Mission: D-1 Spacelab Mission (First German Dedicated Spacelab)
Space Shuttle: Challenger
Launch Pad: 39A
Launch Weight: 243,762 pounds
Launched: October 30, 1985, 12:00:00 p.m. EST
Landing Site: Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Landing: November 6, 1985, 9:44:53 a.m. PST
Landing Weight: 214,171 pounds
Rollout Distance: 8,304 feet
Rollout Time: 45 seconds
Mission Duration: 7 days, 0 hours, 44 minutes, 51 seconds
Returned to KSC: November 11, 1985
Orbit Altitude: 207 nautical miles
Orbit Inclination: 57 degrees
Image above: STS-61A Crew photo with Commander Henry W. Hartsfield, Jr., Pilot Steven R. Nagel, Mission Specialists James F. Buchli, Guion S. Bluford, Bonnie J. Dunbar and Payload Specialists Reinhard Furrer, Ernst Messerschmid and Wubbo J. Ockels. Image Credit: NASA
The dedicated German Spacelab (D-1) mission was conducted in a long module configuration, which featured a Vestibular Sled designed to give scientists data on the functional organization of human vestibular and orientation systems. Spacelab D-1 encompassed 75 numbered experiments, most performed more than once. The mission included basic and applied microgravity research in fields of materials science, life sciences and technology, and communications and navigation. Though the orbiter was controlled from Johnson Space Center, scientific operations were controlled from the German Space Operations Center at Oberpfaffenhofen, near Munich. Other objectives: Global Low Orbiting Message Relay (GLOMR) satellite deployed from Get Away Special canister.
This international crew that flew aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger represented the largest number (eight) of persons to occupy an orbiting spacecraft at the same time. Posing with the mission insignia are (front row, left to right) Reinhard Furrer, German payload specialist; Bonnie J. Dunbar, mission specialist; James F. Buchli, mission specialist; and Henry W. Hartsfield, Jr., commander; and (back row, left to right) Steven R. Nagel, pilot; Guion S. Bluford, mission specialist; Ernst Messerschmid, German payload specialist; and Wubbo J. Ockels, Dutch payload specialist.
Frams von STS-61A Challenger Mission NASA-Video: