Challenger STS 51-L: Ephemera





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This release is a continuation of the background information of the first press release, including: diagrams of the Shuttle, the TDRS-B (satellite), and of the Spartan-Halley comet measuring instruments. It also includes daily schedules for the mission, descriptions of student-authored experiments (payloads) for the Teacher In Space program, and brief bios of individual astronauts.


Challenger, NASA, STS-51L, Space Shuttle, launch, press kit


Challenger Mission STS-51L

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Excerpt from Biographical Notes, p.33:

FRANCIS R. (DICK) SCOBEE is spacecraft commander. Born May 19, 1939, in Cle Elum, Wash., he became a NASA astronaut in 1978. He received a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Arizona in 1965.

Scobee was a reciprocating engine mechanic in the Air Force. He was commissioned in 1965, and after receiving his wings in 1966, completed a number of assignments including a combat tour in Vietnam. He attended the Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, flying such varied aircraft as the Boeing 747, the X-24B, the transonic aircraft technology (TACT) F-111 and the C-5. He has logged more than 6,500 hours in 45 types of aircraft.

Scobee was pilot of STS 41-C in 1984. During this mission the crew deployed the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF); and retrieved, repaired aboard the orbiting Challenger, and returned to orbit, the ailing Solar Maximum Mission satellite.

MICHAEL J. SMITH, Commander, USN, is pilot. Born April 30, 1945, in Beaufort, N.C., he became a NASA astronaut in 1980.

Smith received a B.S. degree in naval science from the U.S. Naval Academy and an M.S. degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.

Smith flew A-6 Intruders and completed a Vietnam cruise while assigned to Attack Squadron 52 aboard the USS Kitty Hawk. He was awarded the Navy Distinguished Flying Cross, 3 Air Medals, 13 Strike Flight Air Medals, the Navy Commendation Medal with "V", the Navy Unit Citation and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star.

He has flown 28 different types of civilian and military aircraft, logging over 4,300 hours -- 4,000 in jet aircraft.

JUDITH A. RESNIK, Ph.D., is one of three mission specialists aboard 51-L. She was born April 5, 1949, in Akron, Ohio. She received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland. She became an astronaut in 1978.

Resnik worked for RCA, Moorestown, N.J., designing circuits and developing custom integrated circuitry for phased-array radar control systems. She was a biomedical engineer and staff fellow in the laboratory of neurophysiology at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD. She also served as senior systems engineer in product development with Xerox Corp., El Segundo, Calif.

Resnik was mission specialist on STS 41-D. During this mission, the crew deployed three satellites. Resnik has logged 144 hours, 57 minutes in space.

RONALD E. NcNAIR, Ph.D. mission specialist, became an astronaut in 1978. Born Oct. 21, 1950, in Lake City, S.C., he received a B.S. degree in physics from North Carolina A&T State University and a Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

While at MIT, McNair performed some of the earliest development of chemical HF/DF and high pressure CO lasers. He became a staff physicist with Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, Calif., and conducted research on electro-optic laser modulation for satellite-to-satellite space communications.

McNair was a mission specialist on Shuttle mission 41-B. During the flight, two Hughes 376 communications satellites were deployed. It was the first flight of the Manned Maneuvering Unit and first use of the Canadian arm (operated by McNair) to position EVA crewman around Challenger's payload bay. McNair has 191 hours in space.

ELLISON S. ONIZUKA, Lt. Col., USAF, is a mission specialist. He became an astronaut in 1978. Born June 24, 1946 in Kealakekua, Kona, Hawaii, he received B.S. and M.S. degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado. He became a NASA astronaut in 1978.

Onizuka was an aerospace flight test engineer with the Sacramento Air Logistics Center at McClellan Air Force Base. He participated in flight test programs and systems safety engineering for the F-84, F-100, F-105, F-111, EC-121T, T-33, T-39, T-28 and A-1 aircraft. He has logged more than 1,700 hours flying time.

Onizuka was a mission specialist on STS 51-C, the first dedicated Department of Defense mission. He has logged 74 hours in space.

GREGORY B. JARVIS, payload specialist, was born Aug. 24, 1944, in Detroit. He received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo; an M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Northeastern University, Boston; and has completed the course work for an M.S. degree in management science at West Coast University, Los Angeles. Jarvis was selected as a payload specialist candidate in 1984.

Jarvis worked at Raytheon, Bedford, Mass., designing circuits on the SAM-D missile. Later, as a communications payload engineer in the Satellite Communications Program Office, he worked on advanced tactical communications satellites. He later joined Hughes Aircraft Co.'s Space and Communications Group where he worked as subsystem engineer on the MARISAT Program.

He was test and integration manager for the F-1, F-2 and FD-3 spacecraft and cradle in 1983. The F-1 and F-2 Leasat spacecraft were successfully deployed.

S. CHRISTA CORRIGAN McAULIFFE is the Teacher In Space participant. Born Sept. 2, 1948, in Boston, she received a B.A. degree from Framingham State College and a masters degree in education from Bowie State College. Bowie, MD.

McAuliffe has taught English and American History since 1970. Until her selection as NASA Teacher In Space, she taught economics, law, American history, and a course she developed, “The American Woman," to 10th through 12th grade students.

McAuliffe was selected as primary candidate for the NASA Teacher in Space Project in July 1985.

Press Kit January 1986: Part 2