Canceled Space Shuttle missions

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During the Space Shuttle program, several missions were canceled. Many were canceled as a result of the Challenger and the Columbia disasters. Many early missions were canceled due to delays in the development of the shuttle. Others were canceled because of changes in payload and missions requirements.

Canceled due to the late development of the shuttle[edit]

In 1972, NASA's planners had projected for 570 shuttle missions between 1980 and 1991.[1] Later, this estimate was lowered to 487 launches between 1980 and 1992.[2] The details of the first 23 projected missions, listed in the third edition of Manned Spaceflight (Reginald Turnill, 1978) and the first edition of the STS Flight Assignment Baseline, an internal NASA document published in October 1977,[3] are presented below.

Mission Original
launch date(s)
Shuttle Landing site Mission details
STS-1A
OFT-1
June 1979 Columbia Edwards Originally scheduled as the first orbital test. The crew was to consist of a commander and pilot, and the test flight was to last 2 days and 5 hours. No crew was named at the initial announcement of the mission, but John Young and Robert Crippen were officially announced as the STS-1 crew in March 1978, when the shuttle was still originally scheduled for a 1979 launch.[4]
STS-2A
OFT-2
July 1979
6 March 1980
Columbia Edwards Originally scheduled as the second orbital flight test. The 5-day mission was to see the crew of Fred Haise and Jack Lousma take the Teleoperator Retrieval System to the Skylab space station in order to boost it into a higher orbit.[5] Vance D. Brand and C. Gordon Fullerton were their backups.[6] By April 1979, when it was understood that the Shuttle could not be launched in time to rendezvous with Skylab, STS-2 was rescheduled for a 6 March 1980 launch, carrying the OSTA-1 payload and the RMS for the first time.[7] This re-manifested STS-2 finally launched on 12 November 1981, with Joe Engle and Richard Truly in place of Haise and Lousma, respectively.
STS-3
OFT-3
September 1979 Columbia Edwards Originally scheduled as the third orbital flight test. The 7-day mission was to see the two-man crew (commander and pilot) test shuttle maneuvering and remote manipulator systems.
STS-4
OFT-4
December 1979 Columbia Edwards Originally scheduled as the fourth orbital flight test. The crew was to consist of a commander and pilot, and the mission was to last seven days.
STS-5
OFT-5
February 1980 Columbia Kennedy Originally scheduled as the fifth orbital flight test. The crew was to consist of commander Ken Mattingly, pilot Henry Hartsfield and one or two mission specialists.[8] The mission was to last 7 days. First landing at Kennedy Space Center.
STS-6
OFT-6
March 1980 Columbia Edwards Originally scheduled as the sixth orbital flight test. The crew of four were to conduct first test of operational payloads and conduct the first EVA from the shuttle. The mission was to last seven days.
STS-7 30 May 1980
27 February 1981
Columbia Kennedy First operational flight. The crew of three were to place the LDEF satellite into orbit and the mission was to last five days. The LDEF was eventually released in 1984 from Challenger during STS-41-C. By 1979, when it became clear that the original launch schedule could not be kept to, STS-7 was re-manifested with the TDRS-A satellite and scheduled to launch on 27 February 1981 with a crew of four and a duration of two days. This rescheduled STS-7 would also have landed at Kennedy Space Center.[9]
STS-8 1 July 1980 Columbia Edwards The crew of three were to place the satellites TDRS-A and SBS-A into orbit during the 2-day mission. TDRS-A was sent into orbit on Challenger's maiden flight, STS-6, in April 1983.
STS-9 1 August 1980 Columbia Edwards The crew of three were to place the satellites GOES 4 and Anik-C1 into orbit during the 3-day mission. GOES 4 was launched atop a Delta 3914 a month after its originally scheduled launch on the shuttle. After this mission, Columbia would be returned to the Rockwell plant at Palmdale for removal of the ejection seats and test instrumentation and would receive higher capacity fuel cells, all in preparation for the first Spacelab mission.
