Info about shuttle flight 61- A
STS Mission 61-A
The Orbiter Challenger lifted off from Pad A, Launch Complex 39,
KSC, at 12:00 noon EST on October 30, 1985. This was the first Space Shuttle
mission largely financed and operated by another nation, West Germany. It was
also the first Space Shuttle flight to carry a crew of eight. The primary
mission was to operate a series of experiments, almost all related to functions
in microgravity, in Spacelab D-1, the fourth flight of a Spacelab. Two other
mission assignments were to deploy the Global Low Orbiting Message Relay
Satellite (GLOMR) out of a Getaway Special canister in the cargo bay, and
operate five materials processing experiments mounted in the cargo bay on a
separate device called the German Unique Support Structure.
NASA operated the Space Shuttle, and was responsible for
overall safety and control functions throughout the flight. West Germany was
responsible for the scientific research carried out during the seven-day
mission. To fulfill this function German scientific controllers on the ground
worked closely with the personnel in orbit, operating out of the German Space
Operations Center at Oberpfaffenhofen, near Munich, West Germany. The orbiting
crew divided into two teams, and operated 24-hrs a day. Communications were
very good throughout the mission and the ground and orbital crews were able to
interact regularly. The overall system of one Center controlling spacecraft
operations and a second controlling experiment functions worked very smoothly
The GLOMR satellite was successfully deployed during the
mission. The five experiments mounted on the separate structure behind
the Spacelab module obtained good data. Orbiter Challenger landed on Runway 17
at Edwards AFB on November 6, 1986. The wheels stopped rolling at 12:45 p.m.
EST, after a mission duration of 7 days, 0 hours, and 45 minutes.
. The crew members were Henry W. Hartsfield, Jr., commander;
Steven R. Nagel, pilot; Bonnie J. Dunbar, James F. Buchli and Guion S.
Bluford, mission specialists; and Ernst Messerschmid and Reinhard Furrer, West
Germany, along with Wubbo Ockels, European Space Agency, payload specialists.
encompassed some 75 numbered experiments, most of which were performed
more than once. Some of these experiments had predecessors which had returned
data obtained on earlier flights. This made it possible to prepare experiment
regimens that were 'second generation' with respect to technical concept and
experiment installation. Almost all of them took advantage of the microgravity
environment to perform work not possible, or very much more difficult to do, on
Earth. The major area of concentration was materials science, in which West
Germany has a well developed expertise.
The primary areas of experiment concentration were: fluid
physics, with experiments in capillarity, Marangoni convection, diffusion
phenomena, and critical point; solidification experiments; single crystal
growth; composites; biological, including cell functions, developmental
processes, and the ability of plants to perceive gravity; medical, including
the gravitational perceptions of humans, and their adaptation processes in
space; and speed-time interaction studies of people working in space.
One equipment item of unusual interest was the Vestibular Sled,
an ESA contribution consisting of a seat for a test subject that could be
moved backward and forward with precisely controlled accelerations and stops,
along rails fixed to the floor of the Spacelab aisle. By taking detailed
measurements on a human strapped into the seat, scientists gained data on the
functional organization of the human vestibular and orientation systems, and
the vestibular adaptation processes under microgravity. The acceleration
experiments by the sled riders were combined with thermal stimulations of the
inner ear and optokinetic stimulations of the eye.
Overall, this was the most comprehensive series of experiments
to date on materials processing in space and associated human activities,
adding a rich store to humanity's knowledge. The data that was gained will
require years of analysis.
STS-61-A TO CARRY D-1 -- THE FIRST GERMAN SPACELAB
The "Deutschland Spacelab Mission D-1" is the first of a series of
dedicated West German missions on the Space Shuttle. It also is the first time
a Spacelab payload has come from Europe completely checked out and ready for
installation in the orbital laboratory.
Spacelab D-1 is managed by the Federal German Aerospace Research
Establishment (DFVLR) for the German Federal Ministry of Research and
Technology (BMFT). DFLVR's responsibilities include provision of the payload,
payload analytical and physical integration and verification, and payload
operation on orbit.
