STS-51-C

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Mission Insignia

Mission Statistics
Mission:STS-51-C
Shuttle:Discovery
Launch Pad:39-A
Launch: January 24, 1985, 2:50:00 p.m. EST
Landing: January 27, 1985, 4:23:23 p.m. EST (027:21:23:23 GMT), Runway 15, Kennedy Space Center, Fla
Duration:3 days, 1 hour, 33 minutes, 23 seconds
Orbit Altitude:220nm
Orbit Inclination: 28.5 degrees
Miles Traveled:1,250,000
Crew photo
Front row L-R: Shriver, Mattingly, Back row: L-R: Payton, Buchli, Onizuka
Back row: L-R: Payton, Buchli, Onizuka
Front row L-R: Shriver, Mattingly

STS 51-C was the fifteenth flight of a Space Shuttle and the third flight of Discovery. It conducted the fourth landing at Kennedy Space Center.

Contents

Crew

Mission Parameters

Mission Highlights

First mission dedicated to Department of Defense. U.S. Air Force Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) booster deployed and met mission objectives. This missions accomplishments are Classified due to the nature of the work done.

According to Aviation Week, STS-51-C launched a secret, Magnum ELINT (ELectronic INTtelligence) gathering satellite into geo-synchronous orbit. An identical one was also launched by STS 33 and STS-38.

Also according to Aviation Week, the shuttle initially enters a 204 km x 519 km orbit at an inclination of 28.45 deg to the equator. It then executes three OMS (orbital manoeuvering system) burns, the last on orbit #4. The first burn is to circularize the orbit at 519 km.

The satellite was deployed on the 7th orbit and then ignited its IUS rocket at the ascending node of the 8th orbit, to place it in a geo-synchronous transfer orbit.

The classified payload was deployed successfully and boosted into its operating orbit by an Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) booster according to an Air Force announcement.

Mission Statement

Discovery was to make its third flight in January 1985 to conduct the first mission totally dedicated to the Department of Defense. The classified payload was deployed successfully and boosted into its operating orbit by an Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) booster according to an Air Force announcement.

The launch occurred on Jan. 24, 1985, at 2:40 p.m. EST—the first of 10 Shuttle missions that year. It was originally scheduled for Jan. 23, but was delayed because of freezing weather conditions. Challenger had been scheduled for this flight, but Discovery was substituted when thermal tile problems were encountered with Challenger.

The 51-C included Thomas K. Mattingly, commander; Loren J. Shriver, pilot; two mission specialists, James F. Buchli and Ellison S. Onizuka; and Gary E. Payton, a payload specialist.

The mission lasted 3 days, 1 hour, 33 minutes. Discovery touched down on Runway 15 at KSC on Jan. 27 at 4:23 p.m. EST.

Related articles

External links


Previous Mission:
STS-51-A
Space Shuttle program Next Mission:
STS-51-D
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