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Satellite Recovery From Orbit: Space Shuttle STS-51-A Highlights 1984 NASA 14th Shuttle Mission -

Satellite Recovery From Orbit: Space Shuttle STS-51-A Highlights 1984 NASA 14th Shuttle Mission por Jeff Quitney   3 anos atrás

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"Commander: Frederick H. Hauck
Pilot: David M. Walker
Mission Specialists: Joseph P. Allen, Anna L. Fisher, Dale A. Gardner
Dates: November 8-16, 1984
Vehicle: Discovery OV-103
Payloads: TELESAT-H/PAM-D (Anik-D2) , SYNCOM IV-1 (LEASAT-1), RME, and DMOS
EVA: (MMU/Tethered) retrieved WESTAR-VI and PALAPA-B2
Landing site: Runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center, FL

Narrated by the Commander and crew, this program contains footage selected by the astronauts, as well as their comments on the mission. Footage includes launch, onboard crew activities, and landing."

NASA film JSC-862

Reupload of a previously uploaded film, in one piece instead of multiple parts, and with improved video & sound.

Public domain film from the US National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

STS-51-A was the second flight of Space Shuttle Discovery, and the 14th flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program. The mission launched from Kennedy Space Center on 8 November 1984, and landed just under eight days later on 16 November.

STS-51-A was unique, in that it marked the first time a shuttle had deployed two communications satellites, and retrieved from orbit two other communications satellites. The Canadian Anik D2 and SYNCOM IV-l satellites were both successfully deployed by the crew of Discovery. Palapa B-2 and Westar 6, meanwhile, had been deployed during the STS-41-B mission earlier in the year, but had been placed into improper orbits due to the malfunctioning of their kick motors; they were both safely recovered and returned to Earth during STS-51-A...

STS-51-A was launched from Florida's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) at 7:15 am EST, 8 November 1984, less than a month after the STS-41-G flight. A launch attempt the day before was scrubbed at T-minus 20 minutes due to high shear winds in the upper atmosphere.

The five-person flight crew consisted of Frederick H. Hauck, commander, on his second flight; pilot David M. Walker; and three mission specialists -- Anna L. Fisher, Dale A. Gardner and Joseph P. Allen. Both Gardner and Allen were making their second shuttle flights.

The two communications satellites successfully deployed were the Canadian Anik D2 (on the second day of the mission) and SYNCOM IV-l, also known as Leasat l (on the third day).

The orbiter then began a series of maneuvers to meet up with the first of the two satellites to be recovered, Palapa B-2. The orbits of both satellites had been lowered by ground commands from about 600 miles (970 km) to 210 miles (340 km) to facilitate recovery operations. On day five of the mission, Discovery rendezvoused with Palapa. Mission specialists Allen and Gardner performed an EVA, capturing the satellite with a device known as a "Stinger," which was inserted into the satellite's apogee motor nozzle by Allen. The satellite's rotation was slowed to 1 RPM, and Fisher, operating from a position on the end of the RMS, attempted unsuccessfully to grapple the satellite. Allen was able to manually maneuver the satellite into its cradle with Gardner's help, further aided by the RMS, which was operated by Fisher. The successful, improvised rescue effort took two hours.

The recovery of Westar 6 was not as difficult, and took place a day later. This time, Gardner, using the same muscle-power technique Allen had used for Palapa B-2's rescue, easily captured the satellite. With Allen's help, he placed it in a cradle in the cargo bay.

The STS-51-A mission also carried the Diffused Mixing of Organic Solutions (DMOS) experiment. It was the first of a series of comprehensive organic and polymer science experiments sponsored by 3M Corporation. This mid-deck experiment was successful, and the proprietary results of the chemical mixes were turned over to 3M. One other experiment, a radiation-monitoring experiment, was also performed.

The satellite recoveries on STS-51-A were the last untethered spacewalks until 1994, and marked the last use of the Manned Maneuvering Unit. In 1994, the Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER) was tested on STS-64. On all subsequent spacewalks conducted by both NASA and the Soviet/Russian space agencies, the astronauts were tethered to the craft by some means.

The second mission of Discovery ended at 7 am EST on 16 November 1984 with a successful landing on Runway 15 at KSC. The flight completed 126 orbits, and lasted 7 days, 23 hours and 45 minutes. It was the third shuttle landing at KSC, and the fifth and last shuttle mission of 1984...


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