Mission: Spacelab-2Space Shuttle: ChallengerLaunch Pad: 39A Launch Weight: 252,855 poundsLaunched: July 29, 1985 at 5:00:00 p.m. EDTLanding Site: Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.Landing: August 6, 1985 at 12:45:26 p.m. PDTLanding Weight: 204,169 poundsRunway: 23 Rollout Distance: 8,569 feetRollout Time: 55 secondsRevolution: 127Mission Duration: 7 days, 22 hours, 45 minutes, 26 secondsReturned to KSC: August 11, 1985Orbit Altitude: 173 nautical milesOrbit Inclination: 49.5 degreesMiles Traveled: 3.3 million Crew Members Image above: STS-51F Crew photo with Commander Gordon Fullerton, Pilot Roy D. Bridges, Jr., Mission Specialists F. Story Musgrave, Anthony W. England, Karl G. Henize and Payload Specialists Loren W. Acton and John-David F. Bartoe. Image Credit: NASA Mission ObjectivesThe Spacelab-2 payload consisted of an igloo and three pallets in the payload bay, containing scientific instruments dedicated to life sciences, plasma physics, astronomy, high-energy astrophysics, solar physics, atmospheric physics and technology research.A major objective of the mission was to verify the performance of the Spacelab systems with the orbiter as well as to measure the environment created by the vehicle in space.Launch HighlightsThe launch countdown July 12 halted at T-3 seconds after main engine ignition when a malfunction of the number two space shuttle main engine (SSME) coolant valve caused a shutdown of all three main engines. The launch on July 29 was delayed 1 hour, 37 minutes due to a problem with the table maintenance block update uplink. 5 minutes, 45 seconds into ascent, the number one main engine shutdown prematurely, resulting in an Abort To Orbit (ATO) trajectory.Mission HighlightsPrimary payload was Spacelab-2. Despite abort-to-orbit, which required mission replanning, mission declared success. Special part of modular Spacelab system, the Igloo, located at head of three-pallet train, provided on-site support to instruments mounted on pallets. Main mission objective was to verify performance of Spacelab systems and determine interface capability of orbiter, and measure environment induced by spacecraft. Experiments covered life sciences, plasma physics, astronomy, high-energy astrophysics, solar physics, atmospheric physics and technology research.
The crew assigned to the STS-51F mission included (kneeling left to right) Gordon Fullerton, commander; and Roy D. Bridges, pilot. Standing, left to right, are mission specialists Anthony W. England, Karl G. Henize, and F. Story Musgrave; and payload specialists Loren W. Acton, and John-David F. Bartoe. Launched aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger on July 29, 1985 at 5:00:00 pm (EDT), the STS-51F mission's primary payload was the Spacelab-2.
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