Infobox Space mission
mission_name = STS-61-B
insignia = Sts-61-b-patch.png
shuttle = Atlantis
launch_pad = 39-A
November 26, 1985, 7:29:00 p.m. EST
December 3, 1985, 1:33:49 p.m. PST, EAFB, Runway 22
duration = 6d/21:04:49
altitude = 225 nautical miles (417 km)
inclination = 28.5 degrees
orbits = 109
distance = 2,838,972 miles (4,568,883 km)
crew_photo = STS-61-B_crew.jpg
crew_caption = Back row L-R: Walker, Ross, Cleave, Spring, Neri VelaFront row L-R: O'Conner, Shaw
STS-61-B was the 23rd
Space Shuttlemission, using the "Atlantis" orbiter.
"(total flights to date in parentheses)"
Brewster H. Shaw, Jr.(2), Commander
Bryan D. O'Connor(1), Pilot
Mary L. Cleave(1), Mission Specialist 1
Sherwood C. Spring(1), Mission Specialist 2
Jerry L. Ross(1), Mission Specialist 3
Rodolfo Neri Vela(1), Payload Specialist 1 - flag|Mexico
Charles D. Walker(3), Payload Specialist 2
**"Orbiter liftoff:" 118,664 kg
**"Orbiter landing:" 93,316 kg
**"Payload:" 21,791 kg
Perigee: 361 km
Apogee: 370 km
*Period: 91.9 min
* " Ross and Spring " - EVA 1
*EVA 1 Start:
November 29, 1985
*EVA 1 End:
November 29, 1985
*Duration: 5 hours, 32 minutes
* " Ross and Spring " - EVA 2
*EVA 2 Start:
December 1, 1985
*EVA 2 End:
December 1, 1985
*Duration: 6 hours, 41 minutes
The Orbiter "Atlantis" lifted off from Pad A,
Launch Complex 39, KSC, at 7:29 p.m. EST on November 26, 1985, the second night launch in the Shuttle programand the second flight for "Atlantis". The primary payload of three communications satellites was successfully deployed, one at a time, and a major demonstration of construction techniques to build structures in orbit wassuccessfully accomplished. This activity was filmed by an IMAXlarge-film camera mounted in the cargo bay, obtaining some excellent coverage. Three experiments located in the pressurized crew compartment were also completed,with good data obtained. The landing was at Edwards AFB, at 4:33 p.m. EST on December 3, 1985, after a mission duration of 6 days, 21 hrs, and 5 minutes.
The crew members were
Brewster H. Shaw, Jr., commander; Bryan D. O'Connor, pilot; Mary L. Cleave, Sherwood C. Springand Jerry L. Ross, mission specialists; and Rodolfo Neri Vela, Mexico, and Charles Walker, McDonnell Douglas, payload specialists. Satellites deployed were AUSSAT-2 and Morelos-B, in each case the second in its series. (See missions STS-51-Iand STS-51-G.) Both were Hughes HS-376 satellites equipped with a PAM-D booster to reach geosynchronous transfer orbit. The third spacecraft was the SATCOM Ku-2, a version of the RCA 4000 series. RCA American Communications owns and operates the satellite system of which SATCOM Ku-2 is a part. It was attached to a PAM-D2 booster, a larger version of the PAM-D. This was the first flight of this booster stage on a Space Shuttle.
All three spacecraft were successfully deployed, one at a time, and their booster stages fired automatically to lift them to geosynchronous transfer orbits. Their respective owners assumed charge, and later fired the onboard kickmotors at apogee, to circularize the orbits andalign them with the equator.
SATCOM Ku-2 has 16 channels and operates entirely in the Ku(14/12 GHz) range. Each channel has an output power of 45 watts and a bandwidth of 54 MHz, enough to make reception practical on a home antenna as small as three feet in diameter. This was the first of three spacecraftplanned to form a complete operating system. Future planned service areas are homes that cannot receive cable television services, multi-unit residential complexes such as condominiums and apartment houses, hotels, hospitals, andschools; and a syndication system to deliver time-sensitive programming to commercial broadcast television stations.
An item of major interest was EASE/ACCESS, an experiment inassembling large structures in space. ACCESS was a "high-rise" tower composed of many small struts and nodes. EASE was a geometric structure shaped like an inverted pyramid, composed of a few large beams and nodes. Togetherthey demonstrated the feasibility of assembling large preformed structures in space. The IMAX camera mounted in the cargo bay filmed the activities of the astronauts engaged in the EASE/ACCESS work, as well as other scenes ofinterest.
Rudolfo Neri Vela accomplished a series of experiments,primarily in human physiology. Charles Walker again operated the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System, the third flight of this larger and improved equipment to produce commercial pharmaceutical products in microgravity. An experiment in Diffusive Mixing of Organic Solutions, or DMOS, was operated successfully for the 3M Company. The object is to grow single crystals in microgravity that are larger and more pure than any that can be grown on Earth. One Getaway Special canister in the cargo bay carried an experiment by
Canadianstudents to fabricate mirrors in microgravity with higher performance than ones made on Earth.
All the experiments on this mission were successfullyaccomplished, and all equipment operated within established parameters.
Three communications satellites deployed: MORELOS-B (Mexico), AUSSAT-2 (
Australia) and SATCOM KU-2 (RCA Americom). MORELOS-B and AUSSAT-2 attached to Payload Assist Module-D motors, SATCOM KU-2 to a PAM-D2 designed for heavier payloads. Two experiments 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). 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).
Space Shuttle program
List of space shuttle missions
List of human spaceflights chronologically
* [http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/missions/61-b/mission-61-b.html NASA mission summary]
* [http://www.nss.org/resources/library/shuttlevideos/shuttle23.htm STS-61B Video Highlights]
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