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astronautix.com Challenger

Shuttle Landing
Shuttle Landing

Credit: NASA. 24,373 bytes. 474 x 298 pixels.


Manufacturer's Designation: OV-099. Class: Manned. Type: Spaceplane. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Manufacturer: Rockwell.

Challenger, the second orbiter to become operational at Kennedy Space Center, was named after an American Naval research vessel that sailed the Atlantic and Pacific oceans during the 1870's. The Apollo 17 lunar module also carried the name of Challenger.



Shuttle OrbiterShuttle Orbiter - Shuttle Orbiter 2 view

Credit: © Mark Wade. 4,696 bytes. 402 x 425 pixels.


Specification

Craft.Crew Size: 8. Design Life: 9 days. Orbital Storage: 30.00 days. Total Length: 37.2 m. Maximum Diameter: 23.8 m. Total Habitable Volume: 71.50 m3. Total Mass: 104,328 kg. Total Payload: 24,990 kg. Total Propellants: 21,600 kg. Total RCS Impulse: 954,000.00 kgf-sec. Primary Engine Thrust: 24,213 kgf. Main Engine Propellants: N2O4/MMH. Main Engine Isp: 316 sec. Total spacecraft delta v: 700 m/s. Electric system: 14.00 total average kW. Electric System: 3,100.00 total kWh. Electrical System: Fuel Cells.


Challenger Chronology


10 February 1978 Complete final assembly, STA-099, Palmdale Program: STS.
14 February 1978 STA-099 on dock, Lockheed facility, Palmdale Program: STS.
21 June 1979 Start assembly crew module, Challenger (OV-099) Program: STS.

STS-7STS-7 - Full views of Challenger in space taken by the SPAS satellite

Credit: NASA. 33,078 bytes. 600 x 436 pixels.


06 August 1979 Complete limit test (STA-099) Program: STS.

Complete limit test (STA-099), Lockheed facility, Palmdale


04 April 1983 STS-6 Program: STS. Flight Crew: Bobko, Musgrave, Peterson, Weitz. Manned flight: STS-6. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. Mass: 21,305 kg. Perigee: 288 km. Apogee: 295 km. Inclination: 28.5 deg. Duration: 5.02 days.


STS-7STS-7 - STS-7 Challenger landing at Edwards Air Force Base in southern California

Credit: NASA. 16,884 bytes. 418 x 265 pixels.


Manned four crew. First flight of space shuttle Challenger; deployed TDRSS. Payloads: Deployment of Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)-A with Inertial Upper Stage (lUS)-2, Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES), Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR), Night/Day Optical Survey of Lightning (NOSL) experiment, three getaway specials (GAS). Additional Details: STS-6.
07 April 1983 EVA STS-6-1 Program: STS. Flight Crew: Musgrave, Peterson.


STS-41-CSTS-41-C - Launch of the Shuttle Challenger during STS 41-C mission

Credit: NASA. 16,333 bytes. 241 x 453 pixels.


Tested EMU Manoeuvring Unit. Tested EVA emergency procedures.
18 June 1983 STS-7 Program: STS. Flight Crew: Crippen, Fabian, Hauck, Ride, Thagard. Manned flight: STS-7. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. Mass: 16,839 kg. Perigee: 299 km. Apogee: 307 km. Inclination: 28.3 deg. Duration: 6.10 days.


STS-41-CSTS-41-C - Shuttle Challenger atop NASA 905 approaches KSC runway

Credit: NASA. 41,399 bytes. 603 x 402 pixels.


Manned five crew. Deployed Anik C2, Palapa B1; deployed and retrieved SPAS platform. Payloads: Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications (OSTA)-2 experiments, deployment of PALAPA-B1 communications satellite for Indonesia with Payload Assist Module (PAM)-D and Telesat-F communications satellite for Canada with PAM-D, German Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS)-01, seven getaway specials (GAS), Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR), Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES). Additional Details: STS-7.

STS-41-BSTS-41-B - View of the Challenger from the fixed camera in McCandless's helmet

Credit: NASA. 23,857 bytes. 334 x 420 pixels.


