Encyclopedia Astronautica
STS-61-A



10062509.jpg
STS-61-A
Launch of the shuttle Challenger and beginning of STS 61-A mission
Credit: NASA
10062510.jpg
STS-61-A
STS 61-A crewmembers in Spacelab D-1 science module
Credit: NASA
10062513.jpg
STS-61-A
Astronauts Hartsfield and Nagel on the forward flight deck
Credit: NASA
10062514.jpg
STS-61-A
Astronaut Bonnie Dunbar preparing to perform bio-medical test
Credit: NASA
10062517.jpg
STS-61-A
STS 61-A crewmembers in Spacelab D-1 science module
Credit: NASA
Crew: Bluford, Buchli, Dunbar, Furrer, Hartsfield, Messerschmid, Nagel, Ockels. Record crew size aboard a single spacecraft. First Dutch astronaut. Manned eight crew. Launched GLOMR; carried Spacelab D1. Six of the eight crew members were divided into a blue and red team working 12-hour shifts. Experienced O-ring erosion.

Manned eight crew. Launched GLOMR; carried Spacelab D1. Payloads: Spacelab D-1 with habitable module and 76 experiments. Six of the eight crew members were divided into a blue and red team working 12-hour shifts for 24-hour-a-day operation. The remaining two crew members were 'switch hitters.'.

Orbits of Earth: 111. Distance traveled: 4,682,148 km. Orbiter Liftoff Mass: 110,568 kg. Orbiter Mass at Landing: 97,144 kg. Payload to Orbit: 14,451 kg. Payload Returned: 14,383 kg. Landed at: Runway 17 dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, . Landing Speed: 376 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 557 m. Landing Rollout: 2,531 m.

NASA Official Mission Narrative

Mission Name: 61-A (22)
CHALLENGER (9)
Pad 39-A (34)
22nd Shuttle mission
9th Flight OV-099

Crew:
Henry W. Hartsfield, Jr.(3), Commander
Steven R. Nagel (3), Pilot
James F. Buchli (2), Mission Specialist 1
Guion S. Bluford, Jr.(2), Mission Specialist 2
Bonnie J. Dunbar (1), Mission Specialist 3
Reinhard Furrer (1), Payload Specialist 1
Ernst Messerschmid (1), Payload Specialist 2
Wubbo J. Ockeis (1), Payload Specialist (ESA) 3

Milestones:
OPF - Aug. 12,1985
VAB - Oct. 12,1985
PAD - Oct. 16,1985

Payload:
SPACELAB-D1,GLOMAR
Mission Objectives:

Launch:
October 30, 1985, 12:00:00 noon EST. Launch proceeded as scheduled with no delays. Launch Weight: 243,762 lbs.
Orbit:
Altitude: 207nm
Inclination: 57.0 degrees
Orbits: 112
Duration: 7 days, 0 hours, 44 minutes, 51 seconds.
Distance: miles

Hardware:
SRB: BI-022
SRM: L022(HPM)
ET : 24/LWT-17
MLP : 1
SSME-1: SN-2023
SSME-2: SN-2020
SSME-3: SN-2021

Landing:
November 6,1985,9:44:51 a.m. PST, Runway 17, Edwards Air Force Base. Calif. Rollout distance: 8,304 feet. Rollout time: 49 seconds. Mission duration: Orbiter returned to KSC Nov. 11, 1985. Landing Weight: 214,171 lbs.

Mission Highlights:
Dedicated German Spacelab (D-1) mission conducted in long module configuration, which featured Vestibular Sled designed to give scientists data on functional organization of human vestibular and orientation systems. Spacelab D-1 encompassed 75 numbered experiments, most performed more than once. Mission included basic and applied microgravity research in fields of materials science, life sciences and technology, and communications and navigation. Though orbiter controlled from Johnson Space Center, scientific operations controlled from German Space Operations Center at Oberpfaffenhofen, near Munich. Other objectives: Global Low Orbiting Message Relay (GLOMR) satellite deployed from Get Away Special canister.

AKA: Challenger.
First Launch: 1985.10.30.
Last Launch: 1985.11.06.
Duration: 7.03 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Hartsfield Hartsfield, Henry Warren Jr 'Hank' (1933-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-4, STS-41-D, STS-61-A. More...
  • Furrer Furrer, Dr Reinhard Alfred (1940-1995) Austrian physicist payload specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-61-A. Died in an airplance crash. More...
  • Bluford Bluford, Dr Guion Steward Jr 'Guy' (1942-) African-American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-8, STS-61-A, STS-39, STS-53. First African-American in space. Flew 144 combat missions in Vietnam. More...
  • Messerschmid Messerschmid, Dr Ernst Willi (1945-) German physicist payload specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-61-A. 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...
  • Ockels Ockels, Dr Wubbo Johannes (1946-) Dutch physicist payload specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-61-A. First Dutch astronaut. More...
  • Nagel Nagel, Steven Ray (1946-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-51-G, STS-61-A, STS-37, STS-55. Was married to astronaut Linda Godwin. More...
  • Dunbar Dunbar, Dr Bonnie Jeanne (1949-) American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-61-A, STS-32, STS-50, STS-71, STS-89. Engineer. Was married to astronaut Ronald Sega. 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-61-A Chronology


1985 October 30 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-29/61-A.
  • STS-61-A - . Call Sign: Challenger. Crew: Bluford; Buchli; Dunbar; Furrer; Hartsfield; Messerschmid; Nagel; Ockels. Payload: Challenger F09 / GLOMR 1. Mass: 14,451 kg (31,859 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bluford; Buchli; Dunbar; Furrer; Hartsfield; Messerschmid; Nagel; Ockels. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-61-A. Spacecraft: Challenger. Duration: 7.03 days. Decay Date: 1985-11-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 16230 . COSPAR: 1985-104A. Apogee: 331 km (205 mi). Perigee: 319 km (198 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 91.00 min. Manned eight crew. Launched GLOMR; carried Spacelab D1. Payloads: Spacelab D-1 with habitable module and 76 experiments. Six of the eight crew members were divided into a blue and red team working 12-hour shifts for 24-hour-a-day operation. The remaining two crew members were 'switch hitters.'.

1985 November 6 - .
Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use