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The experiments selected to be part of the OSS-1/STS-3 payload had several objectives which included the following: (a) to conduct supplementary observations of the Orbiter's environment that have specific applicability to plasma physics and astronomical payloads; (b) to conduct scientific observations that demonstrate the Space Shuttle's research capabilities and are appropriate for flight on an early mission; and (c) to evaluate technology that may have application in future experiments in space. Three hours after liftoff, Columbia's payload bay doors were opened and the payload pallet was exposed to the space environment. Eight experiments were mounted on the U-shaped pallet, and the plant lignification experiment was mounted in the cabin area. The parameters measured by the payload included (1) plasma, waves, and fields; (2) polarization in solar X-ray bursts; (3) solar flux in the wavelength range 120-400 nanometers; (4) electrical charging properties of the Orbiter vehicle; (5) thermal properties of the canister experiment; (6) optical properties of the Shuttle-induced atmosphere; and (7) micrometeorite impacts. In addition, there were measurements of plant lignification in weightlessness, and of the induced contamination environment of the Orbiter bay.

Alternate Names

  • OSS 1/STS 3
  • 13106
  • Space Transport Sys 3
  • Shuttle OFT 3
  • STS3/OSS1

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1982-03-22
Launch Vehicle: Shuttle
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 3730 kg

Funding Agencies

  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)
  • NASA-Office of Space Flight (United States)


  • Space Physics
  • Life Science
  • Solar Physics
  • Human Crew

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. Kevin L. KitchinMission ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Dr. Werner M. NeupertMission ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight
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