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STS-51A is still hailed as the most daring and complex Space Shuttle missions to date. The week-long mission started with the liftoff of the Space Shuttle Discovery on November 8th, 1984 from Launch Pad 39A at KSC.
During STS-51A, the Shuttle crew deployed the TELESAT-H Canadian telecommunications satellite and the DoD SYNCOM IV-1 Defense Communications Satellite. The crew also retrieved PALAPA-B2 and WESTAR-VI, two malfunctioning satellites previously deployed during STS-41B. To retrieve the satellites, Missions Specialists Joseph P. Allen and Dale A. Gardner used Manned Maneuverable Units (MMU), while Mission Specialist Anna L. Fischer controlled the RMS for capturing and stowing the defective satellites in the Shuttle Payload Bay.
The uniqueness of this mission lays in the fact that it was the first mission a Space Shuttle was used to deploy two satellites and retrieve two malfunctioning ones. It was also the last mission where the MMU was used. Another first was the use of a device called “Stinger” which facilitated the capture of the malfunctioning satellites.
STS-51A concluded with an uneventful landing at the Kennedy Space Center on November 16, 1984.
In the best SSM2007 tradition, the budding astronauts will experience first-hand the historical liftoff, On-Orbit ops including the satellites deployment, MMU space walks, capturing and stowing satellites, Deorbit, Reentry and manually Landing the Shuttle at KSC.
The Space Shuttle Mission 2007â„¢ is available for online purchase in downloadable format at the SSM2007 official website: www.space-shuttle-mission.com. The latest Demo can also be downloaded freely at the same website.