Launch from Cape Canaveral (KSC
landing on Edwards AFB
This mission was the first spaceflight
of two German astronauts at the same time. STS-61A holds the record for the
largest crew: eight people, aboard any single spacecraft for the entire period
from launch to landing.
STS-61A became the fourth mission of Spacelab
(Mission D-1). 75 scientific experiments in materials science, fluid physics,
biology, medicine (using a vestibular sled), communications and navigation were
performed. The orbiter was controlled from the
scientific experiments were controlled from the German Space Operations Center
in Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich.
An other mission assignment was to
deploy the Global Low Orbiting Message Relay Satellite (GLOMR
) out of a Getaway Special canister in the cargo
bay. That was an experiment of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
(DAPRA), US-Navy, to demonstrate the power of military sensors. The small
Satellite was 60 cm in a diameter and weighted 52 kg.