The Spacelab payload was assembled by MBB/ERNO over a 5-year period at a
cost of approximately $175 million. The company serves as prime contractor to
the 12-nation European Space Agency in the $1 billion Spacelab project.
Used by German and other European universities, research institutes and
industrial enterprises, the D-1 is dedicated to experimental scientific and
Launch of the 22nd Space Shuttle mission is currently planned for no
earlier than Oct. 30, 1985. Orbiter Challenger is scheduled to begin its ninth
trip into space with a liftoff from Complex 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Fla., at
12 noon, EST. The window for that date extends extends to 3:00 p.m. EST.
Highlights of the 7-day mission include basic and applied microgravity
research in the fields of materials sciences, life sciences and technology, and
communication and navigation. The users are German and foreign universities,
research institutes and industrial enterprises as well as ESA and NASA.
Challenger will carry an 8-member crew -- the largest ever flown in space
-- commanded by Henry (Hank) Hartsfield, who piloted the STS-4 and commanded
the STS-41-D flights. Pilot Steven Nagel served as mission specialist aboard
Other crewmembers include mission specialists James Buchli, Guion Bluford
and Bonnie Dunbar; and European payload specialists Drs. Reinhard Furrer (DFVLR
- German), Ernst Messerschmid (DFVLR - German) and Wubbo Ockels (ESA - Dutch).
Buchli is a veteran of Shuttle flight 51-C, the first mission totally
dedicated to the Department of Defense. Bluford flew aboard STS-8. This will
be the first mission for Dunbar, Furrer, Messerschmid and Ockels.
Challenger will be launched into a circular orbit of 201 statute miles and
have a 57-degree inclination to the equator.
As with all Space Shuttle missions, NASA will maintain control over the
Shuttle vehicle and overall safety and conduct of the flight. For D-1, the
Federal Republic of Germany will have management responsibility for the
scientific mission to be carried out during the seven-day flight. The payload
operations control center will be at the German Space Operations Center (GSOC)
located in Oberpfaffenhofen, near Munich.
The experimental facilities are arranged according to scientific
disciplines into so-called Payload Elements. The facilities are provided by
the DFVLR, ESA and NASA.
These facilities comprise melting furnaces, facilities for the observation
of fluid physics phenomena, chambers to provide specific environmental
conditions for living test objects, and the Vestibular Sled, which exposes
astronauts to defined accelerations to study the function of the inner ear.
The majority of the facilities are housed together with the necessary
technical infrastructure in standard Spacelab racks within the Spacelab module.
Werkstofflabor: The WL is designed to be a multipurpose and multi-use
facility for materials science and space processing experiments in
microgravity. It houses the following hardware: a mirror heating facility, a
cryostat, a gradient heating facility, a fluid physics module, an isothermal
heating facility and a high-temperature thermostat.
Prozesskamer: The PK (or process chamber) was tailored to the
requirements of the scientists. It is designed to show and measure flows, heat
and mass transport, and temperature distribution occurring during melting and
solidification processes, as well as during phase changes of liquids.
Vestibular Sled: The VS is an ESA contribution consisting of a seat for a
test subject that can be moved backward and forward with precisely adjusted
accelerations along rails fixed on the floor of Spacelab's aisle. The seat is
driven by an electro-motor and traction rope.
The sled permits tests to investigate the functional organization of man's
vestibular and orientation system and the vestibular adaptation processes under
The acceleration of the astronauts will be combined with thermal
stimulations of the inner ear and optokinetic stimulations of the eye.
MEDEA: The Material science Experiment Double rack for Experiment modules
and Apparatus (MEDEA) is composed of three largely autonomous experiment
Metallurgical and directional solidification experiments will be performed
in a gradient furnace. Crystal growth will be carried out in the
monoelipsoidal mirror heating facility. The high precision thermostat measures
specific heat at the critical point of a specimen.