30 August 1983 STS-8 Program: STS. Flight Crew: Bluford, Brandenstein, Gardner, Thornton Bill, Truly. Manned flight: STS-8. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. Mass: 13,642 kg. Perigee: 306 km. Apogee: 313 km. Inclination: 28.5 deg. Duration: 6.05 days.


STS-41-BSTS-41-B - View of the Challenger from the fixed camera in McCandless's helmet

Credit: NASA. 14,133 bytes. 310 x 371 pixels.


First night launch and night landing. Deployed Insat 1B. Payloads: Deployment of INSAT (lndia communica-tion satellite) with Payload Assist Module (PAM)-D, Payload Flight Test Article (PFTA)/ Payload Deployment Retrieval System (PDRS), Continuous Flow Electrophoresis (CFES), biomedical experiments. 250,000 express mail envelopes with special cachet for U.S. Postal Service were carried for a first-day cover. Additional Details: STS-8.

STS-41-BSTS-41-B - View of retrieval of foot restraint which strayed from Challenger

Credit: NASA. 33,568 bytes. 482 x 463 pixels.


03 February 1984 STS-41-B Program: STS. Flight Crew: Brand, Gibson, McCandless, McNair, Stewart. Manned flight: STS-41-B. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. Mass: 15,362 kg. Perigee: 307 km. Apogee: 316 km. Inclination: 28.5 deg. Duration: 7.97 days.


STS-41-BSTS-41-B - View of the Palapa-B and the Shuttle Challenger after deployment

Credit: NASA. 16,508 bytes. 346 x 427 pixels.


Manned five crew. Deployed Westar 6, Palapa B2; tested Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU). Payloads: PALAPA-B2 (Indonesian communications satellite) with Payload Assist Module (PAM)-D and WESTAR (Western Union communications satellite)-Vl with PAM-D. Both satellites were deployed but the PAM-D in each satellite failed to ignite, leaving both satellites in earth orbit. Both satellites were retrieved and returned to earth for renovation on the STS-51-A mission. The manned maneuvering unit (MMU) was tested with extravehicular astronauts as free flyers without tethers as far as 98 m from the orbiter. Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS)-01 experiments, Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR), Isoelectric Focusing Experiment (lEF), Acoustic Containerless Experiment System (ACES), Cinema 360 cameras, five getaway specials (GAS), Aerodynamic Coefficient Identification (ACIP)/High Resolution Accelerom-eter Package (HIRAP). Additional Details: STS-41-B.

STS-41-BSTS-41-B - Views of the Challenger landing at Kennedy to end shuttle mission 41-B

Credit: NASA. 24,695 bytes. 613 x 256 pixels.


07 February 1984 EVA STS-10-1 Program: STS. Flight Crew: McCandless, Stewart.

Tested MMU manoeuvring unit in free flight.


09 February 1984 EVA STS-10-2 Program: STS. Flight Crew: McCandless, Stewart.


STS-51-BSTS-51-B - Spacelab D-1 being installed in the Challenger payload bay

Credit: NASA. 62,893 bytes. 468 x 472 pixels.


Tested MMU manoeuvring unit in free flight.
06 April 1984 STS-41-C Program: STS. Flight Crew: Crippen, Hart, Nelson, Scobee, van Hoften. Manned flight: STS-41-C. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. Mass: 17,357 kg. Perigee: 222 km. Apogee: 468 km. Inclination: 28.5 deg. Duration: 6.99 days.


STS-51-BSTS-51-B - Liftoff of shuttle Challenger and mission STS 51-B

Credit: NASA. 27,879 bytes. 402 x 462 pixels.


Manned five crew. First repair on orbit of a satellite, Solar Maximum Mission, by James van Hoften and George Nelson. Deployed LDEF. Payloads:Solar Maximum Mission (SMM) repair, manned maneuvering unit (MMU) satellite support, deployment of Long-Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) in earth orbit free drift. LDEF contained 57 experiments and weighed about 10,000 kg. Cinema 360 and IMAX 70-mm cameras. Additional Details: STS-41-C.

