STS -51- B (English Space Transportation System) is a mission name for the U.S. Space Shuttle Challenger ( OV -99) NASA. The launch took place on 29 April 1985. It was the 17th Space Shuttle mission and the seventh flight of Space Shuttle Challenger.


Home team

  • Robert Overmyer ( second space flight), Commander
  • Frederick Gregory ( first space flight), Pilot
  • Don Lind ( first space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Norman Thagard ( second space flight), Mission Specialist
  • William Thornton ( second space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Lodewijk van den Berg ( first space flight), Payload Specialist, EG & G Corporation
  • Taylor Wang ( first space flight), Payload Specialist, California Institute of Technology


  • Eugene Trinh and Mary Helen Johnston for Wang and van den Berg

Mission overview

STS -51- B was launched just 17 days after the start of the previous shuttle mission STS -51 -D. Due to a technical problem in the automatic start sequence saw the launch of mission STS -51- B with a delay of two minutes and 18 seconds.

The payload of the mission consisted of the Spacelab the European Space Agency ( ESA). Were carried 15 experiments, especially for the study of fluids and materials in weightless space. For biological studies also were two monkeys and 24 rodents on board. 14 experiments were successfully carried out.

The landing occurred at Edwards AFB in California; the first time a shuttle landed in a crosswind. Challenger was transported back five days later with a special plane to Cape Canaveral, Florida.