Biowissenschaften (BW): This life sciences payload experiment package
combines a group of three-element botanical or biological and two medical
experiments in which a small botanical garden will be tended during the
mission. Frog larvae development will be investigated in the "frog statolith"
experiment. The third experiment in the field of life sciences continues the
first Spacelab's medical experiments of the central venous pressure. For the
first time, the internal pressure of the eye will be measured. This experiment
is designed to study fluid shifts under the effect of microgravity, as well as
the adaptive behavior of the related human organs.
Biorack (BR): The Biorack is a multipurpose ESA research facility that
can repeatedly perform biological experiments under weightlessness. Two
incubators with different operating temperatures, a freezer and a hermetically
sealed glove box are located in a single rack. To provide for the necessary
controlled environment, different types of sample containers are provided,
some equipped with measurement points that are controlled by the Spacelab
computer system. During the ascent and descent phases, the containers with
biological material will be stowed and passively temperature controlled in the
middeck area to ensure late access to and early retrieval from the orbiter.
NAVEX: The navigation experiments payload element has two main
objectives: development and testing of a precise clock synchronization; and
testing a method for precise one-way distance measurement and position
Material Experiment Assembly: The MEA is a self-contained facility that
provides accommodation for multidiscipline experiments in the materials
processing field. MEA was developed for NASA's OSTA-2, and has flown on
After 7 days and 40 minutes of around-the-clock scientific observations,
Challenger will land at Edwards Air Force Base in California on Nov. 6, at
approximately 12:40 p.m. EST. Reentry will begin with the firing of the
orbiter's orbital maneuvering system engines over the Indian Ocean as
Challenger makes its 111th revolution of the Earth.
NASA Select Television Transmission
Space Shuttle flight 61-A is dedicated to the German Spacelab mission
D-1. Payload and mission specialists in Spacelab will work through the German
Science Operations Center (GSOC) in Oberpfaffenhoffen, Germany, near Munich.
Television from the Spacelab will be relayed from the NASA Mission Control
Center at Johnson Space Center, Houston, to GSOC. These TV downlinks also will
be released in real time on NASA Select television. They will be accompanied
by commentary from GSOC, first in German, then in English for the 12 hours,
daily, that the GSOC newsroom is active. During the remaining 12 hours, TV
downlinks will continue to be released on NASA select, but without commentary.
The German Aerospace Research Establishment (DFVLR) will provide a printed
scene list to U.S. media prior to these downlinks. The NASA commentator
periodically will announce that these scene lists are available in the NASA
newsrooms. The NASA commentator will not discuss the activities shown on the
TV downlink. All questions regarding activities on the TV downlinks will be
referred to DFVLR spokespersons.
NASA-Select television coverage of Shuttle mission 61-A will be carried on
a full satellite transponder:
Satcom F-2R, Transponder 13, C-Band
Orbital Position: 72 degrees west longitude
Frequency: 3954.5 MHz vertical polarization
Audio Monaural: 6.8 MHz
NASA-Select video also is available at the AT&T Switching Center,
Television Operation Control in Washington, D.C., and at the following NASA
NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
John F. Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas
Dryden Flight Research Facility, Edwards, Calif.
Ames Research Center, Mountain View, Calif.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
The schedule for television transmissions from the orbiter and for the
change-of-shift briefings from Johnson Space Center, Houston, will be available
during the mission at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.; Marshall Space Flight Center,
Huntsville, Ala.; Johnson Space Center; and NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
The television schedule will be updated on a daily basis to reflect
changes dictated by mission operations. Television schedules also may be
obtained by calling COMSTOR (713/280-8711). COMSTOR is a computer data-base
service requiring the use of a telephone modem.
Special Note to Broadcasters
Beginning Oct. 23 and continuing throughout the mission, approximately 7
minutes of audio interview material with the crew of 61-A will be available to
broadcasters by calling 202/269-2657.
Flight control personnel will be on 8-hour shifts. Change-of-shift
briefings by the off-going flight director will occur at approximately 8-hour
Science briefings originating from GSOC twice a day will be available at
the NASA news centers in audio only.
