Manned Flight n: 109

Earth orbit Flight n: 106

USA manned Flight n: 51

Launch, orbit & landing data:

Designation 15992 / 85076A
Launch date - time 27 Aug 1985 - 10:58:01 UT
Launch site KSC, LC39A
Launch vehicle  Space Shuttle
Orbiter Discovery OV-103 (#6)
Primary payload AUSSAT 1/ASC 1/SYNCOM IV-4
Mass (kg) 
Call Sign 
Earth orbit on :
   - Perigee / Apogee  km
   - Inclination 28.45°
   - Period  min
Landing date - time 03 Sep 1985 - 13:15:43 UT
Landing location Edwards AFB, Runway 23
Flight Duration 7d 02h 17m
Nbr orbits 112

Flight Crew

Nr. Surname Given name Job Duration
1  Engle  Joe Henry  CDR 7d 02h 17m 
2  Covey  Richard Oswalt  PLT 7d 02h 17m 
3  van Hoften  James Dougal Adrianus "Ox"  MSP 7d 02h 17m 
4  Lounge  John Michael  MSP 7d 02h 17m 
5  Fisher  William Frederick  MSP 7d 02h 17m 

Mission details:

Launch from Cape Canaveral (KSC); landing on Edwards AFB; deploying communications satellites AUSSAT-1 (Australia) ASC-1 (USA) and Syncom IV-4/Leasat-4 (US Navy); EVA's by Fisher and van Hoften on 01.09.1985 (7h08m) and 02.09.1985 (4h 30m); they captured satellite Syncom IV-3/Leasat-3 in space, repaired it, and deployed the satellite again.

27 August 1985 11:16 GMT. LV Configuration: STS-27 (51-I).Payload: Discovery F06 / Syncom-4 4 [Orbus-7S] / Aussat A1. Mass: 19,952 kg. Perigee: 351 km. Apogee: 364 km. Inclination: 28.5 deg. Period: 91.7 min.
STS-51-ISTS-51-I - Aerial view of the launch of Shuttle Discovery STS 51-I mission - Credit: NASA.

Manned five crew. Launched Aussat 1, ASC 1, Leasat 4; repaired Leasat 3. Payloads: Deploy ASC (American Satellite Company)-1 with Payload Assist Modue (PAM)-D. Deploy AUSSAT (Australian communications satellite)-1 with PAM-D. Deploy Syncom IV-4 communications satellite with its unique stage. Retrieve Leasat-3 communications satellite, repair and deploy by extravehicular activity (EVA) astronauts. Physical Vapor Transport Organic Solids (PVTOS) experiment.

STS-51-ISTS-51-I - Astronaut James van Hoften on RMS tracking Syncom IV-3 after deployment - Credit: NASA.

Orbits of Earth: 111. Distance traveled: 4,698,602 km. Orbiter Liftoff Mass: 118,981 kg. Orbiter Mass at Landing: 89,208 kg. Payload to Orbit: 19,952 kg. Payload Returned: 6,101 kg. Landed at: Runway 23 dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, . Landing Speed: 353 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 640 m. Landing Rollout: 1,859 m. EVA: James van Hoften and William Fisher. EVA 1 duration 7 hours, 20 minutes, EVA 2 duration 4 hours, 31 minutes.
STS-51-I STS-51-I - Astronaut James van Hoften working with Syncom IV-3 satellite - Credit: NASA.

NASA Official Mission Narrative

Mission Name: 51-I (20)
Pad 39-A (32)
20th Shuttle mission
6th Flight OV-103
Shortened mission

Joseph H. Engle (2), Commander
Richard O. Covey (1), Pilot
James D. A. van Hoften (2), Mission Specialist 1
John M. Lounge (1), Mission Specialist 2
William F. Fisher (1), Mission Specialist 3

STS-51-ISTS-51-I - Astronaut James van Hoften working with Syncom IV-3 satellite - Credit: NASA.

OPF - June 29, 1985
VAB - July 30, 1985
PAD - Aug. 6, 1985

Mission Objectives:

August 27, 1985, 6:58:01 a.m. EDT. Launch Aug. 24 scrubbed at T-5 minutes due to thunderstorms in vicinity. Launch Aug. 25 delayed when orbiter's number five on-board general purpose computer failed. Launch Aug. 27 delayed three minutes, one second due to combination of weather and unauthorized ship entering restricted solid rocket booster recovery area. Launch Weight: 262,309 lbs.
Altitude: 242nm
Inclination: 28.45 degrees
Orbits: 112
Duration: 7 days, 2 hours, 17 minutes, 42 seconds.
Distance: 2,919,576 miles

STS-51-ISTS-51-I - The American Satellite Company (ASC) satellite deployed from payload bay - Credit: NASA.

SRB: BI-020
SRM: L020(HPM)
ET : 21/LWT-14
MLP : 1
SSME-1: SN-2109
SSME-2: SN-2018
SSME-3: SN-2012

September 3, 1985, 6:15:43 a.m. PDT, Runway 23, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Rollout distance: 6,100 feet. Rollout time: 47 seconds. Mission shortened one day when AUSSAT sunshield hung up on remote manipulator system camera and AUSSAT had to be deployed before scheduled. Orbiter returned to KSC Sept. 8, 1985. Landing Weight: 196,674 lbs.

STS-51-ISTS-51-I - Typhoons Pat and Odessa in the Western Pacific Ocean - Credit: NASA.

Mission Highlights:
Three communications satellites deployed: ASC-1 , for American Satellite Company; AUSSAT-1, an Australian Communications Satellite; and SYNCOM IV-4, the Synchronous Communications Satellite. ASC-1 and AUSSAT-1 both attached to Payload Assist Module-D (PAM-D) motors. SYNCOM IV-4 (also known as LEASAT-4) failed to function after reaching correct geosynchronous orbit. Fisher and van Hoften performed 11 hours, 27 minutes of space walk. Part of time spent retrieving, repairing and redeploying LEASAT-3, deployed on Mission 51-D. Middeck

STS-51-ISTS-51-I - Astronaut James van Hoften working with Syncom IV-3 satellite - Credit: NASA. 48,115 bytes. 567 x 567 pixels.

Payload: Physical Vapor Transport Organic Solid Experiment (PVTOS).
STS-51-ISTS-51-I - Astronaut William Fisher anchored to foot restraint on Discovery - Credit: NASA.

STS-51-ISTS-51-I - Australia's AUSSAT satellite deployed from payload bay - Credit: NASA.

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