STS -33 (English Space Transportation System) is a mission name for the U.S. Space Shuttle Discovery ( OV -103 ) from NASA. The launch took place on 23 November 1989. It was the 32nd Space Shuttle mission and the ninth flight of the space shuttle Discovery.


  • Frederick Gregory ( second space flight), Commander
  • John Blaha ( second space flight), Pilot
  • Story Musgrave ( third space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Manley Carter ( first space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Kathryn Thornton ( first space flight ), Mission Specialist

Originally David Griggs was intended as a pilot of the mission, but he came during the preparation of the crash of his vintage aircraft lost their lives and had to be replaced by Blaha.

Mission overview

The originally planned start date of 20 November could not be met because parts of the electronic system of the solid fuel rockets needed to be replaced. For the first time since the Challenger disaster of the shuttle program was started again at night.

STS -33 was the fifth mission on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense. Therefore, purpose and goal achievement were kept secret.

The landing took place on 27 November at Edwards AFB, California. Discovery was transported back seven days later by a special aircraft to Cape Canaveral, Florida.