STS -8 (english Space Transportation System) is a mission name for the U.S. Space Shuttle Challenger ( OV -99) NASA. The launch took place on 30 August 1983. It was the eighth Space Shuttle mission and the third flight of the space shuttle Challenger.


  • Richard Truly ( second space flight), Commander
  • Daniel Brandenstein ( first space flight), Pilot
  • Dale Gardner ( first space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Guion Bluford ( first space flight), Mission Specialist
  • William Thornton ( first space flight), Mission Specialist

Mission overview

STS -8 was the first flight of a space shuttle, in which both the start and landing are done at night. The launch took place due to the weather with 17 minutes delay.

The payload was essentially the Indian multi-purpose Satellite Insat 1-B. There have also been stress testing the shuttle itself. The cockpit of the shuttle faces away from the sun is kept for 14 h, so as to examine the influence of the intense cold of the life support systems.

Also, various research experiments have been performed. Inter alia the behavior of six rats in microgravity was examined.

With Guion Bluford was the first time in NASA's history an African American into space.