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SPACE SHUTTLE MISSION SUMMARIES...

PROGRAM CHRONOLOGY

PROGRAM CHRONOLOGY

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Jan. 5 President Nixon proposes development of a reusable space transportation system, the Space Shuttle.

March 15 NASA selects the three-part configuration for the Space Shuttle -- reusable orbiter, partly reusable SRB and an expendable external tank.

Aug. 9 Rockwell receives NASA contract for construction of the Space Shuttle orbiter.

1975

1976

    July 18 Thiokol conducts 2-minute firing of an SRB at Brigham City, Utah.

    Aug. 12 First free flight Approach and Landing Test (ALT) of orbiter Enterprise from Shuttle carrier aircraft at Dryden Flight Research Center, Calif. Flight duration: 5 minutes, 21 seconds. Landing occurred on Runway 17.

    Sept. 13 Second Enterprise ALT flight of 5 minutes, 28 seconds; landing on Runway 15. (Three more ALT flights were flown by Enterprise on Sept. 23 Oct. 12 and Oct. 25.)

1978

    Jan. 18 Thiokol conducts second test firing of an SRB.

1979

1980

1982

    Feb. 3 Columbia moved to VAB for mating in preparation for STS-3 mission.

    Feb. 16 Assembled Space Shuttle vehicle moved from VAB to launch pad for STS-3 mission.

    March 22-30 STS-3 mission; landing at White Sands, N.M.

    April 6 Columbia returned to KSC from White Sands.

    May 16 Columbia moved to VAB for mating in preparation for STS-4.

    May 25 STS-4 vehicle moved to launch pad.

    June 27-July 4 STS-4 mission flown; first concrete runway landing at Edwards AFB.

    June 30 Orbiter Challenger (OV-099) rolled out at Palmdale.

    July l Challenger moved overland to Dryden.

    July 4-5 Challenger flown to KSC via Ellington AFB, Texas.

    July 14-15 Columbia flown to KSC via Dyess AFB, Texas.

    Sept. 9 Columbia mated with SRBs and external tank in preparation for STS-5.

    Sept. 21 STS-5 vehicle moved to launch pad.

    Nov. ll-16 STS-5 mission; landing at Edwards AFB.

    Nov. 21-22 Columbia returned to KSC via Kelly AFB, Texas

    Nov. 23 Challenger moved to VAB and mated for STS-6.

    Nov. 30 STS-6 vehicle moved to launch pad.

    Dec. 18 Flight readiness firing of Challenger's main engines; 20 seconds.

1983

    Jan. 22 Second flight readiness firing of Challenger's main engines; 22 seconds.

    April 4-9 STS-6 mission, first flight of Challenger.

    May 21 Challenger moved to VAB for mating in preparation for STS-7 mission.

    May 26 Challenger moved to launch pad for STS-7.

    June 18-24 STS-7 mission flown with landing at Edwards AFB.

    July 26 Challenger moved to VAB for mating in preparation for STS-8.

    June 28-29 Challenger flown back to KSC via Kelly AFB.

    Aug. 2 STS-8 vehicle moved to launch pad.

    Aug. 30-Sept. 5 STS-8 mission; first night launch and landing at Edwards AFB.

    Sep. 9 Challenger returned to KSC via Sheppard AFB, Texas.

    Sept. 23 Columbia moved to VAB for mating in preparation for STS-9.

    Sept. 28 STS-9vehicle moved to launch pad.

    Oct. 17 STS-9launch vehicle moved back to VAB from pad because of SRB nozzle problem.

    Oct. 19 Columbia moved to Orbiter Processing Facility.

    Nov. 5 Orbiter Discovery (OV-103) moved overland to Dryden.

    Nov. 6 Discovery transported to Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

    Nov. 8 STS-9vehicle again moved to launch pad.

    Nov. 8-9 Discovery flown from Vandenberg AFB to KSC via Carswell AFB, Texas.

    Nov. 28-Dec. 8 STS-9mission; landing at Edwards AFB.

    Dec. 14-15 Columbia flown to KSC via El Paso, Kelly AFB and Eglin AFB.

1984

    Jan. 6 Challenger moved to VAB for mating in preparation of STS 41 B mission.

    Jan. ll STS 41-B vehicle moved to launch pad.

