Encyclopedia Astronautica

Launch of STS-9 Space Shuttle Columbia
Credit: NASA
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
View of the Spacelab module in the payload bay of the Columbia during STS-9
Credit: NASA
STS-9 crewmembers Parker and Merbold floating about the Spacelab module
Credit: NASA
Payload Specialist Byron K. Lichtenberg working in the Spacelab
Credit: NASA
View of payload bay as seen from Spacelab aft viewing area
Credit: NASA
STS-9 crewmembers gather around television monitor in Spacelab module
Credit: NASA
Payload Specialist Ulf Merbold working in the Spacelab
Credit: NASA
Post landing view of the Columbia on runway with deservicing vehicles & crew
Credit: NASA
Crew: Garriott, Lichtenberg, Merbold, Parker, Shaw, Young. First West German to fly in space. First Spacelab mission. Record six crew size in a single spacecraft. Suspect exhaust nozzle on right solid rocket booster. Landing delayed when two computers failed. Landed on fire when hydraulic pump leaked.

Carried ESA Spacelab. Payloads: Payload: Spacelab-1 experiments, habitable Spacelab and pallet, carried 71 experiments. The six-man crew was divided into two 12-hour-day red and blue teams to operate experiments. First high-inclination orbit of 57 degrees.

Orbits of Earth: 166. Distance traveled: 6,913,505 km. Orbiter Liftoff Mass: 112,318 kg. Orbiter Mass at Landing: 99,800 kg. Payload to Orbit: 15,088 kg. Payload Returned: 15,088 kg. Landed at: Runway 17 dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, . Landing Speed: 342 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 502 m. Landing Rollout: 2,577 m.

NASA Official Mission Narrative

Mission Name: STS-9 (9)
Pad 39-A (21)
9th Shuttle mission
6th Flight OV-102
1st rollback
Extended mission

John W. Young (6), Commander
Brewster H. Shaw (1), Jr., Pilot
Owen K. Garriott (2), Mission Specialist
Dr. Robert A. Parker (1), Mission Specialist
Dr. Byron K. Lichtenberg (1), Payload Specialist
Dr. Ulf Merbold (1), Payload Specialist (ESA)

Flow A:
OPF - Nov. 23, 1982
VAB - Sept. 24, 1983
PAD - Sept. 28, 1983
Flow B:
OPF - Oct. 20, 1983
VAB - Nov. 3, 1983
PAD - Nov. 8,1983

Mission Objectives:

November 28, 1983, 11:00:00 a.m. EST. Launch set for Sept. 30 delayed 28 days due to suspect exhaust nozzle on right solid rocket booster. Problem discovered while Shuttle was on pad. Shuttle returned to VAB and demated. Suspect nozzle replaced and vehicle restacked. Countdown Nov. 28 proceeded as scheduled. Launch Weight: 247,619 lbs.
Altitude: 155nm
Inclination: 57.0 degrees
Orbits: 167
Duration: 10 days, seven hours, 47 minutes, 24 seconds.
Distance: 4,295,853 miles

SRB: BI-009
ET : 11/LWT-4
MLP : 1
SSME-1: SN-2011
SSME-2: SN-2018
SSME-3: SN-2019

December 8, 1983, 3:47:24 p.m. PST, Runway 17, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Rollout distance: 8,456 feet. Rollout time: 53 seconds. Landing delayed approximately eight hours to analyze problems when general purpose computers one and two failed and inertial measurement unit one failed. During landing, two of three auxiliary power units caught fire. Orbiter returned to KSC Dec. 15, 1983. Landing Weight: 220,027 lbs.

Mission Highlights:
Flight carried first Spacelab mission and first astronaut to represent European Space Agency (ESA), Ulf Merbold of Germany. ESA and NASA jointly sponsored Spacelab-1 and conducted investigations which demonstrated capability for advanced research in space. Spacelab is an orbital laboratory and observations platform composed of cylindrical pressurized modules and U-shaped unpressurized pallets which remain in orbiter's cargo bay during flight. Altogether 73 separate investigations carried out in astronomy and physics, atmospheric physics, Earth observations, life sciences, materials sciences, space plasma physics and technology. First time six persons carried into space on a single vehicle.

AKA: Columbia.
First Launch: 1983.11.28.
Last Launch: 1983.12.08.
Duration: 10.32 days.

More... - Chronology...

Associated People
  • Young Young, John Watts (1930-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 3, Gemini 10, Apollo 10, Apollo 16, STS-1, STS-9. Only astronaut to fly Gemini, Apollo, and Shuttle. Ninth person to walk on the moon. Space speed record (11,107 m/s). More...
  • Garriott Garriott, Dr Owen Kay (1930-) American scientist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on Skylab 3, STS-9. More...
  • Parker Parker, Dr Robert Alan Ridley 'Bob' (1936-) American astronomer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-9, STS-35. More...
  • Merbold Merbold, Dr Ulf Dietrich (1941-) German physicist payload specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-9, STS-42, Mir Euromir 94. More...
  • Shaw Shaw, Brewster Hopkinson Jr (1945-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-9, STS-61-B, STS-28. More...
  • Lichtenberg Lichtenberg, Dr Byron Kurt (1948-) American engineer payload specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-9, STS-45. Flew 138 combat missions in Vietnam. More...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Columbia American manned spaceplane. 28 launches, 1981.04.12 (STS-1) to 2003.01.16 (STS-107). Columbia, the first orbiter in the Shuttle fleet, was named after the sloop that accomplished the first American circumnavigation of the globe. 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...

  • Mullane, Mike, Riding Rockets, Scribner, New York, 2006.

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-9 Chronology

1983 November 28 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-9.
  • STS-9 - . Call Sign: Columbia. Crew: Garriott; Lichtenberg; Merbold; Parker; Shaw; Young. Payload: Columbia F06 / Spacelab 1 Pallet. Mass: 15,088 kg (33,263 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Garriott; Lichtenberg; Merbold; Parker; Shaw; Young. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-9. Spacecraft: Columbia. Duration: 10.32 days. Decay Date: 1983-12-08 . USAF Sat Cat: 14523 . COSPAR: 1983-116A. Apogee: 254 km (157 mi). Perigee: 241 km (149 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 89.50 min. Carried ESA Spacelab. Payloads: Payload: Spacelab-1 experiments, habitable Spacelab and pallet, carried 71 experiments. The six-man crew was divided into two 12-hour-day red and blue teams to operate experiments. First high-inclination orbit of 57 degrees.

1983 December 8 - .
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