STS -7 (English Space Transportation System) is a mission name for the U.S. Space Shuttle Challenger ( OV -99) NASA. The launch took place on 18 June 1983. It was the seventh space shuttle mission and the second flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger.


  • Robert Crippen ( second space flight), Commander
  • Frederick Hauck ( first space flight), Pilot
  • John Fabian ( first space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Sally Ride ( first space flight ), Mission Specialist
  • Norman Thagard ( first space flight), Mission Specialist

Mission overview

The shuttle flight STS -7 began on June 18, 1983 with a prompt start at 11:33 UTC. Thus, the first flight of an American woman started into space. In addition, it was the first time that started five people in a spaceship into space. Commander of the flight was Robert Crippen, who was already on the first shuttle flight as a pilot case. The other four astronauts were newcomers, thus had not yet completed spaceflights. Served as a pilot Frederick Hauck, mission specialists were John Fabian, Sally Ride and Norman Thagard.

The payload consisted of the communications satellite Anik C-2 for the Canadian Telesat and Palapa -B1 for Indonesia. The two satellites were successfully exposed during the first two flight days. In addition, the Challenger had with the shuttle Pallet Satellite ( SPAS- l ), an experimental platform was developed by the German company Messerschmitt -Bolkow -Blohm. The six meters long and one meter wide platform was transported in the payload bay into orbit and was subsequently suspended by the robot arm in the free space. The platform contained ten experiments. Inter alia the behavior of metal alloys in the gravity was examined and experiments were conducted with the heat pipes.

Seven further experiments were performed in so-called getaway special containers, which were installed in the payload bay. These are special containers that simple, self -running experiments can take in the room. So, for example, students receive a relatively cheap way itself carry out research in weightlessness. One of the containers contained a colony of ants, their social behavior has been studied in microgravity.

The mission STS -7 was supposed to be the first flight, the Shuttle Landing Facility at the KSC should have arrived. Bad weather prevented this, however, and so the Challenger landed on June 24, just before 14 UTC clock by 97 times around the Earth at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Five days later, the space shuttle then the journey back to KSC went to where it was prepared for the next flight STS -8.


During the stay in orbit the shuttle was hit by a piece of space junk, as a result, a window was damaged.