61-A BRIEFING SCHEDULE
TIME (EST) BRIEFING ORIGIN
11:00 am Spacelab D-1 Mission Overview KSC
2:30 pm Pre-launch Press Conference KSC
1:00 pm Post Launch Briefing KSC
Launch Through End-of-Mission
Times announced Flight Director Change-of- JSC
on NASA Select Shift Briefings.
Schedules in Science Briefings GSOC
NASA Newsrooms (audio only)
2:00 pm Post Landing Briefing DFRF
SHUTTLE MISSION 61-A -- QUICK LOOK FACTS
Crew: Henry W. Hartsfield Jr., Commander
Steven R. Nagel, Pilot (blue)
Bonnie J. Dunbar, Mission Specialist (MS-1, blue)
James F. Buchli, Mission Specialist (MS-2, red)
Guion S. Bluford Jr., Mission Specialist (MS-3, red) Ernst Messerschmid,
German Payload Specialist (PS-1, red) Reinhard Furrer, German Payload
Specialist (PS-2, blue) Wubbo J. Ockels, Dutch Payload Specialist (PS-3,
not assigned to team)
Orbiter: Challenger (OV-099)
Launch Site: Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Launch Date/Time: Oct. 30, 1985, 12:00 noon EST
Window: 3 hours
Orbital Inclination: 57.0 degrees
Insertion Orbit: 175 by 175 (n. mi.)
Mission Duration: 7 days, 40 minutes (111 orbits, land on 112)
Landing Date/Time: Nov. 6, 1985, 12:40 p.m. EST
Primary Landing Site: Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Runway 17
Weather Alternate: Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Cargo and Payloads: Spacelab D-1 long module plus Mission
Peculiar Equipment Support Structure
Global Low Orbiting Message Relay Satellite
Experiments and Tests: Material science Experiment Double rack
for Experiment modules and Apparatus (MEDEA)
Navigation Experiment (NAVEX)
Material Science Double Rack (MSDR)
Material Experiment Assembly (MEA)
Process Chamber (PK)
Vestibular Sled (VS)
Nosewheel Steering Test
Highlights: First dedicated Spacelab mission under direction of the German
Aerospace Research Establishment (DFVLR); first control of payload
from location outside U.S.; first flight of an 8-person crew
61-A TRAJECTORY SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
EVENT ORBIT TIG BURN DELTA V POST
MET DURATION (fps)
OMS-1 0:00:11 2:07
OMS-2 0:00:45 2:14.5 220
GLOMR/GAS 9A 0:12:32
Deorbit TIG 111 6:23:40 2:53.1 286
Landing 112A 7:00:40
at Edwards Runway 17
SUMMARY OF MAJOR ACTIVITIES
Max dynamic pressure
Main engine cutoff
External tank sep
Payload bay doors open
Activate Spacelab experiments
DAY 2 THROUGH DAY 6
Payload operations (see Payload Elements Operations
Schedule, next page)
RCS hot fire
Entry and landing (nosewheel steering test)
PAYLOAD ELEMENTS OPERATIONS SCHEDULE
SPACELAB D-1 EXPERIMENTS
Capillarity Experimeone Hydrodynamics
v Madrid, Spain
Capillary Experiments J.F. Padday, Kodak Ltd.
Harrow, United Kingdom
Forced Liquid Motions J.P.B. Vreeburg, NLR
Surface-Tension Studies D. Neuhaus, DFVLR
Marangoni Convection D. Schwabe, Univ. Giessen
Marangoni Flows L. Napolitano, Univ. Naples
Marangoni Convection A.A.H. Drinkenburg, Univ.