STS-10 14 November 1980 Columbia Edwards Originally scheduled for launch on 1980. The crew of three were to place the satellites TDRS-B and SBS-B into orbit during the 3-day mission. TDRS-B was rescheduled for STS-51-E but became re-manifested on STS-51-L, where it was destroyed along with Challenger on 28 January 1986.
STS-11 18 December 1980 Columbia Edwards Scheduled to carry the European Spacelab-1 science module. The crew of five were to consist of three NASA astronauts and two European payload specialists. The mission was to last seven days. This first Spacelab mission was later launched as STS-9 in November 1983.
STS-12 30 January 1981 Columbia Edwards The crew of three were to place the satellites TDRS-C and Anik-C2 into orbit during the 2-day mission. An alternate mission was also planned which replaced the TDRS-C with an Intelsat-V satellite, and would last five days instead of two. TDRS-C was eventually made as the replacement for the destroyed TDRS-B and launched from Discovery on STS-26 in September 1988.
STS-13 3 March 1981 Columbia Edwards The crew of three were to place the GOES-E satellite into orbit during the 5-day mission. GOES-E was eventually launched on a Delta 3914 over two months after its originally scheduled launch on the shuttle.
STS-14 7 April 1981 Columbia Edwards Scheduled to carry four Spacelab instrumentation pallets and a pressurized "igloo" used to support the payloads. The crew of five was to consist of two payload specialists. The mission was to last 12 days.
STS-15 13 May 1981 Columbia Edwards During this mission, the satellites TDRS-D and SBS-C would be placed into orbit. The Anik-C3 satellite could be substituted in place of SBS-C. TDRS-D was launched from Discovery on STS-29 in March 1989, with SBS-C being launched on Columbia's first operational mission, STS-5, in November 1982.
STS-16 16 June 1981 Columbia Edwards Originally scheduled for launch on 16 June 1981, carrying the Spacelab-3 science module. A "payload of opportunity" of 9 tons (8.16 mt) also existed, which could accommodate a communications satellite. The crew of five was to consist of two payload specialists.
STS-17 16 July 1981 Enterprise Edwards Originally to be the first spaceflight of the shuttle Enterprise. It was to place an Intelsat V satellite into orbit and retrieve the LDEF. Enterprise never flew in space, and instead its place as the second shuttle in the fleet was taken by Challenger.
STS-18 29 July 1981 Columbia Edwards Scheduled to carry a Spacelab pallet and pressurized "igloo". A tentative planned payload would be flown for the Department of Defense, which would make it the first such payload flown on the Shuttle.
STS-19 2 September 1981 Columbia Edwards Was to carry a series of five Spacelab pallets.
STS-20 30 September 1981 Enterprise Edwards Originally scheduled for launch on 30 September 1981, carrying the Spacelab-4 life-science module and an unpressurized Spacelab pallet.
STS-21 14 October 1981 Columbia Edwards A crew of three was to retrieve the Solar Maximum Mission satellite and bring it back to Earth after a five-day mission. Columbia would have carried an "OMS Kit" which contained additional fuel for the shuttle's Orbital Maneuvering System, necessary to safely reach the SMM's orbit. The SMM, launched in February 1980, was eventually retrieved and repaired in orbit on STS-41-C in 1984, and continued operating until 1989.
STS-22 25 November 1981 Enterprise Edwards Was planned to carry an ESA-operated Spacelab module and additional pallet.
STS-23 5 January 1982 Columbia Edwards Was to launch the Galileo probe (then known as the "Jupiter Orbiter and Probe") to Jupiter using a modified IUS booster. Galileo was eventually delivered to orbit by Atlantis during STS-34, launched 18 October 1989, after lengthy delays.

