AKA: Challenger;Spacelab 3. Launched: 1985-04-29. Returned: 1985-05-06. Number crew: 7 . Duration: 7.01 days.
Payloads: Spacelab-3 experiments, habitable Spacelab and mission peculiar experiment support structure. The experiments represented a total of five different disciplines: materials processing in space, environmental observations, life science, astrophysics, and technology experiments. Two getaway specials (GAS). The flight crew was split into gold and silver shifts working 12-hour days during the flight.
Orbits of Earth: 110. Distance traveled: 4,651,620 km. Orbiter Mass at Landing: 96,370 kg. Payload to Orbit: 14,245 kg. Payload Returned: 14,198 kg. Landed at: Runway 17 dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, . Landing Speed: 378 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 480 m. Landing Rollout: 2,535 m.
NASA Official Mission Narrative
Mission Name: 51-B (17)
Pad 39-A (29)
17th Shuttle mission
7th Flight OV-O99
Robert F. Overmyer (2), Commander
Frederick D. Gregory (1), Pilot
Don L. Lind (1), Mission Specialist 1
Norman E. Thagard (2), Mission Specialist 2
William E. Thornton (2), Mission Specialist 3
Lodewijk van den Berg (1), Payload Specialist 1
Taylor G. Wang (1), Payload Specialist 2
OPF - Oct. 13,1984
VAB - Feb. 10,1985
PAD - Feb. 15,1985
Flow B (rollback):
VAB - March 4,1985
OPF - March 7, 1985
VAB - April 10,1985
PAD - April 15, 1985
April 29,1985,12:02:18 p.m. EDT. Flight first manifested as 51-E; rolled back from pad due to timing problem with TDRS-B payload. Mission 51-E cancelled; orbiter remanifested with 51-B payloads. Launch April 29 delayed two minutes,18 seconds due to a launch processing system failure. Launch Weight: 246,880 lbs.
Inclination: 57.0 degrees
Duration: Seven days zero hours, eight minutes, 46 seconds.
Distance: 2,890,383 miles
ET : 17/LWT-10
MLP : 2
May 6, 1985,9:11:04 a.m. PDT, Runway 17, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Rollout distance: 8.317 feet. Rollout time: 59 seconds. First Crosswind Landing. Orbiter returned to KSC May 11,1985. Landing Weight: 212,465 lbs.
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.
Artist concept of Spacelab in orbiter cargo bay with horizon
Lift-off of shuttle Challenger and mission STS 51-B
Aurora over the Southern Hemisphere
Astronaut Norman Thagard rests on middeck while other team is on duty
Astronaut William Thornton observes monkey in the RAHF
Payload specialist Lodewijk van den Berg looks out aft flight deck window
Manned seven crew. Deployed Nusat; carried Spacelab 3. Payloads: Spacelab-3 experiments, habitable Spacelab and mission peculiar experiment support structure. The experiments represented a total of five different disciplines: materials processing in space, environmental observa-tions, life science, astrophysics, and technology experiments. Two getaway specials (GAS). The flight crew was split into gold and silver shifts working 12-hour days during the flight.