Convection in Nonisothermal J.C. Legros, Univ. Brussels
Binary Mixtures Belgium
Bubble Transport A. Bewersdorff, DFVLR
Self- and Inter-Diffusion H. Wever/G. Frohberg
TU Berlin, Germany
Thermal Diffusion J. Dupuy, Univ. Lyon
Inter-Diffusion J. Richter RWTH
Homogeneity of Glasses Chr. Frischat
TU Clausthal, Germany
Diffusion of Liquid Zinc R.B. Pond, Marvalaud Inc.
and Lead USA
Thermomigration of Cobalt in Tin J.P. Praizey, CEN
Heat Capacity Near Critical Point J. Straub
TU Munich, Germany
Phase Separation Near Critical H. Klein
Point Cologne, Germany
Solidification Front Dynamics
GETS A. Ecker/P.R. Sahm, RWTH
Aluminium/Cooper Phase Boundary H.M. Tensi
Diffusion TU Munich, Germany
Solidification Dynamics S. Rex/P.R. Sahm, RWTH
Dendritic Solidification of J.J. Favier/D. Camel, CEN
Aluminium-Cooper Alloys Grenoble, France
Cellular Morphology in Lead B. Billia/J. Favier, Univ.
Thallium Alloys Marseille, France
Indium Antimonide-Nickel G. Muller, Univ. Erlangen-
Antimonide Eutectics Nuremburg, Germany
Containerless Melting of Glass D.E. Day, Univ. Missouri-
Solidification of Suspensions J. Potschke, Krupp
Particle Behaviour at D. Langbein, Battelle-Inst.
Solidification Fronts Frankfurt, Germany
Skin Technology H. Sprenger, MAN
Liquid Skin Casting of Cast Iron H. Sprenger/I.H. Nieswaag
TH Delft, Netherlands
Solidification of Eutectic Alloys Y. Malmejac, CEN
Solidification of Composite A. Deruyttere, Univ. Leuven
Silicon-Crystal Growth by R. Nitsche, Univ. Freiburg
Floating Zone Technique Germany
Melting of Silicon Sphere H. Kolker, Wacker-Chemie
Doped Indium Antimonide and C. Potard, CEN
Gallium Indium Antimonide Grenoble, France
Travelling Heater Method (GaSb) K.W. Benz, Univ. Stuttgart
Travelling Heater Method (CdTe) R. Nitsche, Univ. Freiburg
Travelling Heater Method (InP) K.W. Benz, Univ. Stuttgart
Travelling Heater Method (PbSnTe) M. Harr, Battelle-Institute
Vapour Growth of Cadmium R. Nitsche, Univ. Freiburg
Ge/Gel4 Chemical Growth J.C. Launay, Univ. Bordeaux
Ge-I2 Vapour Phase J.C. Launay, Univ. Bordeaux
Vapour Growth of Alloy-Type H. Wiedemeier, Rens. Poly.
Crystal Troy, N.Y., USA
Semiconductor Materials R.K. Crouch, NASA/Langley
Research Center, USA
Protein Crystals W. Littke, Univ. Freiburg
Separation of Immiscible Alloys H. Ahlborn, Univ. Hamburg
Separation of Immiscible Liquids D. Langbein, Battelle-Inst.
Separation of Fluid Phases R. Naehle, DFVLR
Liquid Phase Miscibility Gap H.S. Gelles
Materials Columbus, Ohio, USA
Ostwald Ripening H. Fischmeister, MPI
Human Lymphocyte Activation A. Cogoli, ETH
Cell Proliferation H. Planel, Univ. Toulouse
Mammalian Cell Polarisation M. Bouteille, Univ. Paris
Circadian Rhythm D. Mergenhagen, Univ. Hamburg
Antibacterial Activity R. Tixador, Univ. Toulouse
Growth and Differentiation H.D. Mennigmann, Univ.