Later in the development process, NASA suggested using the first manned space shuttle mission, STS-1, as a sub-orbital test of the Return to Landing Site (RTLS) flight profile devised for emergency abort scenarios.[10] Columbia would have launched from Kennedy Space Center, then executed a 180-degree turn at a speed of 8,400 kilometres per hour (5,200 mph), or 6.7 times the speed of sound, in order to land at the Kennedy Space Center runway. The mission was canceled when astronauts refused to fly it, having deemed the plan to be too dangerous. STS-1 commander John W. Young recalled that "I said no. I said let's not practice Russian roulette, because you may have a loaded gun there. So we didn't."[10]

Canceled between the first flight of the shuttle (1981) and the Challenger disaster (1986)[edit]

Mission Original
launch date(s)
Shuttle Crew Mission details
STS-10 November 1983 Challenger Originally to be the first classified mission for the Department of Defense; canceled due to concerns with the payload's Inertial Upper Stage booster.[11] The entire crew, which had been assigned in October 1982, flew on STS-51-C in January 1985.
STS-12 March 1984 Discovery Originally to be the maiden flight of Discovery. Its original mission was to deploy a TDRS satellite, which was canceled due to concerns with the Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) that was to be used in the mission. The crew (along with payload specialist Charles D. Walker) eventually flew on STS-41-D in August 1984.
STS-41-E July 1984 Challenger A mission to deploy a DOD satellite, was canceled due to problems with the IUS upper stage that was to be used in the mission.
STS-41-F 29 August 1984 Discovery Canceled after STS-41-D was delayed[12] due to its RSLS abort. Most of STS-41-F's payloads were added to the STS-41-D mission and eventually launched in August 1984.[12] STS-41-F was scheduled to launch at 13:35 UTC on 29 August 1984, and land on Runway 17 at Edwards Air Force Base at 11:32 UTC on 4 September.[citation needed]
STS-51-E March 1985 Challenger Mission objective was to deploy the TDRS-B communication satellite, canceled due to IUS failure. Most of the crew would be reassigned to STS-51-D which flew in April 1985 (except for Patrick Baudry, who was reassigned to STS-51-G which flew in June 1985).
STS-51-D March 1985 Discovery Mission objectives were to deploy a Syncom communication satellite and retrieval of the Long Duration Exposure Facility. Most of the crew would fly on STS-51-G in June, with Walker remaining on the remanifested STS-51-D flight and Jarvis eventually bumped to STS-51-L, in which he was killed during the Challenger disaster.
STS-51-H November 1985 Atlantis Originally EOM-1 Spacelab mission, canceled in December 1984 due to planned combining with EOM-2 mission. Later re-manifested as STS-61-K which was then canceled due to the Challenger disaster.[13]

Canceled due to the Challenger disaster[edit]

Mission Original
launch date(s)
Shuttle Crew Mission details
STS-61-E 6 March 1986 Columbia ASTRO-1 mission, would have been used to examine Halley's Comet in conjunction with the unmanned probes of the Halley Armada.[13] The Astro-1 mission, and most of the assigned crew, would eventually fly on STS-35 in 1990.
STS-61-F 15 May 1986 Challenger Primary mission intended to deploy the Ulysses solar polar orbiter with a Centaur-G upper stage. Most of the crew would fly on the first post-Challenger shuttle mission, STS-26. Ulysses itself would eventually be launched by Discovery on STS-41 with an IUS.
STS-61-G 20 May 1986 Atlantis Primary mission would have been the deployment of the Galileo probe with a Centaur-G upper stage. Most of the crew would later fly on STS-30 in 1989. Galileo would eventually be launched by Atlantis on STS-34 with an IUS.[14][15]
STS-61-H 24 June 1986 Columbia

Backup Payload Specialists:

