Encyclopedia Astronautica
STS-51-C



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STS-51-C
Launch of Shuttle Discovery and the STS 51-C mission
Credit: NASA
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STS-51-C
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
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STS-51-C
Astronaut Ellison Onizuka eating with chopsticks on the middeck
Credit: NASA
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STS-51-C
Astronauts Onizuka and Shriver pose in middeck
Credit: NASA
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STS-51-C
Mission Specialist Ellison Onizuka seated at commander's station
Credit: NASA
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STS-51-C
Landing of the shuttle Discovery at end of STS 51-C mission
Credit: NASA
Crew: Buchli, Mattingly, Onizuka, Payton, Shriver. First shuttle military mission. Manned five crew. Deployed USA 8 (Aquacade ELINT spacecraft). Experienced blow-by in both nozzle joints and erosion and blow-by in two case joints.

Manned five crew. Deployed USA 8 (Aquacade ELINT spacecraft). Orbits of Earth: 48. Landed at: Runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Landing Speed: 342 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 839.00 m. Landing Rollout: 2,240.00 m. Payloads: Department of Defence classified payloads.

NASA Official Mission Narrative

Mission Name: 51-C (15)
DISCOVERY (3)
Pad 39-A (27)
15th Shuttle mission
3rd Flight OV-103
4th KSC landing

Crew:
Thomas K. Mattingly II (3), Commander
Loren J. Shriver (1), Pilot
Ellison S. Onizuka (1), Mission Specialist 1
James F. Buchli (1), Mission Specialist 2
Gary E. Payton (1), Payload Specialist 1

Milestones:
OPF - Nov. 16,1984
VAB - Dec. 21, 1984
PAD - Jan. 5,1985

Payload:
DoD 85-1
Mission Objectives:

Launch:
January 24, 1985, 2:50:00 p.m. EST. Launch Jan. 23 scrubbed due to freezing weather conditions. (Orbiter CHALLENGER scheduled for Mission 51-C, but thermal tile problems forced substitution of Discovery.) Launch Weight: 250,891 lbs
Orbit:
Altitude: 220nm
Inclination: 28.5 degrees
Orbits: 49
Duration: 3 days, 1 hour, 33 minutes, 23 seconds.
Distance: 1,250,000 miles

Hardware:
SRB: BI-015
SRM: 015LW(HPM)
ET : 14/LWT-7
MLP : 1
SSME-1: SN-2109
SSME-2: SN-2018
SSME-3: SN-2012

Landing:
January 27, 1985, 4:23:23 p.m. EST, Runway 15, Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Rollout distance: 7,352 feet. Rollout time: 50 seconds. Landing Weight: classified.

Mission Highlights:
First mission dedicated to Department of Defense. U.S. Air Force Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) booster deployed and met mission objectives.

AKA: Discovery.
First Launch: 1985.01.24.
Last Launch: 1985.01.27.
Duration: 3.06 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Mattingly Mattingly, Thomas Kenneth II 'Ken' (1936-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Apollo 16, STS-4, STS-51-C. More...
  • Shriver Shriver, Loren James (1944-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-51-C, STS-31, STS-46. Grew up in Paton, Iowa. More...
  • Buchli Buchli, James Frederick 'Jim' (1945-) American test pilot mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-51-C, STS-61-A, STS-29, STS-48. Grew up in Fargo, North Dakota. More...
  • Onizuka Onizuka, Ellison Shoji (1946-1986) American test engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-51-C, STS-51-L. Died in Challenger accident. More...
  • Payton Payton, Gary Eugene (1948-) American engineer military spaceflight engineer astronaut. Flew on STS-51-C. More...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Discovery American manned spaceplane. 39 launches, 1984.08.30 to 2011.02.24. 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-51-C Chronology


1985 January 24 - . 19:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-20/51-C.
  • STS-51-C - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Buchli; Mattingly; Onizuka; Payton; Shriver. Payload: Discovery F03 / Magnum 1 [IUS]. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Buchli; Mattingly; Onizuka; Payton; Shriver. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-51-C. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 3.06 days. Decay Date: 1985-01-27 . USAF Sat Cat: 15496 . COSPAR: 1985-010A. Apogee: 341 km (211 mi). Perigee: 332 km (206 mi). Inclination: 28.4000 deg. Period: 91.30 min. Manned five crew. Deployed USA 8 (Aquacade ELINT spacecraft). Orbits of Earth: 48. Landed at: Runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Landing Speed: 342 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 839.00 m. Landing Rollout: 2,240.00 m. Payloads: Department of Defence classified payloads.

1985 January 27 - .
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