, STS-41-B, STS-35. More...
  • McCandless McCandless, Bruce II (1937-) American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-41-B, STS-31. Made first untethered space walk. More...
  • Gibson Gibson, Robert Lee 'Hoot' (1946-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-41-B, STS-61-C, STS-27, STS-47, STS-71. Flew combat missions over Vietnam. Was married to astronaut Rhea Seddon. More...
  • McNair McNair, Dr Ronald Erwin (1950-1986) African-American physicist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-41-B, STS-51-L. Died in Challenger accident. More...
  • Stewart Stewart, Robert Lee (1954-) American test pilot mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-41-B, STS-51-J. More...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Challenger American manned spaceplane. 10 launches, 1983.04.04 (STS-6) to 1986.01.28 (STS-51-L). More...

See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...
  • NASA Houston American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. Houston, Houston, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • STS The Space Transportation System (Space Shuttle) was conceived originally as a completely reusable system that would provide cheap, routine access to space and replace all American and civilian military launch vehicles. Crippled by technological overreach, political compromise, and budget limitations, it instead ended up costing more than the expendable rockets it was to have replaced. STS sucked the money out of all other NASA projects for half a century. The military abandoned its use after the Challenger shuttle explosion in the 1980's. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...

STS-41-B Chronology


1984 February 3 - . 13:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-11/41-B.
  • STS-41-B - . Call Sign: Challenger. Crew: Brand; Gibson; McCandless; McNair; Stewart. Payload: Challenger F04 / SPAS 1A. Mass: 15,362 kg (33,867 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Brand; Gibson; McCandless; McNair; Stewart. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-41-B. Spacecraft: Challenger. Duration: 7.97 days. Decay Date: 1984-02-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 14681 . COSPAR: 1984-011A. Apogee: 316 km (196 mi). Perigee: 307 km (190 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 90.80 min. Manned five crew. Deployed Westar 6, Palapa B2; tested Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU). Payloads: PALAPA-B2 (Indonesian communications satellite) with Payload Assist Module (PAM)-D and WESTAR (Western Union communications satellite)-Vl with PAM-D. Both satellites were deployed but the PAM-D in each satellite failed to ignite, leaving both satellites in earth orbit. Both satellites were retrieved and returned to earth for renovation on the STS-51-A mission. The manned maneuvering unit (MMU) was tested with extravehicular astronauts as free flyers without tethers as far as 98 m from the orbiter. Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS)-01 experiments, Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR), Isoelectric Focusing Experiment (lEF), Acoustic Containerless Experiment System (ACES), Cinema 360 cameras, five getaway specials (GAS), Aerodynamic Coefficient Identification (ACIP)/High Resolution Accelerom-eter Package (HIRAP).

1984 February 11 - .
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