STS-51-LSTS-51-L - Liftoff of the Shuttle Challenger for STS 51-L mission

Credit: NASA. 29,049 bytes. 404 x 463 pixels.


08 April 1984 EVA STS-11-1 Program: STS. Flight Crew: Nelson, van Hoften.

Attempted capture of Solar Max satellite.


11 April 1984 EVA STS-11-2 Program: STS. Flight Crew: Nelson, van Hoften.


STS-51-LSTS-51-L - Liftoff of the Shuttle Challenger for STS 51-L mission

Credit: NASA. 31,703 bytes. 584 x 474 pixels.


Successfully captured and repaired Solar Max satellite.
01 July 1984 STS-41-E Program: STS. Flight Crew: Mattingly, Shriver, Onizuka, Buchli, Detroye.

Planned Department of Defense shuttle mission. Cancelled due to IUS failure.



STS-51-LSTS-51-L - Signs of black smoke during Liftoff of the Shuttle Challenger STS 51-L

Credit: NASA. 56,293 bytes. 614 x 473 pixels.


05 October 1984 STS-41-G Program: STS. Flight Crew: Crippen, Garneau, Leestma, McBride, Ride, Scully-Power, Sullivan. Manned flight: STS-41-G. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. Mass: 10,643 kg. Perigee: 350 km. Apogee: 390 km. Inclination: 51.7 deg. Duration: 8.22 days.


STS-51-LSTS-51-L - View of the SRB problems with Challenger after launch

Credit: NASA. 14,478 bytes. 534 x 341 pixels.


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. Additional Details: STS-41-G.

STS-51-LSTS-51-L - View of the SRB problems with Challenger after launch

Credit: NASA. 14,956 bytes. 530 x 377 pixels.


11 October 1984 EVA STS-13-1 Program: STS. Flight Crew: Leestma, Sullivan.

Simulated refuelling of satellite.


01 March 1985 STS-51-E Program: STS. Flight Crew: Bobko, Williams Donald, Seddon, Griggs, Hoffman, Baudry, Garn.


STS-51-LSTS-51-L - Challenger SRB destruction after launch

Credit: NASA. 22,261 bytes. 501 x 347 pixels.


Planned TDRS/IUS deployment shuttle mission. Cancelled due to IUS failure.
29 April 1985 STS-51-B Program: STS. Flight Crew: Gregory, Lind, Overmyer, Thagard, Thornton Bill, van den Berg, Wang. Manned flight: STS-51-B. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. Mass: 14,245 kg. Perigee: 346 km. Apogee: 353 km. Inclination: 57.0 deg. Duration: 7.01 days.


STS-51-LSTS-51-L - View of the SRB problems with Challenger after launch

Credit: NASA. 16,415 bytes. 448 x 439 pixels.


Manned seven crew. Deployed Nusat; carried Spacelab 3. Payloads: Spacelab-3 experiments, habitable Spacelab and mission peculiar experiment support structure. The experiments represented a total of five different disciplines: materials processing in space, environmental observa-tions, life science, astrophysics, and technology experiments. Two getaway specials (GAS). The flight crew was split into gold and silver shifts working 12-hour days during the flight. Additional Details: STS-51-B.

STS-51-LSTS-51-L - View of the SRB problems with Challenger after launch

Credit: NASA. 13,692 bytes. 427 x 374 pixels.


01 July 1985 STS-51-DA Program: STS. Flight Crew: Shaw, O´Connor, Cleave, Spring.

Planned TDRS/IUS deployment shuttle mission. Cancelled due to IUS failure.


29 July 1985 STS-51-F Program: STS. Flight Crew: Acton, Bartoe, Bridges, England, Fullerton, Henize, Musgrave. Manned flight: STS-51-F. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. Mass: 15,603 kg. Perigee: 203 km. Apogee: 337 km. Inclination: 49.5 deg. Duration: 7.95 days.


STS-51-LSTS-51-L - View of the SRB problems with Challenger after launch

Credit: NASA. 24,896 bytes. 619 x 468 pixels.


