Author Topic: Challenger STS 41-B / First MMU EVA and first KSC landing - Screenshots  (Read 36103 times)

Offline Ares67

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"Tell all those Westar folks they really have a pretty bird."
« Last Edit: 12/21/2011 09:59 PM by Ares67 »

Offline Ares67

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Well, a pretty bird, but in the wrong orbit. The exhaust nozzle of the PAM-D rocket motor burned through, stranding Westar VI - heading for geostationary orbit - in a low and useless orbit.

Deployment of the second satellite, the Indonesian Palapa B-2, which had been scheduled for flight day 2, was put on hold until flight controllers could determine what went wrong. Palapa was also equipped with a PAM-D.

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February 4, 1984 - SPAS-01 Activation

Since there would be no satellite launch on flight day 2, eight experiments on the German Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS-01) were activated ahead of time. These mainly included material science and earth observation.

Built by the same company that had developed spacelab hardware, this reusable satellite was flying for the second time. During STS-7 it had become the first payload to be deployed and retrieved by the shuttle. In addition to that, it had provided the first spectacular views of the orbiter Challenger in orbit.

During STS 41-B SPAS was to be deployed in order to simulate approach and capture of a satellite by spacewalking astronauts - target practice for the Solar Max repair mission. But the hand-wrist of the RMS failed and SPAS remained inside Challenger's payload bay.
« Last Edit: 12/22/2011 04:35 PM by Ares67 »

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February 5, 1984 - IRT Deployment

A small metallic balloon, called Integrated Rendezvous Target, was released from Challenger's payload bay. But as if to proof Murphy's law, it did not inflate as planned - it blew up.

Nevertheless the KU-Band antenna tracked the remains of IRT and by that successfully tested the rendezvous radar system. "Another failure in space" was the media reaction - but the main goal of the IRT experiment actually had been reached.

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February 6, 1984 - Palapa B-2 Deployment

Nobody could guarantee success, but a second PAM failure did not seem  likely. So, with permission of it's Indonesian owners, Palapa B-2 was released into space.

Challenger astronauts followed the performance of the PAM-D motor with the help of the RMS wrist camera (The orbiter flew in an attitude that protected it's cockpit windows from the rocket's exhaust plume. So, in a way, the RMS had to look over Challenger's "shoulder")

But Mr. Murphy still plagued this mission - again the PAM-D fizzled out and  a satellite was stranded in low earth orbit. "The shuttle loses another satellite" was the media reaction. But actually the shuttle system could not be blamed for PAM-D motor failures, which also could have happened during a deployment by a Delta rocket.

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February 7, 1984 - "A heck of a big leap"

One thing was clear: This mission was in need of a morale boost! And here it came...

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