Mission objective was to deploy three satellites. The crew would have included the first British and the first Indonesian astronaut. Most of this crew would fly, sans payload specialists, as STS-29; James Bagian replaced Fisher, who was on leave.[13]
STS-62-A 1 July 1986 Discovery DOD mission, was to have been the first shuttle mission flown from Space Launch Complex 6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, and would have been the first shuttle to launch into a polar orbit. Astronauts Guy Gardner, Mullane, and Ross would fly together on STS-27, commanded by Robert L. Gibson, and with William Shepherd rounding out the crew, with no payload specialists.[16][17]
STS-61-M 22 July 1986 Challenger Payload was to have been the TDRS-4 satellite.
STS-61-J 18 August 1986 Atlantis The STS-61-J mission was intended to deploy the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit. The telescope was eventually launched on STS-31 in 1990, with the same crew on board (except Young, who was replaced by Loren Shriver).[15][18]
STS-61-N 4 September 1986 Discovery DOD mission, which would be flown in 1989 as STS-28 with most of the named crew except McCulley (who was replaced by Richard N. Richards) and Casserino.[17][19]
STS-61-I 27 September 1986 Challenger Primary mission objective would have been deployment of the Intelsat-4 satellite and the retrieval of the Long Duration Exposure Facility. Smith perished in the Challenger disaster shortly after being named to this crew. Dunbar would later be assigned to STS-32, which retrieved the LDEF in 1990.
STS-62-B 29 September 1986 Discovery DOD mission. Only one crew member was assigned to the mission before it was canceled.[17][22]
STS-61-K 1 October 1986[13] Columbia
STS-61-L 1 November 1986 Atlantis Would have launched the first American journalist in space. Only one crewmember was assigned to the mission before it was canceled.[15][23]
STS-71-B December 1986 Challenger DOD mission. The only scheduled crew member was Charles Edward Jones, who later died on Flight 11 when it was crashed into the World Trade Center during the September 11, 2001 attacks.
STS-71-A January 1987 Columbia Astro-2 mission.[13]
STS-71-C January 1987 Atlantis Was to launch a British Skynet satellite. Only one crew member, a British astronaut, was assigned to the mission before it was canceled.[15][24]
STS-71-D February 1987 Columbia Would have carried a McDonnell Douglas payload.[13]
STS-71-E March 1987 Challenger First Spacelab Life Science mission (SLS-1).
STS-71-F March 1987 Atlantis
STS-71-G April 1987 Challenger Was to launch a Navstar GPS satellite.[26]
STS-71-J June 1987 Challenger Was to deploy a second LDEF with new experiments.[27]
STS-71-M August 1987 Columbia ASTRO-3 mission.[13]
STS-71-N September 1987 Atlantis Was to launch the first element of the Space Station Freedom into orbit.[citation needed]
STS-81-A October 1987 Challenger Was to launch a Navstar GPS satellite.[26]
STS-81-D December 1987 Challenger Was to launch a Navstar GPS satellite.[26]
STS-81-G February 1988 Challenger Planned Spacelab-J science mission. The two Japanese astronauts who would serve as payload specialists were the only ones assigned to the mission before it was canceled. Spacelab-J was eventually flown on STS-47 in 1992, using Challenger's replacement, Endeavour.
STS-81-M July 1988 Atlantis Second Spacelab Life Science mission (SLS-2). The only crewmember assigned to the mission, Millie Hughes-Fulford, would ultimately fly on STS-40.[15][28]
STS-82-B 1988 Discovery Among other tasks, the mission included the deployment of the Cosmic Background Explorer observatory, later launched on a Delta rocket in 1989.

Canceled between 1988 and the Columbia disaster (2003)[edit]

Mission Shuttle Mission details
STS-144 Columbia A mission to retrieve the Hubble Space Telescope and return it to Earth, for possible display in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C..[citation needed] NASA later flew the STS-125 mission to the telescope, carrying a target assembly to allow for a safe de-orbit and atmospheric breakup over the Pacific Ocean.

Canceled due to the Columbia disaster[edit]

