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Mission Archives

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Space Shuttle: Atlantis
Launch Pad: 39A
Launch Weight: 261,455 pounds
Launched: November 26, 1985, 7:29:00 p.m. EST
Landing Site: Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Landing: December 3, 1985, 1:33:49 p.m. PST
Landing Weight: 205,732 pounds
Runway: 22
Rollout Distance: 10,759 feet
Rollout Time: 78 seconds
Revolution: 109
Mission Duration: 6 days, 21 hours, 4 minutes, 49 seconds
Returned to KSC: December 7, 1985
Orbit Altitude: 225 nautical miles
Orbit Inclination: 57 degrees
Miles Traveled: 2.8 million

Crew Members

                    STS-61B Crew Photo

Image above: STS-61B Crew photo with Commander Brewster H. Shaw, Jr., Pilot Bryan D. O'Connor, Mission Specialists Mary L. Cleave, Sherwood C. Spring, Jerry L. Ross and Payload Specialists Rodolfo Neri Vela and Charles D. Walker. Image Credit: NASA

Mission Highlights

STS-61B Mission Patch Three communications satellites were deployed: MORE LOS-B (Mexico), AUSSAT-2 (Australia) and SATCOM KU-2 (RCA Americom). MORELOS-B and AUSSAT-2 were attached to the Payload Assist Module-D motors, SATCOM KU-2 to a PAM-D2 designed for heavier payloads. Two experiments were conducted to test assembling erectable structures in space: Experimental Assembly of Structures in Extravehicular Activity (EASE) and Assembly Concept for Construction of Erectable Space Structure (ACCESS). The experiments required two space walks by Spring and Ross lasting five hours, 32 minutes, and six hours, 38 minutes, respectively. Middeck payloads: Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES); Diffusive Mixing of Organic Solutions (DMOS); Morelos Payload Specialist Experiments (MPSE) and Orbiter Experiments (OEX). In payload bay: Get Away Special and IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC).

NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center