STS-61A (STS-22)


Manned Flight n°: 112

Earth orbit Flight n°: 109

USA manned Flight n°: 53

Launch, orbit & landing data:

Designation 16230 / 85104A
Launch date - time 30 Oct 1985 - 17:00:00 UT
Launch site KSC, LC39A
Launch vehicle  Space Shuttle
Orbiter Challenger OV-099 (#9)
Primary payload GLOMR / Spacelab D-1
Mass (kg) 
Call Sign 
Earth orbit on :
   - Perigee / Apogee  km
   - Inclination 57.0°
   - Period  min
Landing date - time 06 Nov 1985 - 17:44:51 UT
Landing location Edwards AFB, Runway 17
Flight Duration 7d 00h 44m
Nbr orbits 112
Distance traveled 4,682,148 km

First foreign (W.Germ.), first 8-man crew, Spacelab D1 mission

Flight Crew

Nr. Surname Given name Job Duration
1  Hartsfield  Henry Warren, Jr. "Hank"  CDR 7d 00h 44m 
2  Nagel  Steven Ray  PLT 7d 00h 44m 
3  Buchli  James Frederick  MSP 7d 00h 44m 
4  Bluford  Guion Stewart, Jr.  MSP 7d 00h 44m 
5  Dunbar  Bonnie Jeanne  MSP 7d 00h 44m 
6  Furrer  Reinhard Alfred  PSP 7d 00h 44m 
7  Messerschmid  Ernst Willi  PSP 7d 00h 44m 
8  Ockels  Wubbo Johannes  PSP 7d 00h 44m 

Mission details:

Launch from Cape Canaveral (KSC); landing on Edwards AFB; fourth mission of Spacelab (Mission D-1); first flight of two Germans at the same time; first time crew of eight persons; 75 experiments scientific experiments in materials science, fluid physics, biology , medicine, communications and navigation; deploying of U.S. Navy-satellite GLOMR; the orbiter was controlled from the JSC, the scientific experiments from the German Space Operations Center.

30 October 1985 17:16 GMT. Payload: Challenger F09 / GLOMR 1. Mass: 14,451 kg. Perigee: 319 km. Apogee: 331 km. Inclination: 57.0 deg. Period: 91.0 min.
STS-61-A STS-61-A - Launch of the shuttle Challenger and begining of STS 61-A mission - Credit: NASA.

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.".

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.

STS-61-ASTS-61-A - STS 61-A crewmembers in Spacelab D-1 science module - Credit: NASA. 40,695 bytes.

NASA Official Mission Narrative

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

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

STS-61-ASTS-61-A - Astronauts Hartsfield and Nagel on the forward flight deck - Credit: NASA. 50,604 bytes.

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

Mission Objectives:

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

STS-61-A STS-61-A - Astronaut Bonnie Dunbar preparing to perform bio-medical test - Credit: NASA. 32,711 bytes.

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

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.

STS-61-ASTS-61-A - STS 61-A crewmembers in Spacelab D-1 science module - Credit: NASA. 75,916 bytes.

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.

STS-61A/D-1 mission comes to an end as Challenger touches down at Edwards AFB.

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