STS -5 (english Space Transportation System) is a mission name for the U.S. Space Shuttle Columbia ( OV -102) from NASA. The launch took place on 11 November 1982. It was the fifth Space Shuttle mission and the fifth flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia.


  • Vance Brand ( second space flight), Commander
  • Robert Overmyer ( first space flight), Pilot
  • Joseph Allen ( first space flight), Mission Specialist
  • William Lenoir (1st space flight), Mission Specialist

Mission overview

STS- 5 was the first mission of the Space Shuttle, which has not flown mainly for testing purposes. For the first time were next commander and pilot and mission specialist on board. The charge consisted of two communications satellites, the Anik C -3 ( Telesat Canada) and the SBS -C (Satellite Business Systems ) and some experiments.


The previous mission of Columbia ended on July 4, 1982 at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Ten days later, she appeared on the back of a modified Boeing 747 ( Shuttle Carrier Aircraft ) to the trip home to Florida. The day after the space shuttle at the Kennedy Space Center arrived and was driven into the Orbiter Processing Facility, where it was prepared for the flight. On September 9, the transfer was recorded in the Vehicle Assembly Building. There, the orbiter was connected to the external tank and the two solid rocket boosters and transported to the launch pad two weeks later.

Mission History

The launch took time out on 11 November 1982 from the Kennedy Space Center. The shuttle assembly weighed when lifting a total of 2,035 tonnes, 9.4 tonnes were on the payload. Two minutes after the start of the two solid rocket boosters were separated at an altitude of 47.3 kilometers. A little later they landed on parachutes in the Atlantic Ocean and could be recovered. The orbiter reached after two pulses of the OMS engines orbit with an altitude of 296 km and an inclination of 28.5 degrees. Towards the end of the third orbit the Columbia flew only a few kilometers below the Russian space station Salyut 7 over, but without the two crews saw or radio contact could be made.

Six and a half hours after the start of the four -member crew began preparations for the launching of SBS -C. The communications satellite weighed together with the PAM -D upper stage 3270 kg and had a total length of 4.2 meters. Exactly eight hours after mission start leaving at 20:18 UTC, the rotating with 52 rpm about its longitudinal axis Erdtrabant the hatch. 45 minutes after exposure lit the PAM -D upper stage and brought SBS -C in a geostationary orbit. According to the same schema and the Anik satellite was the following day at 20:24 UTC, during the 22 Erdumlaufs suspended.

Originally this mission during the first spacewalk (EVA ) of the shuttle program should be carried out. The two mission specialists should work on the fourth day of flying for three and a half hours in the cargo area of ​​Columbia and simulate with new tools even a satellite repair. Since Bill Lenoir and Joe Allen suffered from space sickness, the EVA was decided to postpone by one day. The health status of the two astronauts had as much improved on 15 November that an attempt was made. The two mission specialists went into the airlock to apply the newly developed space suits. Here, a fan in Allen's suit initially made deafening noises before he completely failed his service. All attempts to fix it failed. A little later there were also problems with the space suit Lenoir, failed as its pressure regulation. The planned phasing therefore had to be canceled.

Also during flight numerous experiments were performed in the loading hatch and the cockpit. In the flight deck of the Columbia found themselves together in a single package, several student experiments.

In addition, was in the hold of a so-called GAS container ( GetAway Special), which was controlled from the cockpit and could be carried out in the relatively inexpensive scientific experiments. In this mission, the Federal Republic of Germany had rented a 80 centimeter tall canister with 140 liter capacity. The ancestors of today's DLR wanted to investigate metallic samples MOUSE ( autonomous material science experiments under microgravity conditions ) under the name. After landing, it was found that the apparatus had not worked. The battery, which should provide the energy had an electrolyte leakage.

After five days in space, launched on November 16 a 2 minutes and 22 seconds long firing of the two OMS nozzle ( Orbital Maneuvering System) the return. The landing took place on the concrete runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base, because due to heavy rain was not a landing on the salt lakes in California possible.

Shortly before landing took over Commander Vance Brand control of the shuttle. A little later the Columbia on the runway and rolled 2.9 km from. The mission had lasted 5 days, 2 hours and 14 minutes. On November 22, the orbiter arrived back at Kennedy Space Center.


In 1984, before his second Shuttle flight STS- 51- A is authored by Joseph P. Allen nonfiction foray appeared in space - my space flight on the Space Shuttle, in which he describes his experiences during STS -5 and this 1,000 images impressively illustrated.

  • Foray into space - my space flight on the Space Shuttle (1984 ) ISBN 3-7643-1637-3 Birkhäuser Verlag, Stuttgart