Manned seven crew. Deployed ERBS; performed high resolution Earth imagery. Payloads: Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) deployment, Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications (OSTA)-3 experiments, Large Format Camera (LFC). First use of Orbital Refueling System (ORS) with extravehicular activity (EVA) astronauts, IMAX camera. In response to the American Strategic Defence Initiative and continued military use of the shuttle, the Soviet Union fired a 'warning shot' from the Terra-3 laser complex at Sary Shagan. The facility tracked Challenger with a low power laser on 10 October 1984. This caused malfunctions to on-board equipment and discomfort / temporary blinding of the crew, leading to a US diplomatic protest.
Orbits of Earth: 132. Distance traveled: 5,527,201 km. Orbiter Liftoff Mass: 110,127 kg. Orbiter Mass at Landing: 91,744 kg. Payload to Orbit: 10,643 kg. Payload Returned: 8,398 kg. Landed at: Runway 33 at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Landing Speed: 385 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 292 m. Landing Rollout: 3,240 m. EVA: Kathryn Sullivan and David Leestma. EVA duration 3 hours, 29 minutes.
Mission Name: 41-G (13)
Pad 39-A (25)
13th Shuttle mission
6th Flight OV-99
2nd KSC landing
Robert L. Crippen (4), Commander
Jon A. McBride (1), Pilot
Kathryn D. Sullivan (1), Mission Specialist 1
Sally K. Ride (2), Mission Specialist 2
David C. Leestma (1), Mission Specialist 3
Marc Garneau (1), Payload Specialist 1
Paul D. Scully-Power (1), Payload Specialist 2
OPF - April 18, 1984
VAB - Sept. 8, 1984
PAD - Sept 13, 1984
October 5, 1984, 7:03:00 a.m. EDT. Launch proceeded as scheduled with no delays. Launch Weight: 242,780 lbs
Inclination: 57.0 degrees
Duration: Eight days, five hours, 23 minutes, 33 seconds.
Distance: 3,289,444 miles
ET : 15/LWT-8
MLP : 1
October 13, 1984, 12:26:33 p.m. EDT, Runway 33, Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Rollout distance: 10,633 feet. Rollout time: 59 seconds. Landing Weight: 202,266 lbs.
First flight to include two women, Ride and Sullivan. Sullivan first American woman to walk in space. Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) deployed less than nine hours into flight. Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications-3 (OSTA-3) carried three experiments in payload bay. Components of Orbital Refueling System (ORS) connected, demonstrating it is possible to refuel satellites in orbit. Other Payloads: Large Format Camera (LFC); IMAX Camera, flying for third time; package of Canadian Experiments (CANEX); Auroral Photography Experiment (APE); Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME); Thermoluminiscent Dosimeter (TLD); and eight Get Away Specials. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 33 .