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STS-51F Fact Sheet

Written and Edited by Cliff Lethbridge

 

STS-51F -- Challenger

 

19th Space Shuttle Mission

8th Flight of Challenger

 

Crew:

 

C. Gordon Fullerton, Commander

Roy D. Bridges, Jr., Pilot

F. Story Musgrave, Mission Specialist

Karl G. Henize, Mission Specialist

Anthony W. England, Mission Specialist

Loren W. Acton, Payload Specialist

John-David F. Bartoe, Payload Specialist

 

Orbiter Preparations:

 

Tow to Orbiter Processing Facility - May 12, 1985

Rollover to Vehicle Assembly Building - June 24, 1985

Rollout to Launch Pad 39A - June 29, 1985

 

Launch:

 

July 29, 1985 - 5:00:00 p.m. EDT. Launch attempt on July 12, 1985 resulted in a main engine cutoff at T-3 seconds due to a malfunctioning coolant valve in Main Engine Number Two. July 29 launch was delayed 1 hour, 37 minutes due to a problem with the table maintenance block update uplink.

 

At 5 minutes, 45 seconds into the ascent, Challenger's Number One Main Engine shut down prematurely. In the first in-flight abort of the Shuttle program, Challenger was able to abort to orbit and reach an acceptable mission orbit by spending additional orbital maneuvering system fuel.

 

Landing:

 

August 6, 1985 - 12:45:26 p.m. PDT at Runway 23, Edwards Air Force Base, California. Rollout distance was 8,569 feet. Rollout time was 55 seconds. Mission duration was 7 days, 22 hours, 45 minutes, 26 seconds. Landing occurred during the 127th orbit.

 

Mission Summary:

 

The mission's primary payload was Spacelab-2. Despite the abort to orbit, which required some mission replanning, the overall mission was deemed a success. The main mission objective was to verify performance of Spacelab systems and determine interface capability with the Shuttle. Spacelab-2 experiments were conducted in life sciences, plasma physics, atmospheric physics and technology research.

 

 

 

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