    Feb. 3-ll STS 41-B mission; first landing at KSC.

    March 14 Challenger moved to VAB for mating in preparation for STS 41-C mission.

    March 19 STS 41-C vehicle moved to launch pad.

    April 6-13 STS 41-C mission; landing at Edwards AFB.

    April 17-18 Challenger flown back to KSC via Kelly AFB.

    May 12 Discovery moved to VAB for mating in preparation for STS 41-D.

    May 19 STS 41-D vehicle moved to launch pad.

    June 2 Flight readiness firing of Discovery's main engines.

    June 25 STS 41-D launch attempt scrubbed because of computer problem.

    June 26 STS 41-D launch attempt scrubbed following main engine shutdown at T minus 4 seconds.

    July 14 STS 41-D vehicle moved back to VAB for remanifest of payloads.

    Aug. 9 STS 41-D vehicle again moved out to the launch pad.

    Aug. 30-Sept. 5 STS 41-D mission; first flight of Discovery;landing at Edwards AFB.

    Sept. 8 Challenger moved to VAB for mating in preparation for STS 41-G mission.

    Sept. 9-10 Discovery returned to KSC via Altus AFB, Okla.

    Sept. 13 STS 41-G launch vehicle moved to launch pad.

    Oct. 5-13 STS 41-G mission; landing at KSC.

    Oct. 18 Discovery moved to VAB for mating in preparation for STS 51-A mission.

    Oct. 23 STS 51-A launch vehicle moved to launch pad.

    Nov. 7 STS 51-A launch scrubbed because of high shear winds.

    Nov. 8-16 STS 51-A mission; landing at KSC.

1985

    Jan. 5 Discovery moved to launch pad for STS 51-C mission.

    Jan. 24-27 STS 51-C mission landing at KSC.

    Feb. 10 Challenger moved to VAB for mating in preparation for STS 51-E mission.

    Feb. 15 STS 51-E vehicle moved to launch pad.

    March 4 STS 51-E vehicle rolled back to VAB; mission cancelled; payloads combined with STS 51-B.

    March 23 Discovery moved to VAB for mating in preparation for STS 51-D mission.

    March 28 STS 51-D vehicle moved to launch pad.

    April 6 Atlantis (OV-104) rollout at Palmdale.

    April 10 Challenger moved to VAB for mating in preparation for STS 51-B mission.

    April 12-19 STS 51-D mission; landing at KSC.

    April 13 Atlantis ferried to KSC via Ellington AFB, Texas.

    April 15 Challenger moved to launch pad for 51-B missing.

    April 29-May 6 STS 51-B mission; landing at Edwards AFB.

    May 10 Challenger transported back to KSC via Kelly AFB.

    May 28 Discovery moved to VAB for mating in preparation for STS 51-G.

    June 4 STS 51-G vehicle moved to the launch pad.

    June 17-24 STS 51-G mission; landing Edwards AFB.

    June 24 Challenger moved to VAB for mating in preparation for STS 51-F.

    June 28 Discovery ferried back to KSC via Bergstrom AFB, Texas.

    June 29 STS 51-F vehicle moved to the launch pad.

    July ll Refurbished Columbia moved overland from Palmdale to Dryden.

    July 12 STS 51-F launch scrubbed at T-minus 3 seconds because of main engine shutdown.

    July 14 Columbia returned to KSC via Offutt AFB, Neb.

    July 29-Aug. 6 STS 51-F mission landing at Edwards AFB.

    July 30 Discovery moved to VAB for mating in preparation for STS 51-I mission.

    Aug. 6 STS 51-I vehicle moved to the launch pad.

    Aug. 10-ll Challenger flown to KSC via Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.; Kelly AFB; and Eglin AFB.

    Aug. 24 STS 51-I mission scrubbed at T minus 5 minutes because of bad weather.

    Aug. 25 STS 51-I mission scrubbed at T-minus 9 minutes because of an onboard computer problem.

    Aug. 27-Sept. 3 STS 51-I mission; landing at Edwards AFB.

    August 29 Atlantis moved to launch pad for the 51-J mission.

    Sept. 7-8 Discovery flown back to KSC via Kelly AFB.

    Sept. 12 Flight readiness firing of Atlantis' main engines; 20 seconds.

