Encyclopedia Astronautica
STS-51-A



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STS-51-A
Aerial view of the launch of STS 51-A shuttle Discovery
Credit: NASA
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STS-51-A
View of the launch of STS 51-A shuttle Discovery
Credit: NASA
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STS-51-A
Astronaut Dale Gardner tethered to Discovery's starboard side.
Credit: NASA
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STS-51-A
Astronaut Dale Gardner using MMU to travel to Westar VI satellite
Credit: NASA
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STS-51-A
Astronaut Dale Gardner using MMU to travel to Westar VI satellite
Credit: NASA
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Astronaut Dale Gardner using MMU to travel to Westar VI satellite
Credit: NASA
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Astronaut Dale Gardner achieves hard dock with Westar VI satellite
Credit: NASA
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Astronauts Gardner and Allen bringing Westar VI satellite into payload bay
Credit: NASA
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Astronauts Gardner and Allen during loading of Westar VI in payload bay
Credit: NASA
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Astronauts Gardner and Allen during loading of Palapa B-2 in payload bay
Credit: NASA
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Astronauts Joseph Allen rides cherry picker over stowage area/work station
Credit: NASA
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Astronauts Gardner and Allen on the RMS after recapture of Westar VI
Credit: NASA
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Astronaut Dale Gardner holds up for sale sign after EVA
Credit: NASA
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Astronaut Anna Fisher poses near a 3M experiment involving the DMOS
Credit: NASA
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STS-51-A
Syncom IV-1 satellite leaving Discovery's payload bay
Credit: NASA
Crew: Allen, Fisher, Gardner, Hauck, Walker Dave. Manned five crew. First retrieval of two satellites (Palapa B-2 and Westar Vl) for return to earth. Deployed Anik D2, Leasat 2.

Manned five crew. First retrieval of two satellites (PALAPA B-2 and WESTAR Vl) for return to earth. Deployed Anik D2, Leasat 2; recovered Westar 6, Palapa B2. Payloads: Telesat (Canada communications satellite)-H with Payload Assist Module (PAM)-D deploy-ment, Syncom IV-1 communications satellite deployment with its unique stage, retrieval of PALAPA B-2 and WESTAR VI communications satellites with PAM-D which failed to ignite on the STS-41-B mission. Manned maneuvering unit (MMU) used for retrieval. Diffusive Mixing of Organic Solutions (DMOS) experiment.

Orbits of Earth: 126. Distance traveled: 5,293,785 km. Orbiter Liftoff Mass: 119,441 kg. Orbiter Mass at Landing: 94,120 kg. Payload to Orbit: 20,550 kg. Payload Returned: 11,273 kg. Landed at: Runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Landing Speed: 344 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 828 m. Landing Rollout: 2,883 m. EVA: Joseph Allen and Dale Gardner. EVA No. 1 duration, 6 hours, 13 minutes. EVA No. 2 duration, 6 hours and 1 minute. Manned maneuvering unit (MMU) operating time Joseph Allen 2 hours, 22 minutes, Dale Gardner 1 hour, 40 minutes.

NASA Official Mission Narrative

Mission Name: 51-A (14)
DISCOVERY (2)
Pad 39-A (26)
14th Shuttle mission
2nd Flight OV-103
3rd KSC landing

Crew:
Frederick H. Hauck (2), Commander
David M. Walker (1), Pilot
Anna L. Fisher (1), Mission Specialist 1
Dale A. Gardner (2), Mission Specialist 2
Joseph P. Allen (2), Mission Specialist 3

Milestones:
OPF - Sept. 10,1984
VAB - Oct. 18,1984
PAD - Oct. 23, 1984

Payload:
ANIK-D2,LEASAT-2,DMOS,RME(5)
Mission Objectives:

Launch:
November 8, 1984,7:15:00 a.m. EST. Launch attempt Nov. 7 scrubbed during built-in hold at T-20 minutes due to wind shears in upper atmosphere. Countdown Nov. 8 proceeded as scheduled. Launch Weight: 263,324 lbs.
Orbit:
Altitude: 185nm
Inclination: 28.5 degrees
Orbits: 127
Duration: 7 days, 23 hours, 44 minutes, 56 seconds.
Distance: 3,289,406 miles

Hardware:
SRB: BI-014
SRM: 014LW(HPM)
ET : 16/LWT-9
MLP : 2
SSME-1: SN-2109
SSME-2: SN-2018
SSME-3: SN-2012

Landing:
November 16, 1984, 6:59:56 a.m. EST, Runway 15, Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Rollout distance: 9,461 feet Rollout time: 58 seconds. Landing Weight: 207,505 lbs.

