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Occurred 35 years ago

STS-33 was the fifth mission dedicated to the Department of Defense.



mission duration

5 days, 0 hours, 6 minutes, 48 seconds


Nov. 22, 1989


Nov. 27, 1989
Five astronauts pose in orange space suits in front of US flag.
S89-45737 (19 September 1989) — Official STS-33 crew portrait. These five astronauts will be aboard the space shuttle Discovery for a scheduled November 1989 mission for the Department of Defense (DOD). Frederick D. Gregory (center, front) is mission commander. He is flanked by Kathryn C. Thornton and F. Story Musgrave, mission specialists. At rear are Manley L. Carter, Jr., mission specialist, and John E. Blaha, pilot.

Mission Facts

Mission: Department of Defense
Space Shuttle: Discovery
Launch Pad: 39B
Launch Weight: Classified
Launched: November 22, 1989, 7:23:30 p.m. EST
Landing Site: Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Landing: November 27, 1989, 4:30:18 p.m. PST
Landing Weight: 194,282 pounds
Runway: 4
Rollout Distance: 7,764 feet
Rollout Time: 46 seconds
Revolution: 79
Mission Duration: 5 days, 0 hours, 6 minutes, 48 seconds
Returned to KSC: December 4, 1989
Orbit Altitude: 302 nautical miles
Orbit Inclination: 28.45 degrees
Miles Traveled: 2.1 million


Frederick D. Gregory, Commander
John E. Blaha, Pilot
Kathryn C. Thornton, Mission Specialist
F. Story Musgrave, Mission Specialist
Manley L. Carter, Jr., Mission Specialist

Launch Highlights

The launch set for November 20 was rescheduled to allow changeout of suspect integrated electronics assemblies on the twin solid rocket boosters.

Mission Highlights

Fifth mission dedicated to the Department of Defense.

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