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Template:Infobox spaceflight STS-51-J was the 21st NASA Space Shuttle mission and the first flight of Space Shuttle Atlantis. It launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 3 October 1985, carrying a payload for the U.S. Department of Defense, and landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on 7 October.

CrewEdit

Position Astronaut
Commander Karol J. Bobko
Third spaceflight
Pilot Ronald J. Grabe
First spaceflight
Mission Specialist 1 David C. Hilmers
First spaceflight
Mission Specialist 2 Robert L. Stewart
Second spaceflight
Payload Specialist 1 William A. Pailes, MSE
Only spaceflight

Backup crewEdit

Position Astronaut
Payload Specialist 1 Michael W. Booen, MSE
First spaceflight

Crew notesEdit

Before William Pailes was assigned to the STS-51-J flight, Richard M. Mullane was rumored to have been assigned as Mission Specialist 3 on his second trip to space.

Mission summaryEdit

DSCS-III STS-51-J

Declassified picture showing the DSCS-III satellites before deployment.

STS51J Atlantis Landing

Space Shuttle Atlantis lands on the dry desert lakebed of Edwards Air Force Base at the end of the STS-51-J mission.

STS-51-J launched on 3 October 1985, at 11:15 EDT, from Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. The launch was delayed by 22 minutes and 30 seconds due to a problem with a main engine liquid hydrogen prevalve close remote power controller; the controller was showing a faulty "on" indication.

The mission was the second shuttle flight totally dedicated to deploying a Department of Defense payload, after STS-51-C. Its cargo was classified, but it was reported that two (USA-11 and USA-12) DSCS-III (Defense Satellite Communications System) satellites were launched into stationary orbits by an Inertial Upper Stage. The DSCS satellites used X-band frequencies (8/7 GHz). Each DSCS-III satellite had a design life of ten years, although several of the DSCS satellites have far exceeded their design life expectancy.

The mission was deemed successful. After a flight lasting 4 days, 1 hour and 45 minutes, Atlantis landed on Runway 23 at Edwards Air Force Base at 13:00 EDT on 7 October 1985. During STS-51-J, mission commander Karol Bobko became the first astronaut to fly on three different shuttle orbiters, and the only astronaut to fly on the maiden voyages of two different orbiters.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/policies.html#Guidelines public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

External linksEdit

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