Human Spaceflights

International Flight No. 88


Challenger (2)


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Launch, orbit and landing data

Launch date:  18.06.1983
Launch time:  11:33 UTC
Launch site:  Cape Canaveral (KSC)
Launch pad:  39-A
Altitude:  296 - 315 km
Inclination:  28,5°
Landing date:  24.06.1983
Landing time:  13:56 UTC
Landing site:  Edwards AFB

walkout photo

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No.   Surname Given names Position Flight No. Duration Orbits
1  Crippen  Robert Laurel "Crip"  CDR 2 6d 02h 23m  98 
2  Hauck  Frederick Hamilton "Rick"  PLT 1 6d 02h 23m  98 
3  Fabian  John McCreary  MSP 1 6d 02h 23m  98 
4  Ride  Sally Kristen  MSP 1 6d 02h 23m  98 
5  Thagard  Norman Earl  MSP 1 6d 02h 23m  98 

Crew seating arrangement

1  Crippen
2  Hauck
3  Fabian
4  Ride
5  Thagard
1  Crippen
2  Hauck
3  Thagard
4  Ride
5  Fabian


Launch from Cape Canaveral (KSC); landing on Edwards AFB.

Sally Ride became first American woman to fly in space. It was first mission with a crew of five persons.

Successful deploying of communications satellites Anik C-2/Telesat-7 (Canada) and Palapa B-1 (Indonesia) on the first both flight days were performed.
The Anik C and Palapa B spacecraft were both built by Hughes Aircraft Co., El Segundo, Calif., and are similar in design.
Anik C-2 is the second of three Anik C satellites that will eventually be put into operation. The first Anik C was placed into low earth orbit by Columbia on STS-5, in November 1982, the Shuttle's first operational mission. The Anik C spacecraft are Canada's first totally dedicated commercial satellites to use the 12/14 GHz band frequencies, allowing a 100 percent increase in telecommunications capacity of the first Anik satellite.
Palapa B is the second generation of satellites for Indonesia. Two of the communications satellites are being built for PERUMTEL, Indonesia's state owned telecommunications company.With its 24 transponders, Palapa B was able to deliver voice, video, telephone and high speed data services electronically linking Indonesia's many islands and bringing advanced telecommunications to the nation's 130 million inhabitants. Palapa operated at 108 degrees east longitude.
The deployment sequence for both spacecraft will be nearly identical. During the final pre-ejection sequence, the orbiter maneuvered into a deployment attitude with the open payload bay facing the direction desired for firing the PAM motor. A clamp was released by explosive bolts and a set of springs pops the spinning payload out of the bay at about .8 m (2.5 ft.) per second. The Payload Assist Module was automatically set to fire its solid propellant motor 45 minutes after deployment. About 15 minutes after the spacecraft is ejected from the payload bay, the orbiter performed an evasive maneuver to make sure it is at least 14.8 to 18.5 km (8 to 10 miles) away from the satellite when the motor ignites.

In this mission the first deployment and retrieval exercise with the Shuttle Pallet Satellite SPAS-01 (built by Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm, a West German aerospace) including 10 experiments was done. SPAS-1 was unique in that it was designed to operate in the payload bay or be deployed by the RMS as a free-flying satellite.
The SPAS-01 configuration, with experiments, was 4.8 m (15.7 ft.) across, 3.4 m (11 ft.) high and 1.5 m (4.9 ft.) wide and weigh 2,278 kg (5,022 lb.). Subsystems are of modular design, such as power supply, data processing and attitude stabilization, and it is equipped with interchangeable mounting panels for subsystems and experiments. The orbiter provides the power and data interfaces via hardware in the attached mode. Communications with the SPAS in the free-flyer mode is by Reactor F. The pallet is non-active during ascent and descent. It has a 40-hour freeflying lifetime; 9.5 hours of that at full operational power. NASA has equipped the SPAS with a Hasselblad still camera, a 16 mm motion picture camera and a color/black and white video camera to record the deployment and retrieval operations. These cameras were enable NASA to record for the first time the operational capabilities of the orbiter from a platform outside the vehicle's cargo bay. The television pictures are scheduled to be transmitted live to earth.

The Materials Experiment Assembly (MEA) is a desk-sized, self-contained package designed to accommodate a range of materials processing experiments. It provides subsystems to record experiment data and provide thermal control, power distribution and structural support for the experiments. The top of the rectangular package is a passive thermal radiator attached by a hinge to allow access to the experiments and subsystems. The primary objective of this flight is to verify the MEA flight hardware for future space operations. Obtaining qualitative and quantitative science data is the secondary objective.

This mission also carried seven GAS canisters which contained a wide variety of experiments, as well as the OSTA-2 payload, a joint U.S.-West German scientific pallet payload. Among these experiments was an experiment with ants. Electrophoresis experiments and Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR) experiments were also performed.
Materialwissenschaftliche Autonome Experimente unter Schwerelosigkeit (MAUS) consists of experiments contained in three "Getaway Special" (GAS) canisters. Each cylindrical canister carries an experiment furnace, which is thermally insulated and has its own service module containing experiment hardware, electrical power, experiment controls, data gathering and processing equipment, and general housekeeping sensors.

STS-7 was scheduled to make the first Shuttle landing at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility, but bad weather conditions forced a change again to Edwards AFB.

Photos / Drawings

crew in training

photo courtesy J.L. Pickering

Earth observation
STS-7 in orbit


Last update on July 25, 2014.