STS- 3 (English Space Transportation System) is a mission name for the U.S. Space Shuttle Columbia ( OV -102) from NASA. The launch took place on 22 March 1982. It was the third Space Shuttle mission and the third flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia.


  • Jack Lousma ( second space flight), Commander
  • Gordon Fullerton ( first space flight), Pilot

Backup crew

  • Thomas Mattingly, commander
  • Henry Hartsfield, pilot

STS-3 was the last NASA flight for which a complete backup crew was divided. From STS -4 replacements have been nominated only for individual team members. This primarily payload specialists, and astronauts from other countries.

Mission overview

STS-3 was the penultimate test flight of the Space Shuttle program. The review of the thermal resistance of the orbiter was in the foreground. Different areas of Columbia were aligned for extended periods to the sun and the measured radiation values ​​. In the cargo bay were on a pallet experiments for the Office of Space Science at NASA. OSS -1 collected data on the near-Earth environment, including contamination (gases, dust, etc. ), which were brought from the orbiter into space itself. In addition, the robot had his second deployment.

In contrast to STS -1 and STS -2, the outer tank for weight reasons was painted not know. From this mission, he remained in his original red - brown color.

STS-3 was the only mission of the shuttle program, which ended with a landing at White Sands (New Mexico), because rain had softened the originally planned runway at California's Edwards Air Force Base. Shortly before the beginning of the flight, NASA decided to land the Shuttle at White Sands. Edwards should serve as an alternate landing site. However, the moisture evaporated is not as fast as expected and so the concrete runway at the Kennedy Space Center was, while the mission was already running, determined as the second landing site. Since the web is at White Sands from natural gypsum, the Columbia was heavily contaminated during coasting through dust raised. Then the ferry had to be cleaned consuming.