Suggested Searches


Occurred 34 years ago

STS-32's primary objective was the deployment of SYNCOM IV-F5 defense communications satellite and retrieval of NASA's Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF).



mission duration

10 days, 21 hours, 0 minutes, 36 seconds


Jan. 9, 1990


Jan. 20, 1990
Five astronauts pose for crew photo in orange spacesuits in front of US flag.
S89-48342 (October 1989) — These five astronauts have been assigned to serve as crewmembers for NASA’s STS-32 mission aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in December of this year. In front are Astronauts Daniel C. Brandenstein (left), commander, and James D. Wetherbee, pilot. In back are Astronauts (l-r) Marsha S. Ivins, G. David Low and Bonnie J. Dunbar, all mission specialists.

Mission Facts

Mission: SYNCOM IV-F5; LDEF Retrieval
Space Shuttle: Columbia
Launch Pad: 39A
Launch Weight: 255,994 pounds
Launched: January 9, 1990, 7:35:00 a.m. EST
Landing Site: Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Landing: January 20, 1990, 1:35:36 a.m. PST
Landing Weight: 228,335 pounds
Runway: 22
Rollout Distance: 10,096 feet
Rollout Time: 62 seconds
Revolution: 172
Mission Duration: 10 days, 21 hours, 0 minutes, 36 seconds
Returned to KSC: January 26, 1990
Orbit Altitude: 178 nautical miles
Orbit Inclination: 28.5 degrees
Miles Traveled: 4.5 million


Daniel C. Brandenstein, Commander
James D. Wetherbee, Pilot
Marsha S. Ivins, Mission Specialist
G. David Low, Mission Specialist
Bonnie J. Dunbar, Mission Specialist

Launch Highlights

The launch scheduled for December 18, 1989 was postponed to complete and verify modifications to Pad A, being used for first time since January 1986. The launch scheduled for January 8, 1990 scrubbed due to weather conditions.

Mission Highlights

Objectives were deployment of SYNCOM IV-F5 defense communications satellite and retrieval of NASA’s Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF). SYNCOM IV-F5 (also known as LEASAT 5) deployed first, and third stage Minuteman solid perigee kick motor propelled the satellite to geosynchronous orbit. LDEF was retrieved on flight day four using the remote manipulator system. Middeck payloads: Characterization of Neurospora Circadian Rhythms (CNCR); Protein Crystal Growth (PCG); Fluid Experiment Apparatus (FEA); American Flight Echocardiograph (AFE); Latitude /Longitude Locator (L3); Mesoscale Lightning Experiment (MLE); IMAX camera; and Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) experiment.

Featured Story

Retired Space Shuttle Locations

Shuttle Atlantis – Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Shuttle Discovery – Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Shuttle Endeavour – California Science…

Read the Story