STS-61B (STS-23)


Manned Flight n⩝: 113

Earth orbit Flight n⩝: 110

USA manned Flight n⩝: 54

Launch, orbit & landing data:

Designation 16273 / 85109A
Launch date - time 27 Nov 1985 - 00:29:00 UT
Launch site KSC, LC39A
Launch vehicle  Space Shuttle
Orbiter Atlantis OV-104 (#2)
Primary payload Morelos 2/AUSSAT-2/RCA SATCOM Ku-2
Mass (kg) 
Flight Crew Shaw, O'Connor, Cleave, Spring
Ross, Vela, Walker
Call Sign 
Earth orbit on :
   - Perigee / Apogee  km
   - Inclination 28.5°
   - Period  min
Landing date - time 03 Dec 1985 - 21:33:49 UT
Landing location Edwards AFB, Runway 22
Flight Duration 6d 21h 04m
Nbr orbits 109

7 astronauts


Nr. Surname Given name Job Duration
1  Shaw  Brewster Hopkinson, Jr.  CDR 6d 21h 04m 
2  O'Connor  Bryan Daniel  PLT 6d 21h 04m 
3  Cleave  Mary Louise  MSP 6d 21h 04m 
4  Spring  Sherwood Clark "Woody"  MSP 6d 21h 04m 
5  Ross  Jerry Lynn  MSP 6d 21h 04m 
6  Walker  Charles David  PSP 6d 21h 04m 
7  Neri Vela  Rodolfo  PSP 6d 21h 04m 

Mission details:

Launch from Cape Canaveral (KSC); landing on Edwards AFB; deploying of communications satellites Morelos B (Mexico), Aussat-2 (Australia) and RCA Satcom K-2 (USA); two EVA`s performed by Ross and Spring on 29.11.1985 (5h 32m) and 01.12.1985 (6h 40m) for experimental assembly of erectable structures in space.

27 November 1985 00:28 GMT. Payload: Atlantis F02 / EASE / ACCESS. Mass: 21,791 kg. Perigee: 361 km. Apogee: 370 km. Inclination: 28.5 deg. Period: 91.9 min.
STS-61-BSTS-61-B - Langle view of the Shuttle Erectable Antenna - Credit: NASA. 38,419 bytes. 324 x 324 pixels.

Manned seven crew. Deployed Morelos 2, Aussat 2, Satcom K2, OEX. Payloads: Deploy SATCOM (RCA-Satellite Communi-cations) Ku-2 with Payload Assist Module (PAM)-D II. Deploy Morelos (Mexico communications satellite)-B with PAM-D. Deploy AUSSAT (Australian communications satellite)-2 with PAM-D. EASE/ACCESS (Assembly of Structures— Assembly Concept for Construction of Erectable Space Structures) by extravehicular activity (EVA) astronauts, Continuous Flow Electrophore-sis System (CFES), Diffusive Mixing of Organic Solutions (DMOS), IMAX camera, one getaway special (GAS), Linhof camera and Hasseblad camera.

STS-61-BSTS-61-B - Astronaut Jerry Ross at threshold of airlock compartment following EVA - Credit: NASA. 34,706 bytes. 595 x 595 pixels.

Orbits of Earth: 108. Distance traveled: 4,568,882 km. Orbiter Liftoff Mass: 118,664 kg. Orbiter Mass at Landing: 93,316 kg. Payload to Orbit: 21,791 kg. Payload Returned: 9,282 kg. Landed at: Concrete runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base, Cali. Landing Speed: 350 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 727 m. Landing Rollout: 3,279 m. EVA: Jerry Ross and Sherwood Spring, EVA No. 1, duration 5 hours, 34 minutes. EVA No. 2, duration 6 hours, 46 minutes.

STS-61-BSTS-61-B - Astronaut Jerry Ross on RMS holds on to ACCESS device - Credit: NASA. 54,188 bytes. 606 x 606 pixels.

NASA Official Mission Narrative

Mission Name: 61-B (23)
Atlantis (2)
Pad 39-A (35)
23rd Shuttle mission
2nd Flight OV-104
2nd Night launch
Shortened mission

Brewster H. Shaw, Jr. (2), Commander
Bryan D. O'Connor (1), Pilot
Mary L. Cleave (1), Mission Specialist 1
Sherwood C. Spring (1), Mission Specialist 2
Jerry L. Ross (1), Mission Specialist 3
Rodolfo Neri Vela (1), Payload Specialist 1
Charles D. Walker (3), Payload Specialist 2

STS-61-BSTS-61-B - Astronaut Sherwood Spring on RMS checks joints on the ACCESS device - Credit: NASA. 57,053 bytes. 480 x 480 pixels.

OPF - Oct. 12, 1985
VAB - Nov. 7, 1985
PAD - Nov. 12, 1985

Mission Objectives:

November 26, 1985, 7:29:00 p.m. EST. Launch proceeded as scheduled with no delays. Launch Weight: 261,455 lbs.
Altitude: 225nm
Inclination: 28.5 degrees
Orbits: 109
Duration: Six days, 21 hours, four minutes, 49 seconds.
Distance: 2,838,972 miles

STS-61-BSTS-61-B - Astronauts Jerry Ross and Sherwood Spring assemble ACCESS components - Credit: NASA. 24,539 bytes. 456 x 456 pixels.

SRB: BI-023
SRM: L023(HPM)
ET : 22/LWT-15
MLP : 2
SSME-1: SN-2011
SSME-2: SN-2019
SSME-3: SN-2017

December 3, 1985, 1:33:49 p.m. PST, Runway 22, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Rollout distance: 10,759 feet. Rollout time: 78 seconds. Mission shortened one revolution due to lightning conditions at Edwards. Landed on concrete runway because lake bed was wet. Orbiter returned to KSC Dec. 7, 1985. Landing Weight: 205,732 lbs.

STS-61-BSTS-61-B - Close-up view of the RCA Satcom K-2 communications satellite - Credit: NASA. 13,382 bytes. 269 x 269 pixels.

Mission Highlights:
Three communications satellites deployed: MORE LOS-B (Mexico), AUSSAT-2 (Australia) and SATCOM KU-2 (RCA Americom). MORELOS-B and AUSSAT-2 attached to Payload Assist Module-D motors, SATCOM KU-2 to a PAM-D2 designed for heavier payloads. Two experiments conducted to test assembling erectable structures in space: Experimental Assembly of Structures in Extravehicular Activity (EASE) and Assembly Concept for Construction of Erectable Space Structure (ACCESS). Experiments required two space walks by Spring and Ross lasting five hours, 32 minutes, and six hours, 38 minutes, respectively. Middeck payloads: Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES); Diffusive Mixing of Organic Solutions (DMOS); Morelos Payload Specialist Experiments (MPSE) and Orbiter Experiments (OEX). In payload bay: Get Away Special and IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC).

STS-61-B Deployment of the RCA Satcom K-2 communications satellite - Credit: NASA.

External links:

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