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Occurred 39 years ago

STS-61A was the 22nd mission of NASA's Space Shuttle program.

Space Shuttle


mission duration

7 days, 0 hours, 44 minutes, 51 seconds


October 30, 1985


November 6, 1985
Eight astronauts stand and pose for their crew picture. They are wearing space flight suites and smiling.
STS-61A Crew photo with Commander Henry W. Hartsfield, Jr., Pilot Steven R. Nagel, Mission Specialists James F. Buchli, Guion S. Bluford, Bonnie J. Dunbar and Payload Specialists Reinhard Furrer, Ernst Messerschmid and Wubbo J. Ockels.

Mission Facts

Mission: D-1 Spacelab Mission (First German Dedicated Spacelab)
Space Shuttle: Challenger
Launch Pad: 39A
Launch Weight: 243,762 pounds
Launched: October 30, 1985, 12:00:00 p.m. EST
Landing Site: Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Landing: November 6, 1985, 9:44:53 a.m. PST
Landing WeightL 214,171
Runway: 17
Mission Duration: 7 days, 0 hours, 44 minutes, 51 seconds


Henry W. Hartsfield, Jr., Commander

Steven R. Nagel, Pilot

James F. Buchli, Mission Specialist

Guion S. Bluford, Jr., Mission Specialist

Bonnie J. Dunbar, Mission Specialist

Reinhard Furrer, Payload Specialist

Ernst Messerschmid, Payload Specialist

Wubbo J. Ockels, Payload Specialist

Mission Highlights

The mission was dedicated to the West German Spacelab D-1 laboratory, which included 75 numbered experiments. Experiments centered around basic and applied microgravity research in materials science, life science and technology, communications and navigation.

Certain flight operations related to Spacelab D-1 were controlled directly from the German Space Operations Center at Oberpfaffenhofen, near Munich. Other payloads included the Global Low Orbiting Message Relay (GLOMR) which was a satellite deployed from a GAS canister.

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