Encyclopedia Astronautica
STS-6



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STS-6
Deployment of the TDRS by STS-6 Challenger
Credit: NASA
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STS-6
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
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STS-6
TDRS satellite over African Rift Valley, Kenya, Africa
Credit: NASA
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STS-6
MS Musgrave tethered to starboard sill longeron floats outside PLB
Credit: NASA
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STS-6
Views of EVA performed during STS-6
Credit: NASA
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STS-6
Views of EVA performed during STS-6
Credit: NASA
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STS-6
Astronaut Musgrave performing EVA during STS-6
Credit: NASA
Crew: Bobko, Musgrave, Peterson, Weitz. First flight of space shuttle Challenger. First space walk of Shuttle program Manned four crew. Deployed Tracking and Data Relay Satellite.

Manned four crew. First flight of space shuttle Challenger; deployed TDRSS. Payloads: Deployment of Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)-A with Inertial Upper Stage (lUS)-2, Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES), Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR), Night/Day Optical Survey of Lightning (NOSL) experiment, three getaway specials (GAS).

Orbits of Earth: 80. Distance traveled: 3,370,437 km. Orbiter Liftoff Mass: 116,457 kg. Orbiter Mass at Landing: 86,330 kg. Payload to Orbit: 21,305 kg. Payload Returned: 4,275 kg. Landed at: Concrete runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base, Cali. Landing Speed: 352 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 617 m. Landing Rollout: 2,188 m. EVA: Story Musgrave and Donald Peterson, duration 3 hours and 54 minutes.

NASA Official Mission Narrative

Mission Name: STS-6 (6)
CHALLENGER (1)
Pad 39-A (18)
6th Shuttle mission
1st Flight OV-099
1st Shuttle from MLP-2
1st Launch Light Weight External Tank

Crew:
Paul J. Weitz (2), Commander
Karol J. Bobko (1), Pilot
Donald H. Peterson (1), Mission Specialist
F. Story Musgrave (1), Mission Specialist

Milestones:
OPF - July 6, 1982
VAB - Nov. 23, 1982
PAD - Nov. 30, 1982

Payload:
TDRS-A,CFES(2),MLR/NOSL(1),GAS(x3)
Mission Objectives:

Launch:
April 4, 1983, 1:30:00 p.m. EST. Launch set for Jan. 20 postponed due to hydrogen leak into number one main engine aft compartment discovered during 20 second Flight Readiness Firing (FRF) Dec. 18, 1982. Cracks in number one main engine confirmed to be cause of leak during second FRF performed Jan. 25, 1983. All three main engines removed while Shuttle was on the pad and fuel line cracks repaired. Main engines two and three reinstalled following extensive failure analysis and testing. Number one main engine replaced. Additional delay caused by contamination to Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-1 (TDRS-1) during a severe storm. Launch on April 4 proceeded as scheduled. Launch Weight: 256,744 lbs.
Orbit:
Altitude: 178nm
Inclination: 28.5 degrees
Orbits: 81
Duration: 5 days, 2 hours, 14 minutes, 25 seconds
Distance: 2,094,293 miles

Hardware:
SRB: BI-006
SRM: 006LW(SPM)
ET : 8/LWT-1
MLP : 2
SSME-1: SN-2017
SSME-2: SN-2015
SSME-3: SN-2012

Landing:
April 9, 1983, 10:53:42 a.m. PST, Runway 22, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Rollout distance 7,180 feet, Rollout time 49 sec. Orbiter returned to KSC April 16, 1983. Landing Weight: 190,330 lbs.

Mission Highlights:
Primary payload was first Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-1
(TDRS-1). Malfunction of Inertial Upper Stage booster resulted in
placement of spacecraft into improper but stable orbit. Additional
propellant aboard satellite used over next several months gradually
place TDRS-1 into properly circularized orbit. First space walk
of Shuttle program performed by Peterson and Musgrave, lasting
about four hours, 17 minutes. Other payloads: Continuous Flow
Electrophoresis System (CFES), Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR)
(MLR), Radiation Monitoring Experiment (RME). Night/Day Optical
Survey of Lightning (NOSL), and three Get Away Special canisters.
Mission used first lightweight external tank and lightweight
rocket booster casings.

AKA: Challenger.
First Launch: 1983.04.04.
Last Launch: 1983.04.09.
Duration: 5.02 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Weitz Weitz, Paul Joseph (1932-) American pilot astronaut. Flew on Skylab 2, STS-6. Member of first successful space station mission. More...
  • Peterson Peterson, Dr Donald Herod 'Don' (1933-) American test pilot mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-6. More...
  • Musgrave Musgrave, Dr Franklin Story (1935-) American physician mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-6, STS-51-F, STS-33, STS-44, STS-61, STS-80. Flew in space six times. More...
  • Bobko Bobko, Karol Joseph 'Bo' (1937-) American pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-6, STS-51-D, STS-51-J. More...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Challenger American manned spaceplane. 10 launches, 1983.04.04 (STS-6) to 1986.01.28 (STS-51-L). 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-6 Chronology


1983 April 4 - . 18:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-6.
  • STS-6 - . Call Sign: Challenger. Crew: Bobko; Musgrave; Peterson; Weitz. Payload: Challenger F01 / TDRS 1 [IUS]. Mass: 21,305 kg (46,969 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bobko; Musgrave; Peterson; Weitz. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-6. Spacecraft: Challenger. Duration: 5.02 days. Decay Date: 1983-04-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 13968 . COSPAR: 1983-026A. Apogee: 295 km (183 mi). Perigee: 288 km (178 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 90.40 min. Manned four crew. First flight of space shuttle Challenger; deployed TDRSS. Payloads: Deployment of Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)-A with Inertial Upper Stage (lUS)-2, Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES), Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR), Night/Day Optical Survey of Lightning (NOSL) experiment, three getaway specials (GAS).

1983 April 8 - . 21:05 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-6-1 - . Crew: Musgrave; Peterson. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.17 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Musgrave; Peterson. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-6. Spacecraft: Challenger. Summary: Tested EMU Manoeuvring Unit. Tested EVA emergency procedures..

1983 April 9 - .
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