STS -9 (English: Space Transportation System) is a mission name for the U.S. Space Shuttle Columbia ( OV -102) from NASA. The launch took place on 28 November 1983. It was the ninth space shuttle mission and the sixth flight of Space Shuttle Columbia.


  • John Young ( 6 spaceflight ), commander of United States
  • Brewster Shaw ( first space flight), Pilot United States
  • Owen Garriott ( second space flight), Mission Specialist United States
  • Robert Parker ( first space flight), Mission Specialist United States
  • Byron Lichtenberg ( first space flight), Payload Specialist United States
  • Ulf Merbold ( first space flight), Payload Specialist ( ESA) Germany

It was the first space flight with six people on a space ship. John Young was the first spaceman through the sixth flight. Ulf Merbold was the first spaceman ESA.

Backup crew

  • Michael Lampton United States, payload specialist, Byron Lichtenberg
  • Wubbo Ockels, Payload Specialist (ESA ) The Netherlands, for Merbold

Mission overview

On this flight for the first time the Spacelab module was taken with him into space, which could support a variety of experiments. The German Ulf Merbold took part in the mission as the first ESA astronaut. There were carried on this flight for the first time six astronauts into space.

The launch was originally scheduled for September 30, but had to be postponed to 28 November due to technical problems.

Problems with the computer and the APUs

A few hours before re-entry in aligning the shuttle crashed, while the RCS thrusters were fired, one of the navigation computer. A few minutes later crashed another computer, but was able to reboot successfully. Young delayed the landing and let the shuttle initially drift free. He later explained: "If we had at this time the Backup Flight Software enabled, the result would have been a total loss of the orbiter and the crew. " An investigation after the flight showed that the GPCs failed, as by the RCS thrusters pulse a solder joint broke and so caused a short circuit on the CPU board. Columbia landed, after 166 orbits and 4.3 million kilometers covered, on December 8 1983 at 15:47 clock PST on runway 17 at Edwards Air Force Base. Shortly before landing caught two APUs ( of three) fire when ignited by a hydrazine leak released fuel on a hot surface. The landing was still successful. Columbia was transported back to the Kennedy Space Center on December 15. The leak was discovered after the fire, which had caused considerable damage to this part of the orbiter, was extinguished by itself.