Launch from Cape Canaveral (KSC
landing at Cape Canaveral (KSC
The launch was scheduled for January 23,
1985 but was delayed because of freezing weather conditions. Orbiter Challenger
had been scheduled for this flight, but Discovery was substituted when thermal
tile problems were encountered with Challenger.
This was the first
Shuttle mission dedicated to Department of Defense. The U.S. Air Force Inertial
Upper Stage (IUS/ELINT) booster was deployed and met mission objectives. Gary
became the first military astronaut in space.
According to scientific papers, STS-51C launched a secret Magnum ELINT
(ELectronic INTelligence) gathering satellite into a geosynchronous