Encyclopedia Astronautica
STS-51-J



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STS-51-J
Astronaut Ronald Grabe in the single systems trainer
Credit: NASA
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STS-51-J
Lift-off of first flight of Atlantis and the STS 51-J mission
Credit: NASA
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STS-51-J
Landing of the Shuttle Atlantis and the end of the STS 51-J mission
Credit: NASA
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STS-51-J
Landing of the Shuttle Atlantis and the end of the STS 51-J mission
Credit: NASA
Crew: Bobko, Grabe, Hilmers, Pailes, Stewart. First flight of shuttle Atlantis. Military mission, manned five crew. Deployed USA-11, USA-12.

Manned five crew. Atlantis (first flight); deployed USA 11, USA 12. Reusable space transportation system.

Orbits of Earth: 63. Landed at: Runway 23 dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, . Touchdown miss distance: 754.00 m. Landing Rollout: 2,455.00 m. Payloads: Classified DoD Mission - Record altitude (as of 5/93).

NASA Official Mission Narrative

Mission Name: 51-J (21)
Atlantis (1)
Pad 39-A (33)
21st Shuttle mission
1st Flight OV-104

Crew:
Karol J. Bobko (3), Commander
Ronald J. Grabe (1), Pilot
David C. Hilmers (1), Mission Specialist 1
Robert L. Stewart (2), Mission Specialist 2
William A. Pailes (1), Payload Specialist 1

Milestones:
OPF - April 14, 1985
VAB - May 10, 1985
(storage)
OPF - May 28, 1985
VAB - July 18, 1985
(storage)
OPF - July 30, 1985
VAB - Aug. 12, 1985
PAD - Aug. 30, 1985

Payload:
DoD(2)
Mission Objectives:

Launch:
October 3, 1985, 11:15:30 am EDT. Launch delayed 22 minutes, 30 seconds due to main engine liquid hydrogen prevalve close remote power controller showing faulty 'on' indication. Launch Weight: Classified.
Orbit:
Altitude: 319nm
Inclination: 28.5 degrees
Orbits: 64
Duration: 4 days, 1 hour, 44 minutes, 38 seconds.
Distance: 1,725,000 miles

Hardware:
SRB: BI-021
SRM: L021(HPM)
ET : 25/LWT-18
MLP : 2
SSME-1: SN-2011
SSME-2: SN-2019
SSME-3: SN-2017

Landing:
October 7,1985,10:00:08 a.m. PDT, Runway 23, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Rollout distance: 8,056 feet. Rollout time: 65 seconds. Orbiter returned to KSC Oct. 11,1985. Landing Weight: 190,400 lbs.

Mission Highlights:
Second mission dedicated to Department of Defense.

AKA: Atlantis.
First Launch: 1985.10.03.
Last Launch: 1985.10.07.
Duration: 4.07 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Bobko Bobko, Karol Joseph 'Bo' (1937-) American pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-6, STS-51-D, STS-51-J. More...
  • Grabe Grabe, Ronald John 'Ron' (1945-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-51-J, STS-30, STS-42, STS-57. Flew 200 combat missions over Vietnam. More...
  • Hilmers Hilmers, David Carl 'Dave' (1950-) American USMC engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-51-J, STS-26, STS-36, STS-42. Known as a religiously conservative astronaut; summed up many astronaut's fears of the shuttle, saying before a flight "I have no plans past MECO". More...
  • Pailes Pailes, William Arthur (1952-) American engineer military spaceflight engineer astronaut. Flew on STS-51-J. More...
  • Stewart Stewart, Robert Lee (1954-) American test pilot mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-41-B, STS-51-J. More...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Atlantis American manned spaceplane. 33 launches, 1985.10.03 to 2011.07.08. The space shuttle Atlantis was the fourth orbiter to become operational at Kennedy Space Center, and the last of the original production run. 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-J Chronology


1985 October 3 - . 15:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-28/51-J.
  • STS-51-J - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Bobko; Grabe; Hilmers; Pailes; Stewart. Payload: Atlantis F01 / DSCS-3 2 / DSCS-3 3 [IUS]. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bobko; Grabe; Hilmers; Pailes; Stewart. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-51-J. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 4.07 days. Decay Date: 1985-10-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 16115 . COSPAR: 1985-092A. Apogee: 486 km (301 mi). Perigee: 476 km (295 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 94.20 min. Manned five crew. Atlantis (first flight); deployed USA 11, USA 12. Reusable space transportation system.

    Orbits of Earth: 63. Landed at: Runway 23 dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, . Touchdown miss distance: 754.00 m. Landing Rollout: 2,455.00 m. Payloads: Classified DoD Mission - Record altitude (as of 5/93).


1985 October 7 - .
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