61-B (23)

Atlantis (2)
Pad 39-A (35)
23rd Shuttle mission
2nd Flight OV-104
2nd Night launch
Shortened mission


Brewster H. Shaw, Jr. (2), Commander
Bryan D. O'Connor (1), Pilot
Mary L. Cleave (1), Mission Specialist 1
Sherwood C. Spring (1), Mission Specialist 2
Jerry L. Ross (1), Mission Specialist 3
Rodolfo Neri Vela (1), Payload Specialist 1
Charles D. Walker (3), Payload Specialist 2


OPF - Oct. 12, 1985
VAB - Nov. 7, 1985
PAD - Nov. 12, 1985



Mission Objectives:


November 26, 1985, 7:29:00 p.m. EST. Launch proceeded as scheduled with no delays. Launch Weight: 261,455 lbs.


Altitude: 225nm
Inclination: 28.5 degrees
Orbits: 109
Duration: Six days, 21 hours, four minutes, 49 seconds.
Distance: 2,838,972 miles


SRB: BI-023
SRM: L023(HPM)
ET : 22/LWT-15
MLP : 2
SSME-1: SN-2011
SSME-2: SN-2019
SSME-3: SN-2017


December 3, 1985, 1:33:49 p.m. PST, Runway 22, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Rollout distance: 10,759 feet. Rollout time: 78 seconds. Mission shortened one revolution due to lightning conditions at Edwards. Landed on concrete runway because lake bed was wet. Orbiter returned to KSC Dec. 7, 1985. Landing Weight: 205,732 lbs.

Mission Highlights:

Three communications satellites deployed: MORE LOS-B (Mexico), AUSSAT-2 (Australia) and SATCOM KU-2 (RCA Americom). MORELOS-B and AUSSAT-2 attached to Payload Assist Module-D motors, SATCOM KU-2 to a PAM-D2 designed for heavier payloads. Two experiments conducted to test assembling erectable structures in space: Experimental Assembly of Structures in Extravehicular Activity (EASE) and Assembly Concept for Construction of Erectable Space Structure (ACCESS). Experiments required two space walks by Spring and Ross lasting five hours, 32 minutes, and six hours, 38 minutes, respectively. Middeck payloads: Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES); Diffusive Mixing of Organic Solutions (DMOS); Morelos Payload Specialist Experiments (MPSE) and Orbiter Experiments (OEX). In payload bay: Get Away Special and IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC).

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