Challenger as seen from the SPAS satellite
|Mission type||Satellite deployment
|Mission duration||6 days, 2 hours, 23 minutes, 59 seconds|
|Distance travelled||4,072,553 kilometres (2,530,567 mi)|
|Spacecraft||Space Shuttle Challenger|
|Launch mass||113,025 kilograms (249,180 lb)|
|Landing mass||92,550 kilograms (204,000 lb)|
|Payload mass||16,839 kilograms (37,120 lb)|
|Members||Robert L. Crippen
Frederick H. Hauck
John M. Fabian
Sally K. Ride
Norman E. Thagard
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||18 June 1983, 11:33:00UTC|
|Launch site||Kennedy LC-39A|
|End of mission|
|Landing date||24 June 1983, 13:56:59UTC|
|Landing site||Edwards Runway 15|
|Perigee||299 kilometres (186 mi)|
|Apogee||307 kilometres (191 mi)|
L-R: Ride, Fabian, Crippen, Thagard, Hauck
STS-7 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission, during which Space Shuttle Challenger deployed several satellites into orbit. The shuttle launched from Kennedy Space Center on 18 June 1983, and landed at Edwards Air Force Base on 24 June. STS-7 was the seventh shuttle mission, and was Challenger's second mission. It was also notable for carrying Sally Ride, America's first female astronaut.
|Commander||Robert L. Crippen
|Pilot||Frederick H. Hauck
|Mission Specialist 1||John M. Fabian
|Mission Specialist 2||Sally K. Ride
|Mission Specialist 3||Norman E. Thagard
- Roy D. Bridges (ascent CAPCOM)
- Guy Gardner
- Jon McBride
- Terry Hart
- John Blaha
- Bryan D. O'Connor (entry CAPCOM)
STS-7 began on 18 June 1983, with an on-time liftoff at 7:33 am EDT. It was the first spaceflight of an American woman (Sally K. Ride), the largest crew to fly in a single spacecraft up to that time (five people), and the first flight that included members of NASA's Group 8 astronaut class, which had been selected in 1978 to fly the Space Shuttle.
The crew of STS-7 included Robert L. Crippen, commander, making his second Shuttle flight; Frederick H. Hauck, pilot; and Ride, John M. Fabian and Norman Thagard, all mission specialists. Thagard conducted medical tests of the Space Adaptation Syndrome, a bout of nausea frequently experienced by astronauts during the early phase of a space flight.
Two communications satellites – Anik C2 for Telesat of Canada, and Palapa B1 for Indonesia – were successfully deployed during the first two days of the mission. The mission also carried the first Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS-1) built by Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm, a West German aerospace firm. SPAS-1 was unique in that it was designed to operate in the payload bay or be deployed by the RMS as a free-flying satellite. It carried 10 experiments to study formation of metal alloys in microgravity, the operation of heat pipes, instruments for remote sensing observations, and a mass spectrometer to identify various gases in the payload bay. It was deployed by the RMS and flew alongside and over Challenger for several hours, performing various maneuvers, while a U.S.-supplied camera took pictures from the SPAS-1 of the orbiter. The RMS later grappled the pallet and returned it to the payload bay.
STS-7 also carried seven GAS canisters, which contained a wide variety of experiments, as well as the OSTA-2 payload, a joint U.S.-West German scientific pallet payload. Finally, the orbiter's Ku-band antenna was able to relay data through the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite to a ground terminal for the first time.
STS-7 was scheduled to make the first Shuttle landing at Kennedy Space Center's then-new Shuttle Landing Facility. However, unacceptable weather forced a change to Runway 15 at Edwards AFB. The landing took place on 24 June 1983, at 6:57 am PDT. The mission lasted 6 days, 2 hours, 23 minutes, and 59 seconds, and covered about 2.2 million miles during 97 orbits of the Earth. Challenger was returned to KSC on 29 June.
The seven white stars in the black field of the mission patch, as well as the arm extending from the shuttle in the shape of a 7, indicate the flight's numerical designation in the Space Transportation System's mission sequence. The five-armed symbol on the right side illustrates the four male/one female crew.
Window pit caused by impact of space debris
NASA began a tradition of playing music to astronauts during the Gemini program, and first used music to wake up a flight crew during Apollo 15. Each track is specially chosen, often by the astronauts' families, and usually has a special meaning to an individual member of the crew, or is applicable to their daily activities.
|Flight Day||Song||Artist/Composer||Played for|
|Day 2||"University of Texas Fight Song"||University of Texas band||Bob Crippen|
|Day 3||"Tufts Tonia's Day"||the Tufts University Beelzebubs||Rick Hauck|
|Day 4||"When You're Smiling"|
|Day 5||"Washington State University Cougar Fight Song"||Washington State University Band||John Fabian|
|Day 6||"Stanford Hymn"||Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band||Sally Ride|
|Day 7||"Florida State University Fight Song"||Florida State University Marching Chiefs.||Norm Thagard|
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (May 2008)|