61-C (24)

Pad 39-A (36)
24th Shuttle mission
7th Flight OV-102
RSLS Abort (3)
Extended mission
Diverted landing
2nd Night landing


Robert L. Gibson (2), Commander
Charles F. Bolden (1), Jr., Pilot
Franklin R. Chang-Diaz (1), Mission Specialist 1
Steven A. Hawley (2), Mission Specialist 1
George D. Nelson (2), Mission Specialist 2
Robert J. Cenker (1), Payload Specialist 1
Congressman Bill Nelson (1), Payload Specialist 2


OPF - July 18, 1985
VAB - Sept.6, 1985
OPF - Sept. 26, 1985
VAB - Nov. 22, 1985
PAD - Dec. 2, 1985



Mission Objectives:

Click here for Additional Info on 61-C


January 12, 1986, 6:55:00 a.m. EST. Launch set for Dec. 1985 delayed one day when additional time needed to close out orbiter aft compartment. Launch attempt Dec. 19 scrubbed at T- 14 seconds due to indication that right solid rocket booster hydraulic power unit exceeding RPM redline speed limits. (Later determined as false reading.) After 18-day delay, launch attempt Jan. 6, 1986 halted at T-31 seconds due to accidental draining of approximately 4,000 pounds of liquid oxygen from external tank. Launch attempt Jan. 7 scrubbed at T-9 minutes due to bad weather at both transoceanic abort landing sites (Moron, Spain and Dakar, Senegal). After two-day delay, launch set for Jan. 9 delayed due to launch pad liquid oxygen sensor breaking off and lodging in number two main engine prevalve. Launch set for Jan. 10 delayed two days due to heavy rains. Launch countdown Jan. 12 proceeded with no delays. Launch Weight: 256,003 lbs.


Altitude: 212nm
Inclination: 28.5 degrees
Orbits: 98
Duration: Six days, two hours, three minutes, 51 seconds.
Distance: 2,528,658 miles


SRB: BI-024
SRM: L024(HPM)
ET : 30/LWT-23
MLP : 1
SSME-1: SN-2015
SSME-2: SN-2018
SSME-3: SN-2109


January 18, 1986, 5:58:51 a.m, PST, Runway 22, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Rollout distance: 10,202 feet. Rollout time: 59 seconds. Planned landing at KSC, originally scheduled for Jan. 17, moved to Jan. 16 to save orbiter turnaround time. Landing attempts on Jan. 16 and 17 abandoned due to unacceptable weather at KSC. Landing set for Jan. 18 at KSC but persisting bad weather forced a one revolution extension of mission and landing at Edwards. Orbiter returned to KSC Jan. 23, 1986. Landing Weight: 210,161 lbs.

Mission Highlights:

SATCOM KU-I (RCA Americom) satellite, attached to Payload Assist Module-D2 (PAM-D2) motor, was deployed. Comet Halley Active Monitoring Program (CHAMP) experiment, a 35mm camera to photograph Comet Halley, did not function properly due to battery problems. Other payloads: Materials Science Laboratory-2 (MSL-2); Hitchhiker G-1; Infrared Imaging Experiment (IR-IE); Initial Blood Storage Experiment (IBSE); Hand-held Protein Crystal Growth (HPCG) experiment; three Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSIP) experiments and 13 Get Away Specials (GAS), 12 of them mounted on a special GAS Bridge Assembly.

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Last Updated Friday June 29 11:21:02 EDT 2001
Jim Dumoulin (Redacted)