of Bacil. Subt. Frankfurt, Germany
Effect of ug on Interaction O. Ciferri, Univ. Pavia
Between Cells Italy
Cell Cycle and Protoplasmic V. Sobick, DFVLR
Streaming Cologne, Germany
Dosimetric Mapping Inside H. Bucker, DFVLR
Biorack Cologne, Germany
Frog Statoliths J. Neubert, DFVLR
Dorso-ventral Axis G. Ubbels, Univ. Utrecht
Distribution of Cytoplasmic R. Marco, Univ. Madrid
Embryogenesis and Organogenesis H. Bucker, DFVLR
Gravi-Perception of Plants
Gravi-Perception D. Volkmann, Univ. Bonn Germany
Geotropism J. Gross, Univ. Tubingen Germany
Differentiation of Plant Cells R.R. Theimer, Univ. Munich
Statocyte Polarity and Geotrophic G. Perbal, Univ. Paris
Graviperception of Man
Vestibular Research R.v. Baumgarten, Univ. Mainz
Vestibular Research L. Young, MIT
Cambridge, Mass., USA
Central Venous Pressure K. Kirsch, Free Univ. Berlin
Tonometer J. Draeger, Univ. Hamburg Germany
Body Impedance Measurement F. Baisch, DFVLR
Space-Time Interaction Experiments
Clock Synchronisation S. Starker, DFVLR
One-Way Determination of D. Rother, SEL
Distance Stuttgart, Germany
Psychological Behaviour in H.E. Ross, Univ. Stirling
Microgravity Mass Discrimination United Kingdom
Spatial Description in Space A.D. Friederici/J.M. Levelt
Gesture and Speech in A.D. Friederici, MPI/Univ.
Determination of Reaction Time H. Hoschek/J. Hund
The Spacelab D-1 payload operations support team is located in the payload
operations center at the German Space Operations Center (GSOC) at the DFVLR,
Oberpfaffenhofen, near Munich. The team is headed by the Payload Operations
Director (POD), who reports to the Mission Manager. The support team will work
in shifts complementary to those of the flight crew.
The mission control room at the GSOC will accommodate the operations cadre
team. This includes the POD, the Payload Activity Planner (PAP), the Science
Coordinator, the Crew Interface Coordinator (CIC) and the Data Management
Coordinator (DMC), as well as their assistants. Consoles with voice stations
are provided with access to video screens.
A computer interface with graphics and terminals to assist the Mission
Planning and Scheduling System (MPSS) with timeline replanning is available for
the replanning team located in the the Mission Planning Room (MPR). The
software includes an orbit generation program, an event generation program (to
calculate contact times, for example), an editing program (to consolidate all
experiment requirements), a pre-processor for checking, a scheduler to do the
timeline and an output/statistics production program. All results can be
hard-copied. The MPSS will be used for pre-mission timeline preparation.
For experiment support, a User Room (UR) with consoles and voice stations,
as well as a User Support Room (USR), will be available. Display capability
with printout to monitor experiment data is provided in the UR and USR, where
the experimenters will be located. During experiment operation realtime video
and voice capability will be provided.
The Mission Management Room (MMR) will accommodate the Mission Manager,
Mission Assurance and Safety Manager and the Crew Surgeon.
An information room, equipped with necessary support facilities for the
press and other media representatives, is available for public affairs
Accommodation for payload operations support network control, ground
systems and communication control is established in the Network Operations
Control Room (NOCR) and includes all monitoring facilities.
In addition to the UR and the USR at GSOC, remote user rooms are located
at NASA/JSC for European and NASA vestibular experiments and at NASA/KSC for
biological experiments. These experiments call for baseline data collection on
the crew shortly before and after the flight which requires special ground
support equipment. Realtime high data rates to the ground are required, as
well as early access to Spacelab due to the short lifespan of biological
Operations Concept (America to TDRS to Europe)
SPACELAB D-1 MANAGEMENT
Mission Manager Hans-Ulrich Steimle
Operations Manager Hans-Joachim Panitz
Mission Scientist Prof. Peter R. Sahm
Institute of Technology, Aachen
GETAWAY SPECIAL PAYLOAD
Global Low Orbiting Message Relay Satellite (GLOMR)
The Global Low Orbiting Message Relay Satellite (GLOMR) is
carried in a standard Getaway Special (GAS) container mounted on the port side
of the orbiter payload bay in the vicinity of the Spacelab tunnel. It will be
ejected via a standard Autonomous Payload Controller located in the orbiter aft
flight deck. Upon receiving the proper command, a Full Diameter Motorized Door
Assembly on the GAS canister opens and a spring-loaded device pushes the
satellite from the container at a rate of 3 1/2 feet per second.
