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Challenger as photographed by the SPAS-1 satellite on June 22, 1983
Mission type Satellite deployment
Microgravity research
Operator NASA
COSPAR ID 1983-059A
SATCAT № 14132
Mission duration 6 days, 2 hours, 23 minutes, 59 seconds
Distance travelled 4,072,553 kilometres (2,530,567 mi)
Orbits completed 97
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft Space Shuttle Challenger
Launch mass 113,025 kilograms (249,177 lb)
Landing mass 92,550 kilograms (204,040 lb)
Payload mass 16,839 kilograms (37,124 lb)
Crew size 5
Members Robert L. Crippen
Frederick H. Hauck
John M. Fabian
Sally K. Ride
Norman E. Thagard
Start of mission
Launch date June 18, 1983, 11:33:00 (1983-06-18UTC11:33Z) UTC
Launch site Kennedy LC-39A
End of mission
Landing date June 24, 1983, 13:56:59 (1983-06-24UTC13:57:00Z) UTC
Landing site Edwards Runway 15
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Perigee 299 kilometres (186 mi)
Apogee 307 kilometres (191 mi)
Inclination 28.3 degrees
Period 90.6 min
STS-7 patch.svg

L-R: Ride, Fabian, Crippen, Thagard, Hauck

Space Shuttle program
← STS-6 STS-8

STS-7 was NASA's seventh Space Shuttle mission, and the second mission for the Space Shuttle Challenger. During the mission, Challenger deployed several satellites into orbit. The shuttle launched from Kennedy Space Center on June 18, 1983, and landed at Edwards Air Force Base on June 24. STS-7 was notable for carrying Sally Ride, America's first 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

Support crew

Crew seat assignments

Seat[1] Launch Landing STS-121 seating assignments.png
Seats 1–4 are on the Flight Deck. Seats 5–7 are on the Middeck.
S1 Crippen Crippen
S2 Hauck Hauck
S3 Fabian Thagard
S4 Ride Ride
S5 Thagard Fabian

Mission summary

STS-7 began on June 18, 1983, with an on-time liftoff at 7:33 am EDT. It was the first spaceflight of an American woman (Sally K. Ride), the largest crew to fly in a single spacecraft up to that time (five people), and the first flight that included members of NASA's Group 8 astronaut class, which had been selected in 1978 to fly the Space Shuttle.

The crew of STS-7 included Robert L. Crippen, commander, making his second Shuttle flight; Frederick H. Hauck, pilot; and Ride, John M. Fabian and Norman Thagard, all mission specialists. Thagard conducted medical tests concerning Space Adaptation Syndrome, a bout of nausea frequently experienced by astronauts during the early phase of a space flight.

Two communications satellites – Anik C2 for Telesat of Canada, and Palapa B1 for Indonesia – were successfully deployed during the first two days of the mission. The mission also carried the first Shuttle Pallet Satellite, SPAS-1, which was built by the West German aerospace firm Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm. 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. 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, performing various maneuvers, while a U.S.-supplied camera mounted on SPAS-1 took pictures of the orbiter. The RMS later grappled the pallet and returned it to the payload bay.

STS-7 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 Kennedy Space Center's then-new Shuttle Landing Facility. However, unacceptable weather forced a change to Runway 15 at Edwards AFB. The landing took place on June 24, 1983, at 6:57 am PDT. The mission lasted 6 days, 2 hours, 23 minutes, and 59 seconds, and covered about 2.2 million miles during 97 orbits of the Earth. Challenger was returned to KSC on June 29.


While Challenger was on-orbit, one of its windows was damaged non-critically by space debris.[2]

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, indicate 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

NASA began a tradition of playing music to astronauts during the Gemini program, and first used music to wake up a flight crew during Apollo 15. Each track is specially chosen, often by the astronauts' families, and usually has a special meaning to an individual member of the crew, or is applicable to their daily activities.[3]

Flight Day Song Artist/Composer Played for
Day 2 "University of Texas Fight Song" University of Texas 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" Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band Sally Ride
Day 7 "Florida State University Fight Song" Florida State University Marching Chiefs. Norm Thagard

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  1. "STS-7". Spacefacts. Retrieved February 26, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Orbital Debris Photo Gallery". NASA. Retrieved August 12, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Fries, Colin (June 25, 2007). "Chronology of Wakeup Calls" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved August 13, 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links