Mission Original
launch date(s)
Shuttle Crew Mission details
STS-114 1 March 2003 Atlantis ISS mission. It would have carried the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Raffaello and carried out a station crew rotation. A similar crew conducted a different mission on Discovery in 2005.[15][29]
STS-115 23 May 2003 Endeavour Assembly mission to the International Space Station, which was ultimately launched with the same crew on Atlantis in 2006.[30][31]
STS-116 24 July 2003 Atlantis Assembly mission to the International Space Station, delivering the third port truss segment (ITS P5), logistics and supplies. This mission launched with some of the same crew members on Discovery in 2006. It would also have carried out a station crew rotation.[15][32]
STS-117 2 October 2003 Endeavour Assembly mission to the International Space Station to conduct ISS-13A, delivering the second starboard truss segment (ITS S3/S4), a solar array set, and batteries. This mission launched with some of the same crew members on Atlantis in 2007.[33]
STS-118 13 November 2003 Columbia Assembly mission to the International Space Station to conduct ISS-13A.1, delivering the third starboard truss segment (ITS S5) and station supplies. It would have been Columbia's first ISS visit. This mission launched with some of the same crew members on Endeavour in 2007.[13][34]
STS-119 15 January 2004 Atlantis Assembly mission to the International Space Station to conduct ISS-15A and carry out a station crew rotation. This mission was conducted with a different crew on Discovery in 2009.
STS-120 19 February 2004 Endeavour Assembly mission to the International Space Station to conduct assembly mission ISS-10A, delivering the second of three station connecting modules, Harmony. With this mission, the ISS US Orbital Segment would have been completed. This mission was carried out with a different crew on Discovery in 2007.
STS-121 1 July 2004 Discovery Assembly mission to the International Space Station to conduct assembly mission ISS-9A.1, delivering the Science Power Platform with four solar arrays to the station, and to have carried out a station crew rotation. No crew had been named at the time of cancellation.[17][35]
STS-122 15 April 2004 Columbia Intended to conduct the fourth Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission, which was ultimately carried out by STS-125 in 2009. No crew had been named at the time of cancellation.[13][36]
STS-123 October 2004 Atlantis Resupply mission ISS-UF4 to the International Space Station. No crew had been named at the time of cancellation.[15][37]
STS-124 December 2004 Endeavour Assembly mission ISS-1J/A to the International Space Station, delivering the Japanese JEM ELM PS module and SPP to the station. No crew had been named at the time of cancellation.[31][38]
STS-125 February 2005 Discovery Assembly mission ISS-1J to the International Space Station, delivering the Japanese Kibo Experiment Module and JEM RMS to the station. No crew had been named at the time of cancellation.[17][39]
STS-126 April 2005 Endeavour Resupply mission ISS-UF3 to the International Space Station. No crew had been named at the time of cancellation.[31][40]
STS-127 June 2005 Discovery Assembly mission ISS-1E to the International Space Station, delivering the European Columbus module. No crew had been named at the time of cancellation.[17][41]
STS-128 August 2005 Columbia Intended to carry out the fifth Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission, which ultimately was not conducted. No crew had been named at the time of cancellation.[13][42]
STS-129 October 2005 Discovery Assembly mission ISS-2J/A to the International Space Station, delivering the Japanese hardware JEM EF and the Cupola. No crew had been named at the time of cancellation.[17][43]
STS-130 February 2006 Endeavour Resupply mission ISS-UF5 to the International Space Station. No crew had been named at the time of cancellation.[31][44]
STS-131 April 2006 Atlantis Assembly mission ISS-14A to the International Space Station, delivering 4 SPP arrays and the MMOD. No crew had been named at the time of cancellation.[15][45]
STS-132 June 2006 Discovery Resupply mission ISS-UF6 to the International Space Station. No crew had been named at the time of cancellation.[17][46]
STS-133 August 2006 Endeavour Assembly mission ISS-20A to the International Space Station, delivering Tranquility. No crew had been named at the time of cancellation.[31][47]
STS-134 October 2006 Atlantis Assembly mission ISS-16A to the International Space Station, delivering the Habitation Module. No crew had been named at the time of cancellation.[15][48]
STS-135 February 2007 Endeavour Assembly mission ISS-17A to the International Space Station, delivering a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM)) with Destiny lab racks and a CBA to the station. No crew had been named at the time of cancellation.[31][49]
STS-136 April 2007 Discovery Assembly mission ISS-18A to the International Space Station, delivering the first US Crew Return Vehicle (CRV). No crew had been named at the time of cancellation.[17][50]
STS-137 July 2007 Atlantis Assembly mission ISS-19A to the International Space Station, delivering an MPLM and other station hardware. No crew had been named at the time of cancellation.[15][51]
STS-138 October 2007 Discovery Resupply mission ISS-UF7 to the International Space Station. The Centrifuge Accommodations Module would also have been delivered to the station. No crew had been named at the time of cancellation.[17][52]

References[edit]

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