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Mission duration 8 days, 22 hours, 2 minutes
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft Space Shuttle Columbia
Crew size 7
Members Jon McBride
Richard N. Richards
Jeffrey A. Hoffman
David Leestma
Robert A. Parker
Samuel T. Durrance
Ronald A. Parise
Start of mission
Launch date 6 March 1986, 10:45 (1986-03-06UTC10:45Z) UTC
Launch site Kennedy LC-39B
End of mission
Landing date 15 March 1986, 08:47 (1986-03-15UTC08:48Z) UTC
Landing site Kennedy Runway 15
Orbital parameters
Inclination 28.5 degrees

STS-61-E patch.png

STS-61-E crew.jpg
Back row, L-R: Durrance, Parker, Hoffman, Parise. Front row, L-R: Richards, McBride, Leestma

STS-61-E was a United States Space Shuttle mission planned to launch on March 6, 1986 using Columbia. It was cancelled after the Challenger disaster.


Position Astronaut
Commander Jon A. McBride
Second spaceflight
Pilot Richard N. Richards
First spaceflight
Mission Specialist 1 Jeffrey A. Hoffman
Second spaceflight
Mission Specialist 2 David C. Leestma
Second spaceflight
Mission Specialist 3 Robert A. Parker
Second spaceflight
Payload Specialist 1 Samuel T. Durrance
First spaceflight
Payload Specialist 2 Ronald A. Parise
First spaceflight

Mission objectives[edit]

Columbia was to carry the ASTRO-1 observatory, which would be used to make astronomical observations including observations of Comet Halley. ASTRO-1 consisted of three ultraviolet telescopes mounted on two Spacelab pallets, controlled by the Instrument Pointing System which was first tested on STS-51-F.[1]

After the Challenger disaster, the flight was remanifested as STS-35 and several crew members were replaced. Both Richards and Leestma were reassigned to STS-28 while McBride left NASA in 1989. Vance Brand replaced McBride as the commander while Guy Gardner and Mike Lounge replaced Richards and Leestma, respectively.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Evans, Ben (2005). Space Shuttle Columbia: Her Missions and Crews. Springer Science + Business Media. p. 99. ISBN 0-387-21517-4.