The GLOMR satellite is a data-relay, communications spacecraft and is
expected to remain in orbit for approximately 1 year. The purpose of the
150-pound, 62-side polyhedron satellite is to demonstrate the ability to read
signals and command oceanographic sensors, locate oceanographic and other
ground sensors, and relay data from them to customers. GLOMR was designed and
built by Defense Systems, Inc., McLean, Va.
This will be the second attempt to deploy GLOMR. It was carried on
mission 51-B in April 1985 but was not deployed due to problems with the
NOSEWHEEL STEERING TEST
A computerized nosewheel steering system will be tested during the flight
of 61-A after Challenger lands and while it rolls to a stop at the Edwards Air
Force Base lakebed.
The test is one of a series to develop nosewheel steering for all Shuttle
orbiters. Currently, right and left wheel brakes are applied to steer an
orbiter during landing rollout, sometimes causing excess brake and tire wear.
After Challenger's nosewheel touches the ground, Commander Hartsfield can
depress the right or left rudder pedal, signaling the computer to direct a
hydraulic actuator to turn the nosewheel and steer the spacecraft onto the
When Challenger slows to about 115 mph, Hartsfield will steer the vehicle
off the center line about 20 or 30 ft. and then back onto the centerline before
Challenger comes to a complete halt.
The activity to perfect nosewheel steering was initiated after the flight
of 51-D last April when brakes locked and an inboard tire blew out on the right
main landing gear during rollout.
The landing of mission 51-D on Kennedy Space Center's runway during
crosswinds and gusts of 8 to 12 knots required heavy braking to hold the
centerline during rollout, contributing to the brake damage and blowout.
61-A PAYLOAD AND VEHICLE WEIGHTS SUMMARY
Orbiter (without propellants) 176,791
Total Spacelab Payload 30,541
GLOMR and GAS Canister 590
GLOMR (deployed) 150
Orbiter at SRB Ignition 213,070
Total Vehicle at SRB Ignition 4,504,741
Landing Weight 213,000
61-A FLIGHT CREW DATA
HENRY W. HARTSFIELD JR. is mission commander. Born Nov. 21, 1933, in
Birmingham, Ala., he retired in 1977 from the U.S. Air Force, as a colonel,
with more than 22 years active service and continued his assignment as a NASA
astronaut in a civilian capacity. He was pilot for STS-4, the fourth and final
orbital test flight of the orbiter Columbia. On his second Shuttle flight, he
was commander of the STS-41-D maiden flight of Discovery.
Hartsfield received a bachelor of science degree in physics from Auburn
University in 1954. He did graduate work in physics at Duke University, and in
astronautics at the Air Force Institute of Technology. He received a master of
science degree in engineering science from the University of Tennessee.
Hartsfield served in the Air Force with the 53rd Tactical Fighter Squadron
in Bitburg, Germany. He graduated from USAF instructed there before assignment
as astronaut to the USAF Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) Program, which was
cancelled. He has more than 6,400 hours flying time, with 5,700 in jets.
STEVEN R. NAGEL, Lt. Col., USAF, is the 61-A pilot. Born Oct. 27, 1946,
in Canton, Ill., he became an astronaut in 1979. His assignments include T-38
chase pilot for STS-1, mission specialist on STS-51-G, support crew and backup
entry CAPCOM for STS-2; support crew and primary entry CAPCOM for STS-3.
He was an F-100 pilot with the 68th Tactical Fighter Squadron at England
AFB, La., and served 1 year as a T-28 instructor for the Laotian Air Force at
Udorn, Thailand. Test pilot on various projects including the F-4 and A-7D.
He has 4,900 hours flying time, 3,100 in jets.
