51-I (20)

Pad 39-A (32)
20th Shuttle mission
6th Flight OV-103
Shortened mission


Joe H. Engle (2), Commander
Richard O. Covey (1), Pilot
James D. A. van Hoften (2), Mission Specialist 1
John M. Lounge (1), Mission Specialist 2
William F. Fisher (1), Mission Specialist 3


OPF - June 29, 1985
VAB - July 30, 1985
PAD - Aug. 6, 1985



Mission Objectives:

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August 27, 1985, 6:58:01 a.m. EDT. Launch Aug. 24 scrubbed at T-5 minutes due to thunderstorms in vicinity. Launch Aug. 25 delayed when orbiter's number five on-board general purpose computer failed. Launch Aug. 27 delayed three minutes, one second due to combination of weather and unauthorized ship entering restricted solid rocket booster recovery area. Launch Weight: 262,309 lbs.


Altitude: 242nm
Inclination: 28.45 degrees
Orbits: 112
Duration: 7 days, 2 hours, 17 minutes, 42 seconds.
Distance: 2,919,576 miles


SRB: BI-020
SRM: L020(HPM)
ET : 21/LWT-14
MLP : 1
SSME-1: SN-2109
SSME-2: SN-2018
SSME-3: SN-2012


September 3, 1985, 6:15:43 a.m. PDT, Runway 23, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Rollout distance: 6,100 feet. Rollout time: 47 seconds. Mission shortened one day when AUSSAT sunshield hung up on remote manipulator system camera and AUSSAT had to be deployed before scheduled. Orbiter returned to KSC Sept. 8, 1985. Landing Weight: 196,674 lbs.

Mission Highlights:

Three communications satellites deployed: ASC-1 , for American Satellite Company; AUSSAT-1, an Australian Communications Satellite; and SYNCOM IV-4, the Synchronous Communications Satellite. ASC-1 and AUSSAT-1 both attached to Payload Assist Module-D (PAM-D) motors. SYNCOM IV-4 (also known as LEASAT-4) failed to function after reaching correct geosynchronous orbit. Fisher and van Hoften performed 11 hours, 27 minutes of space walk. Part of time spent retrieving, repairing and redeploying LEASAT-3, deployed on Mission 51-D. Middeck Payload: Physical Vapor Transport Organic Solid Experiment (PVTOS).

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Last Updated Friday June 29 11:21:02 EDT 2001
Jim Dumoulin (dumoulin@titan.ksc.nasa.gov)