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STS-8 Space Shuttle Challenger Mission


STS-8 Space Shuttle Challenger Mission Patch

STS-8 Space Shuttle Challenger Mission Patch

Orbiter: Challenger (STA-099, OV-99)
  • Pad 39-A (20)
  • 8th Shuttle mission
  • 3rd Flight OV-099
  • 1st Night Launch
  • 1st Night Landing



  • OPF - June 3O, 1983
  • VAB - July 26, 1983
  • PAD - Aug. 2, 1983


  • INSAT-1B
  • CFES(4)
  • OIM
  • MLR(3)
  • GAS(x7)


  • August 30, 1983, 2:32:00 a.m. EDT.
  • Launch delayed 17 mlnutes due to weather.
  • Launch Weight: 242,742 lbs.


  • Altitude: 191nm
  • Inclination: 28.5 degrees
  • Orbits: 98
  • Duration: Six days, one hour, eight minutes, 43 seconds.
  • Distance: 2,514,478 miles


  • SRB: BI-008
  • SRM: 008LW(HPM)
  • ET : 9/LWT-2
  • MLP : 2
  • SSME-1: SN-2017
  • SSME-2: SN-2015
  • SSME-3: SN-2012


  • September 5,1983, 12:40:43 a.m. PDT, Runway 22, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
  • Rollout distance: 9,371 feet.
  • Rollout time: 50 seconds.
  • Orbiter returned to KSC Sept. 9, 1983.
  • Landing Weight 203,945 lbs

Mission Highlights:

Bluford became first African-American to fly in space. INSAT-1B, a multipurpose satellite for India attached to Payload Assist Module-D (PAM-D) motor, was deployed. Nose of orbiter held away from sun 14 hours to test flight deck area in extreme cold. For Development Flight Instrumentation Pallet (DFI PLT), crew filmed performance of experimental heat pipe mounted in cargo bay; also, orbiter dropped to 139 miles altitude to perform tests on thin atomic oxygen to identify cause of glow that surrounds parts of orbiter at night. Remote manipulator system tested to evaluate joint reactions to higher loads. Biofeedback experiments: six rats flown in Animal Enclosure Module to observe animal reactions in space. Other payloads: Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES); Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSlP) experiment; Incubator-Cell Attachment Test (l CAT); Investigation of STS Atmospheric Luminosities (ISAL); Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME); and five Get Away Special experiment packages including eight cans of postal covers. Testing conducted between Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-I (TDRS-1 ) and orbiter using Ku-band antenna, and investigations continued on Space Adaptation Syndrome.

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