BONNIE J. DUNBAR is a mission specialist. Born on March 3, 1949, in
Sunnyside, Wash., she became a NASA astronaut in 1980. She has been a payload
officer/flight controller at Johnson Space Center; served as guidance and
navigation officer/flight controller for the Skylab reentry mission; and was
payload officer for integration of several Space Shuttle payloads.
Dunbar received bachelor of science and master of science degrees in
ceramic engineering from the University of Washington and a doctorate in
biomedical engineering from the University of Houston.
She served as a systems analyst at Boeing Computer Services; participated
in research on wetting behavior of liquids on solid substrates as visiting
scientist at Harwell Laboratories in Oxford, England; was senior research
engineer at Rockwell International; and was a member of the Kraft Ehricke
evaluation committee on space industrialization concepts. Dunbar is a private
pilot with more than 200 hours in single-engine land aircraft. She has logged
more than 300 hours as a co-pilot in T-38 jets.
JAMES F. BUCHLI, Colonel, USMC, is a mission specialist. Born June 20,
1945, in Rockford, N. D., he was selected as an astronaut in 1978. He flew as
a mission specialist on Shuttle mission 51-C, the first Department of Defense
Buchli received a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering
from the U.S. Naval Academy and a master of science degree in aeronautical
engineering systems from the University of West Florida.
In the U.S. Marine Corps, he served in the Republic of Vietnam; with the
Marine Fighter/Attack Squadron at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, and Iwakuni, Japan; and
performed additional duties at Namphone, Thailand, and Iwakuni, Japan. He has
logged 3,000 hours flying time, 2,800 in jets.
GUION S. BLUFORD JR., Colonel, USAF, is a mission specialist. Born Nov.
22, 1942, in Philadelphia, he was selected as an astronaut in 1978. He was a
mission specialist on STS-8, the first Shuttle night launch and landing.
Bluford received a bachelor of science in aerospace engineering from
Pennsylvania State University; a master of science, with distinction, in
aerospace engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1974; and
doctor of philosophy in aerospace engineering with a minor in laser physics
from the Air Force Institute of Technology.
Bluford flew 144 combat missions, 65 over North Vietnam. He was a staff
development engineer at the Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory,
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and served as deputy for advanced concepts in
the aeromechanics division and as branch chief of the aerodynamics and airframe
branch. He has logged more than 3,500 hours in jets, including 1,300 as a T-38
ERNST MESSERSCHMID is a payload specialist. He was born May 21, 1945, in
Reutlingen, Federal Republic of Germany.
He studied physics at the Universities of Tubingen and Bonn; received
fellowships for Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes and CERN; and received a
diploma and doctor of philosophy degree in physics.
Messerschmid has done experimental and theoretical work on proton beams in
accelerators and plasmas as a visiting scientist and fellow at CERN, Geneva;
and was a lecturer and research associate at Freiburg University and Brookhaven
National Laboratory, N.Y., where he invented adiabatic phase displacement
acceleration. He designed beam optics for PETRA electron storage rings at DESY
(Hamburg), and conducted research on space-borne communications at the
Institute of Communications Technology, Oberpfaffenhofen.
REINHARD FURRER, a payload specialist, was born Nov. 25, 1940, in Worgl,
He studied physics at the Universities of Kiel and Berlin, and received a
diploma and doctor of philosophy in physics.
Furrer has been an assistant professor of physics and a visiting scientist
at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. He has done
practical research in atomic physics, solid-state physics, chemical physics and
photophysics and biophysics. He has taught experimental physics and supervised
undergraduate and graduate students, and presented a public lecture series,
"the Arthur Compton Lectures" at the University of Chicago.
WUBBO J. OCKELS is a payload specialist. He was born March 28, 1946, in
Almelo, the Netherlands.
He received a doctor of philosophy in physics and mathematics from the
University of Groningen and completed a thesis on experimental work at the
Nuclear Physics Accelerator Institute in Groningen.
Ockels performed experimental investigations at the Nuclear Physics
Accelerator Institute in Groningen. He was selected by the European Space
Agency (ESA) as one of three European payload specialists.
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