Launch from Cape Canaveral (KSC
landing at White Sands, Runway 17, Northrup Strip. The launch was delayed one
hour because of the failure of a heater on a nitrogen gas ground support
This mission was the third test flight of the Space Shuttle. For
the first time, the External Tank was not varnished in white colour, as in the
first two flights.
Payloads included the
pallet in the cargo bay of the shuttle.
obtained data on near Earth environment. Several other experiments
(Monodisperse Latex Reactor, Heflex Bioengineering Test and more) were carried
The landing site changed to White Sands since the planned landing
site at Edwards AFB
flooded due to excessive rain. High winds at White
Sands resulted in one day extension of the mission. STS-3 was the only shuttle
mission to land at White Sands.