Mission Archives

Mission: WESTAR-VI, Manned Maneuvering Unit, PALAPA-B2, First KSC Landing
Space Shuttle: Challenger
Launch Pad: 39A
Launch Weight: 250,452 pounds
Launched: February 3, 1984 at 8:00:00 a.m. EST
Landing Site: Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Landing: February 11, 1984 at 7:15:55 a.m. EST
Landing Weight: 201,238 pounds
Runway: 15
Rollout Distance: 10,815 feet
Rollout Time: 67 seconds
Revolution: 128
Mission Duration: 7 days, 23 hours, 15 minutes, 55 seconds
Orbit Altitude: 189 nautical miles
Orbit Inclination: 28.5 degrees
Miles Traveled: 3.3 million

Crew Members

Image to right: STS-41B Crew photo with Commander Vance D. Brand, Pilot Robert L. Gibson, Mission Specialists Bruce McCandless II, Ronald E. McNair and Robert L. Stewart. Image Credit: NASA

Mission Highlights

STS-41B Mission Patch On this mission the first untethered space walks were carried out by McCandless and Stewart, using the manned maneuvering unit. The WESTAR-VI and PALAPA-B2 satellites were deployed, but failure of the Payload Assist Module-D (PAM-D) rocket motors left them in radical low-Earth orbits. The German-built Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS), originally flown on STS-7, became the first satellite refurbished and carried back into space. SPAS remained in the payload bay due to an electrical problem with Remote Manipulator System (RMS). The RMS manipulator foot restraints were first used to practice procedures performed for Solar Maximum satellite retrieval and repair planned for next mission. Integrated Rendezvous Target (IRT) failed due to an internal issue. Five Get Away Special canisters flown in the cargo bay and Cinema-360 camera were used by crew. Other payloads included: Acoustic Containerless Experiment System (ACES); Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR); Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME), and Isoelectric Focusing (IEF) payload.

NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center