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Mission insignia
STS-7 patch.svg
Mission statistics
Mission name STS-7
Space shuttle Challenger
Launch pad 39-A
Launch date 18 June 1983, 11:33:00 UTC
Landing 24 June 1983, 13:56:59 UTC
Edwards Airforce Base
Mission duration 6d/02:23:59
Number of orbits 97
Orbital altitude 296 to 315 km
Orbital inclination 28.5°
Distance traveled 4,072,553 km)
Crew photo
L-R: Ride, Fabian, Crippen, Thagard, Hauck
Related missions
Previous mission Next mission

STS-7 was a space shuttle mission by NASA using the Space Shuttle Challenger, launched 18 June 1983. This was the seventh space shuttle mission, and was the second mission for the Space Shuttle Challenger. It was also the first American mission to have a female astronaut.



Position Astronaut
Commander Robert L. Crippen
Second spaceflight
Pilot Frederick H. Hauck
First spaceflight
Mission Specialist 1 John M. Fabian
First spaceflight
Mission Specialist 2 Sally K. Ride
First spaceflight
Mission Specialist 3 Norman E. Thagard
First spaceflight

Mission parameters

Mission highlights

Deployment of Anik C2
Deployment of Palapa B-1
window pit caused by impact of space debris
SPAS-1 grappled by the RMS

The Challenger’s second flight began at 7:33 a.m. EDT, 18 June 1983, with another on-time liftoff. It was the first flight of an American woman in space -- Sally K. Ride -- and also the largest crew to fly in a single spacecraft up to that time, five people.

Crew members included Robert L. Crippen, commander, making his second Shuttle flight; Frederick H. Hauck, pilot; Ride, John M. Fabian and Norman Thagard, all mission specialists. Thagard conducted medical tests of the Space Adaptation Syndrome nausea and sickness frequently experienced by astronauts during the early phase of a space flight.

Two communications satellites -- Anik C-2 for Telesat of Canada, and Palapa B-l for Indonesia -- were successfully deployed during the first 2 days of the mission. The mission also carried the first Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS-l) built by Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm, a West German aerospace firm. SPAS-l was unique in that it was designed to operate in the payload bay or be deployed by the RMS as a free-flying satellite. It carried 10 experiments to study formation of metal alloys in microgravity, the operation of heat pipes, instruments for remote sensing observations, and a mass spectrometer to identify various gases in the payload bay. It was deployed by the RMS and flew alongside and over Challenger for several hours while a U.S.-supplied camera took pictures from the SPAS-1 of the orbiter performing various maneuvers. The RMS later grappled the pallet and returned it to the payload bay.

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. Finally, the orbiter's Ku-band antenna was able to relay data through the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite to a ground terminal for the first time.

STS-7 was scheduled to make the first Shuttle landing at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility. However, unacceptable weather forced a change to Runway 23 at Edwards AFB. The landing took place 24 June 1983, at 6:57 a.m. PDT. The mission lasted 6 days, 2 hours, 23 minutes, 59 seconds. It covered about 2.2 million miles during 97 orbits of the Earth. Challenger was returned to KSC on June 29.


While orbiting a window of the Shuttle was damaged by space debris.[1]

Mission insignia

The seven white stars in the black field of the mission patch, as well as the arm extending from the shuttle in the shape of a 7, tell the flight's numerical designation in the Space Transportation System's mission sequence. The five-armed symbol on the right side illustrates the four male/one female crew.

Wake-up calls

A tradition for NASA human spaceflights since the days of Gemini, mission crews are played a special musical track at the start of each day in space. Each track is specially chosen, often by their families, and usually has a special meaning to an individual member of the crew, or is applicable to their daily activities. [2]

Flight Day Song Artist/Composer Played for Links
Day 2 University of Texas Fight Song Texas A&M Marching Band Bob Crippen
Day 3 Tufts Tonia's Day the Tufts University Beelzebubs Rick Hauck
Day 4 When You're Smiling
Day 5 Washington State University Cougar Fight Song Washington State University Band John Fabian
Day 6 Stanford Hymn Leeland Stanford Junior University Marching Band Dr. Sally Ride
Day 7 Florida State University Fight Song Florida State University Marching Chiefs. Norm Thagard

See also


External links



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