Mission Highlights:
Canadian communications satellite TELESAT-H (ANIK), attached to Payload Assist Module-D (PAM-D), deployed into geosynchronous orbit on flight day two. On third day, defense communications satellite SYNCOM IV-I (also known as LEASAT-1) deployed. Allen and Gardner, wearing jet-propelled manned maneuvering units, retrieved two malfunctioning satellites: PALAPA-B2 and WESTAR-VI, both deployed on Mission 41-B. Fisher operated remote manipulator system, grappling satellites and depositing them in payload bay. Middeck payloads: Diffusive Mixing of Organic Solutions (DMOS), and Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME).

AKA: Discovery.
First Launch: 1984.11.08.
Last Launch: 1984.11.16.
Duration: 7.99 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Allen Allen, Joseph Percival IV 'Joe' (1937-) American physicist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-5, STS-51-A. More...
  • Hauck Hauck, Frederick Hamilton 'Rick' (1941-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-7, STS-51-A, STS-26. Flew 114 combat missions in Vietnam. More...
  • Walker, Dave Walker, David Mathieson 'Dave' (1944-2001) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-51-A, STS-30, STS-53, STS-69. Navy nickname Red Flash, a cocky pilot, over-confident in some astronaut's eyes. More...
  • Gardner Gardner, Dale Allan (1948-) American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-8, STS-51-A. More...
  • Fisher Fisher, Dr Anna Lee Tingle (1949-) American physician mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-51-A. First mother in space. Was married to astronaut William Fisher. Took extended leave 1989 to 1996 to raise family. More...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Discovery American manned spaceplane. 39 launches, 1984.08.30 to 2011.02.24. More...

See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...
  • NASA Houston American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. Houston, Houston, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • STS The Space Transportation System (Space Shuttle) was conceived originally as a completely reusable system that would provide cheap, routine access to space and replace all American and civilian military launch vehicles. Crippled by technological overreach, political compromise, and budget limitations, it instead ended up costing more than the expendable rockets it was to have replaced. STS sucked the money out of all other NASA projects for half a century. The military abandoned its use after the Challenger shuttle explosion in the 1980's. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...

STS-51-A Chronology


1984 November 8 - . 12:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-19/51-A.
  • STS-51-A - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Allen; Fisher; Gardner; Hauck; Walker, Dave. Payload: Discovery F02 / PLT. Mass: 20,550 kg (45,300 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Allen; Fisher; Gardner; Hauck; Walker, Dave. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-51-A. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 7.99 days. Decay Date: 1984-11-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 15382 . COSPAR: 1984-113A. Apogee: 297 km (184 mi). Perigee: 289 km (179 mi). Inclination: 28.4000 deg. Period: 90.40 min. Manned five crew. First retrieval of two satellites (PALAPA B-2 and WESTAR Vl) for return to earth. Deployed Anik D2, Leasat 2; recovered Westar 6, Palapa B2. Payloads: Telesat (Canada communications satellite)-H with Payload Assist Module (PAM)-D deploy-ment, Syncom IV-1 communications satellite deployment with its unique stage, retrieval of PALAPA B-2 and WESTAR VI communications satellites with PAM-D which failed to ignite on the STS-41-B mission. Manned maneuvering unit (MMU) used for retrieval. Diffusive Mixing of Organic Solutions (DMOS) experiment.

1984 November 12 - . 13:25 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-51-A-1 - . Crew: Allen; Gardner. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.26 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Allen; Gardner. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-51-A. Spacecraft: Discovery. Summary: Retrieved Palapa satellite..

1984 November 14 - .
  • EVA STS-51-A-2 - . Crew: Allen; Gardner. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.25 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Allen; Gardner. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-51-A. Spacecraft: Discovery. Summary: Retrieved Westar satellite..

1984 November 16 - .
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