    Oct. 3-7 STS 51-J mission; landing at Edwards AFB.

    Oct. ll Atlantis returned to KSC via Kelly AFB.

    Oct. 12 Challenger moved to VAB for mating in preparation for the STS 61-A mission.

    Oct. 16 Challenger vehicle moved to the launch pad for STS 61-A mission.

    Oct. 30-Nov. 6 STS 61-A mission; landing at Edwards AFB.

    Nov. 8 Atlantis moved to VAB for mating in preparation for the STS 61-B.

    Nov. 10-ll Challenger flown back to KSC via Davis-Monthan AFB, Kelly AFB and Eglin AFB.

    Nov. 12 STS 61-B vehicle moved to the launch pad.

    Nov. 18 Enterprise (OV-101) flown from KSC to Dulles Airport, Washington, D.C., and turned over to the Smithsonian Institution.

    Nov. 22 Columbia moved to the VAB for mating in preparation STS 61-C.

    Nov. 26-Dec. 3 STS 61-B mission landing at Edwards AFB.

    Dec. l STS 61-C vehicle moved to launch pad.

    Dec. 7 Atlantis returned to KSC via Kelly AFB.

    Dec. 16 Challenger moved to VAB for mating in preparation for the STS 51-L mission.

    Dec. 19 STS 61-C mission scrubbed at T minus 13 seconds because of SRB auxiliary power unit problem.

    Dec. 22 STS 51-L vehicle moved to Launch Pad 39B.

1986

    Jan. 6 STS 61-C mission scrubbed at T minus 31 seconds because of liquid oxygen valve problem on pad.

    Jan. 7 STS 61-C mission scrubbed at T minus 9 minutes because of weather problems at contingency landing sites.

    Jan. 10 STS 61-C mission scrubbed T minus 9 minutes because of bad weather at KSC.

    Jan. 12-18 STS 61-C mission; landing at Edwards AFB.

    Jan. 22-23 Columbia returned to KSC via Davis-Monthan AFB, Kelly AFB and Eglin AFB.

    Jan. 27-28 STS 51-L launched from Pad B. Vehicle exploded 1 minute, 13 seconds after liftoff resulting loss of seven crew members.

    Feb. 3 President Reagan announced the formation of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident, headed by William P. Rogers, former Secretary of State.

    March 24 NASA publishes "Strategy for Safely Returning the Space Shuttle to Flight Status."

    May 12 President Reagan appoints Dr. James C. Fletcher NASA Administrator.

    July 8 NASA establishes Safety, Reliability Maintainability, and Quality Assurance Office.

    July 14 NASA's plan to implement the recommendations of the Rogers commission was submitted to President Reagan.

    Aug. 15 President Reagan announced his decision to support a replacement for the Challenger. At the same time, it was announced that NASA no longer would launch commercial satellites, except for those which are Shuttle-unique or have national security or foreign policy implications.

    Aug. 22 NASA announced the beginning of a series of tests designed to verify the ignition pressure dynamics of the Space Shuttle solid rocket motor field joint.

    Sept. 5 Study contracts were awarded to five aerospace firms for conceptual designs of an alternative or Block II Space Shuttle solid rocket motor.

    Sept. 10 Astronaut Bryan O'Connor was named chairman of Space Flight Safety Panel. This panel, with oversight responsibility for all NASA manned space program activities, reports to the Associate Administrator for Safety, Reliability, Maintainability and Quality Assurance.

    Oct. 2 After an intensive study, NASA announced the decision to test fire the redesigned solid rocket motor in a horizontal attitude to best simulate the critical conditions on the field joint which failed during the 51-L mission.

    Oct. 30 Discovery moved to OPF where more than 200 modification are accomplished for STS-26 mission.

    Nov. 6 Office of the Director, National Space Transportation System, established in the NASA Headquarters Office of Space Flight.

1987

    July 31 Rockwell International awarded contract to build a fifth orbiter to replace the Challenger.

    Aug. 3 Discovery in the Orbital Processing Facility is powered up for STS-26 mission.

1988

Table of Contents


Information content from the NSTS Shuttle Reference Manual (1988)
Last Hypertexed Wednesday October 11 17:53:31 EDT 1995
Jim Dumoulin (dumoulin@titan.ksc.nasa.gov)



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