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On the seventh flight of the Space Shuttle (STS-7), Challenger carried a five-person crew on its second trip into space. The mission objectives for the STS-7 were (1) to carry and perform the experiments on the Office of the Space and Terrestrial Application (OSTA-2) payload, (2) to carry and operate the experiment packages monodisperse latex reactor (MLR) and continuous flow electrophoresis system (CFES), (3) to deploy the Canadian communication satellite Telesat-F, (4) to deploy the Indonesian communication satellite PALAPA-B1, (5) to complete attached and detached experiments with the Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS-01, NSSDC ID 83-059F), and (6) to conduct experiments on seven Get-Away-Special (GAS) payloads. The OSTA-2 payload shared the cargo bay with Telesat-F, PALAPA-B1, SPAS-01, and seven GAS self-contained payload canisters. The SPAS-01 was deployed following attached operations and was retrieved for return to the orbiter after completing free-flying operations. The MLR and the CFES were mounted in the middeck area. The OSTA-2 payload was the first in a series of planned orbital investigations of materials processing in space. The OSTA-2 comprised the Materials Experiments Assembly (MEA), developed and managed by the Marshall Center, and the Materialwissenschaftliche Autonome Experiments unter Schwerelosigkeit (MAUS), developed by the German Ministry for Research and Technology (BMFT). The MEA was a desk-size package carrying two experiment furnaces and an acoustic levitator; each was contained inside individual experiment containers. The experiments were vapor growth of alloy-type semiconductor crystals, liquid phase miscibility gap materials, and containerless processing of glass-forming melts. The MAUS consisted of three instruments; each was contained in a get-away-special (GAS) canister. Each cylindrical canister carried an experiment furnace, which was thermally insulated, and had its own service module. The MAUS experiments were two metallic dispersions and a solidification front.

Alternate Names

  • 14132
  • OSTA 2/STS 7
  • STS7/OSTA2
  • Space Transport Sys 7

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1983-06-18
Launch Vehicle: Shuttle
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 16817 kg

Funding Agencies

  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)
  • NASA-Office of Space Flight (United States)
  • Bundesministerium fuer Forschung und Tecnnologie (Federal Republic of Germany)


  • Human Crew
  • Microgravity

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. Nelson R. WirmanProgram ManagerNASA Headquarters
Mr. Roger P. ChassayProject ManagerNASA Marshall Space Flight
Dr. Guenther H. OttoProgram ScientistDeutsche Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)
Mr. Dieter BaumProject ManagerDeutsche Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)
Dr. William A. OranProgram ScientistNASA Headquarters
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