Manned seven crew. At 5 minutes, 45 seconds into ascent the number one engine shut down prematurely and an abort to orbit was declared. Despite the anomaly the mission continued. Launched PDP; carried Spacelab 2. Payloads: Spacelab-2 with 13 experiments, Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX), Protein Crystal Growth (PCG). The flight crew was divided into a red and blue team. Each team worked 12-hour shifts for 24-hour-a-day operation. Additional Details: STS-51-F.

STS-51-LSTS-51-L - Challenger accident after launch

Credit: NASA. 26,205 bytes. 569 x 462 pixels.


30 October 1985 STS-61-A Program: STS. Flight Crew: Bluford, Buchli, Dunbar, Furrer, Hartsfield, Messerschmid, Nagel, Ockels. Manned flight: STS-61-A. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. Mass: 14,451 kg. Perigee: 319 km. Apogee: 331 km. Inclination: 57.0 deg. Duration: 7.03 days.


STS-51-LSTS-51-L - Challenger accident after launch

Credit: NASA. 27,288 bytes. 414 x 472 pixels.


Manned eight crew. 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.'. Additional Details: STS-61-A.
28 January 1986 STS-51-L Program: STS. Flight Crew: Jarvis, McAuliffe, McNair, Onizuka, Resnik, Scobee, Smith. Manned flight: STS-51-L. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. FAILURE: Failure of O-rings on Solid Rocket Motor due to cold launch temperature led to burn through of external tank, explosion of vehicle 73 seconds after launch. Duration: 0.00 days.


STS-51-LSTS-51-L - Challenger accident after launch

Credit: NASA. 10,664 bytes. 383 x 366 pixels.


Exploded 73 seconds after launch, all 7 crewmembers were killed; carried TDRSS satellite. Additional Details: STS-51-L.
15 May 1986 STS-61-F Program: STS. Flight Crew: Hauck, Bridges, Lounge, Hilmers.


STS-51-LSTS-51-L - Challenger accident after launch

Credit: NASA. 19,150 bytes. 316 x 453 pixels.


Planned shuttle mission for deployment of Ulysses spacecraft. Cancelled after Challenger disaster.
22 July 1986 STS-61-M Program: STS. Flight Crew: Shriver, O´Connor, Lee, Ride, Fisher William, Wood Robert.


STS-61-ASTS-61-A - Launch of the shuttle Challenger and begining of STS 61-A mission

Credit: NASA. 20,712 bytes. 390 x 421 pixels.


Planned TDRS/IUS deployment shuttle mission. Cancelled after Challenger disaster.
27 September 1986 STS-61-I Program: STS. Flight Crew: Williams Donald, Smith, Dunbar, Carter, Bagian, Bhat.


STS-51-FSTS-51-F - Launch of the STS 51-F Challenger

Credit: NASA. 27,284 bytes. 401 x 443 pixels.


Planned shuttle LDEF (Long Duration Exposure Facility) recovery mission. Cancelled after Challenger disaster.
01 December 1986 STS-71-B Program: STS. Flight Crew: Jones Charles.

Planned shuttle mission. Cancelled after Challenger disaster.


01 March 1987 STS-71-E Program: STS. Flight Crew: Gaffney, Phillips.


STS-51-FSTS-51-F - View of the Challenger's payload bay and the SOUP experiment

Credit: NASA. 50,881 bytes. 478 x 469 pixels.


Planned SLS-1 shuttle mission. Cancelled after Challenger disaster.
01 February 1988 STS-81-G Program: STS. Flight Crew: Mohri, Mukai.

Planned Spacelab-J shuttle mission. Cancelled after Challenger disaster.


01 September 1988 STS-51-K Program: STS. Manned flight: STS-51-K. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle.


STS-51-FSTS-51-F - Landing of the Shuttle Challenger at Edwards AFB and end of STS 51-F mission

Credit: NASA. 17,445 bytes. 442 x 304 pixels.


Planned Spacelab-D1 shuttle mission. Cancelled after Challenger disaster. No crew selected; renamed STS-61A

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Last update 12 March 2001.
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