Suggested Searches


Occurred 40 years ago

On this mission the first untethered space walks were carried out by Bruce McCandless and Robert Stewart, using the manned maneuvering unit. 

Space Shuttle


mission duration

7 days, 23 hours, 15 minutes, 55 seconds


February 3, 1984


February 11, 1984
Five astronauts pose for crew portrait with model shuttle and US flag
These are the five astronauts who flew on the STS-41B mission. On the front row are Vance D. Brand, commander; and Robert L. Gibson, pilot. Mission specialists (back row, left to right) are Robert L. Stewart, Dr. Ronald E. McNair and Bruce McCandless II. Stewart and McCandless are wearing Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMU) space suits. (October 15, 1983)

Mission Facts

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

Mission Highlights

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.

Vance D. Brand


A recognized aerospace engineer and test pilot with almost 10,000 flying hours, Brand is perhaps best known as for his career as a NASA astronaut.

More About Vance D. Brand
Portrait of Vance Brand
S86-38100 (2 Oct. 1986) — Astronaut Vance D. Brand.
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