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STS-51-L

Overview

Destination: Low Earth Orbit
Mission: Human Exploration

Low Earth Orbit Launch Complex 39B Kennedy Space Center, FL, USA

The tenth mission for Challenger, STS-51-L was scheduled to deploy the second in a series of Tracking and Data Relay Satellites, carry out the first flight of the Shuttle-Pointed Tool for Astronomy (SPARTAN-203) / Halley's Comet Experiment Deployable in order to observe Halley's Comet, and carry out several lessons from space as part of the Teacher in Space Project and Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSIP).

Space Shuttle Challenger OV-099

Family: Space Shuttle
Configuration: OV-099

Space Shuttle Challenger was the second orbiter of NASA's space shuttle program to be put into service following Columbia. Its maiden flight, STS-6, started on April 4, 1983. It launched and landed nine times before breaking apart 73 seconds into its tenth mission, STS-51-L, on January 28, 1986, resulting in the death of all seven crew members, including a civilian school teacher. It was the first of two shuttles to be destroyed in flight, the other being Columbia in 2003.

Specifications
  • Minimum Stage
    1
  • Max Stage
    3
  • Length
    38.1 m
  • Diameter
    8.4 m
  • Fairing Diameter
  • Launch Mass
    2040 T
  • Thrust
    28200 kN
Family
  • Name
    Space Shuttle Challenger OV-099
  • Family
    Space Shuttle
  • Variant
    OV-099
  • Alias
    Challenger
  • Full Name
    Space Shuttle Challenger OV-099
Payload Capacity
  • Launch Cost
    $450,000,000
  • Low Earth Orbit
    24400 kg
  • Geostationary Transfer Orbit
  • Direct Geostationary
  • Sun-Synchronous Capacity

Space Shuttle Challenger


In-active Human Rated Crew On-board: 7 Crew Capacity: 7 Payload Capacity: 27500 kg
Destination: Low Earth Orbit
Serial Number: OV-099

Space Shuttle Challenger (Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-099) was the second orbiter of NASA's space shuttle program to be put into service, after Columbia. Challenger was built by Rockwell International's Space Transportation Systems Division, in Downey, California. Its maiden flight, STS-6, began on April 4, 1983. The orbiter was launched and landed nine times before breaking apart 73 seconds into its tenth mission, STS-51-L, on January 28, 1986, resulting in the death of all seven crew members, including a civilian school teacher. It was the first of two shuttles to be destroyed in flight, the other being Columbia, in 2003. The accident led to a two-and-a-half-year grounding of the shuttle fleet; flights resumed in 1988, with STS-26 flown by Discovery. Challenger was replaced by Endeavour, which was built from structural spares ordered by NASA in the construction contracts for Discovery and Atlantis.

Space Shuttle Details

Crew


Dick Scobee

Commander - American - (NASA)

Status: Lost In Flight

Date of Birth: May 19, 1939
Date of Death: Jan. 28, 1986

Michael J. Smith

Pilot - American - (NASA)

Status: Lost In Flight

Date of Birth: April 30, 1945
Date of Death: Jan. 28, 1986

Gregory Jarvis

Payload Specialist - American - (HAC)

Status: Lost In Flight

Date of Birth: Aug. 24, 1944
Date of Death: Jan. 28, 1986

Christa McAuliffe

Payload Specialist - American - (NASA)

Status: Lost In Flight

Date of Birth: Sept. 2, 1948
Date of Death: Jan. 28, 1986

Ronald McNair

Mission Specialist - American - (NASA)

Status: Lost In Flight

Date of Birth: Oct. 21, 1950
Date of Death: Jan. 28, 1986

Judith Resnik

Mission Specialist - American - (NASA)

Status: Lost In Flight

Date of Birth: April 5, 1949
Date of Death: Jan. 28, 1986

Ellison Onizuka

Mission Specialist - American - (NASA)

Status: Lost In Flight

Date of Birth: June 24, 1946
Date of Death: Jan. 28, 1986

Lockheed Space Operations Company

Lockheed Space Operations Company

(LSOC)

Successes: 9 Failures: 1 Pending: 0

Agency Type: Commercial

Kennedy Space Center, FL, USA

Pad: Launch Complex 39B


Falcon 9 Block 5
Success
4 days, 20 hours ago
Starlink 13
Launch Complex 39A - Kennedy Space Center, FL, USA

A batch of 60 satellites for Starlink mega-constellation - SpaceX's project for space-based Internet communication system.


Soyuz 2.1A
Success
1 week, 2 days ago
Soyuz MS-17
31/6 - Baikonur Cosmodrome, Republic of Kazakhstan

Soyuz MS-17 begins expedition 63 by carrying Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov, Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and NASA astronaut Kathleen Rubins to the I...


New Shepard
Success
1 week, 2 days ago
NS-13
West Texas Suborbital Launch Site/ Corn Ranch - Corn Ranch, USA

This will be the 13th New Shepard mission and the 7th consecutive flight for this particular vehicle (a record), demonstrating its operational reus...


Long March 3
Success
1 week, 4 days ago
Gaofen 13
Launch Complex 2 (LC-2) - Xichang Satellite Launch Center, People's Republic of China

Gaofen is a series of civilian Earth observation satellites developed and launched for the China High-definition Earth Observation System (CHEOS), ...


Falcon 9 Block 5
Success
2 weeks, 2 days ago
Starlink 12
Launch Complex 39A - Kennedy Space Center, FL, USA

A batch of 60 satellites for Starlink mega-constellation - SpaceX's project for space-based Internet communication system.


Antares 230+
Success
2 weeks, 6 days ago
Cygnus CRS-2 NG-14 (S.S. Kalpana Chawla)
Launch Area 0 A - Wallops Island, Virginia, USA

This is the 15th planned flight of the Orbital ATK's uncrewed resupply spacecraft Cygnus and its 14th flight to the International Space Station und...


Soyuz 2.1B
Success
3 weeks, 3 days ago
Gonets-M27, Gonets-M28, Gonets-M29 and others
43/4 (43R) - Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russian Federation

Gonets-M are an upgraded version of Gonets satellites, derived from military communications system Strela-3. Gonets-M constellation is tasked with...


Long March 4
Success
3 weeks, 5 days ago
Huanjing 2A, 2B
Launch Complex 9 - Taiyuan, People's Republic of China

Huanjing (abbreviated as HJ) is a constellation of environmental monitoring satellites. The HJ-2A and HJ-2B are 16-meter optical satellites which w...


Long March 4
Success
1 month ago
Haiyang 2C
Launch Area 4 (SLS-2 / 603) - Jiuquan, People's Republic of China

Haiyang (Chinese: "Ocean"), abbreviated HY, is a marine remote sensing satellite series planned by China.


Long March 11
Success
1 month, 1 week ago
Gaofen-03-1
Mobile launch platform - Sea Launch

Gaofen is a series of civilian Earth observation satellites developed and launched for the China High-definition Earth Observation System (CHEOS), ...