Crew & Mission
The 51-C crewmembers were; Thomas K. Mattingly, commander; Loren J. Shriver, pilot; two mission specialists, James F. Buchli and Ellison S. Onizuka; and Gary E. Payton, a payload specialist.
Discovery made its third flight in January 1985 to conduct the first mission totally dedicated to the Department of Defense. The classified payload was deployed successfully and boosted into its operating orbit by an Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) booster according to an Air Force announcement.
The launch occurred on Jan. 24, 1985, at 2:40 p.m. EST -- the first of 10 Shuttle missions that year. It was originally scheduled for Jan. 23, but was delayed because of freezing weather conditions. Challenger had been scheduled for this flight, but Discovery was substituted when thermal tile problems were encountered with Challenger.
The mission lasted 3 days, 1 hour, 33 minutes. Discovery touched down on Runway 15 at KSC on Jan. 27 at 4:23 p.m. EST.
Related & Souvenir