STS-3 (3)

Pad 39-A (15)
3rd Shuttle mission
3rd Flight OV-102
Extended mission
2nd RMS Mission
1st White Sands landing


Jack R. Lousma (2), Commander
C. Gordon Fullerton (1), Pilot

Backup Crew:

(after STS-3, backup crews were no longer named)
Thomas K. Mattingly (1), Commander
Henry W. Hartsfield (0), Jr., Pilot


OPF - Nov. 26,1981
VAB - Feb. 3, 1982
PAD - Feb, 16, 1982



Mission Objectives:

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Demonstrate safe re-launch and safe return of the orbiter and crew. Verify the combined performance of the entire shuttle vehicle - orbiter, solid rocket boosters and external tank.

Payloads included the 8,740lb Office of Space Science (OSS-1) Pallet consisting of the Plant Lignification Experiment, the Plasma Diagnostic Package (PDP), the Vehical Charging and Potential (VCAP) experiment, the Space Shuttle Induced Atmosphere experiment, the Thermal Canister experiment, the Solar Flare X-Ray Polarimeter, the Solar Ultraviolet and Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SUSIM), the Contamination Monitor Package and the Foil Microabrasion Package. Also in the payload bay was the 11,048lb Development Flight Instrumentation (DFI) Pallet and the 448lb Aerodynamic Coefficient Identification Package (ACIP).

The crew compartment housed the Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR) experiment and the Heflex Bioengineering Test (HBT) experiment.


March 22, 1982, 11:00:00 a.m. EST. Launch delayed one hour due to failure of heater on nitrogen gas ground support line. Launch Weight: 235,415 lbs.


Altitude: 147nm
Inclination: 38.0 degrees
Orbits: 130
Duration: Eight days, zero hours. four minutes, 46 seconds.
Distance: 3,334,904 miles


SRB: BI-003
ET : 4/SWT-3
MLP: 1
SSME-1: SN-2007
SSME-2: SN-2006
SSME-3: SN-2005


March 30, 1982,9:04:46 a.m. MST, Runway 17, Northrup Strip, White Sands, N.M. Rollout distance: 13,737 feet. Rollout time: 84 seconds. Landing site changed from Edwards to White Sands due to wet conditions on Edwards dry lake bed landing site. High winds at White Sands resulted in one day extension of mission, Some brake damage upon landing and dust storm caused extensive contamination of orbiter. Orbiter returned to KSC April 6, 1982. Landing Weight: 207,072 lbs.

Mission Highlights:

Testing continued of Space Shuttle systems for qualification for operational flights. Testing of remote manipulator system and measurements of thermal response of orbiter in various attitudes to sun conducted. Get Away Special test canister and Spacelab pallet-mounted experiments for NASA's Office of Space Science- 1 (OSS-1) carried in payload bay. 0SS-1 obtained data on near- Earth space environment, including contamination (gases, dust, etc.) introduced into space by orbiter itself. Other experiments: Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR), Electrophoresis Equipment Verification Test (EEVT), Heflex Bioengineering Test (HBT) and first Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSIP) experiment. Problems encountered: space sickness, malfunctioning toilet, thermostat difficulty and unexplained static interfering with crew sleep. Auxiliary power unit registered overheating during ascent, but functioned properly during descent. Three communications links lost.

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Last Updated Friday June 29 11:21:02 EDT 2001
Jim Dumoulin (