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This was designed as an inflatable rendezvous target, to be ejected in a canister from STS 41B, then inflated with nitrogen. However, the mechanism to open the canister was not activated, because the lanyards pulled loose from the orbiter instead of pulling out of the canister. The nitrogen inflation cartridge did fire as scheduled, and the balloon burst as it began to inflate inside its canister. The remaining pieces of the balloon provided enough of a target for three rendezvous instruments to provide data important in verifying their capabilities.

Alternate Names

  • 14689

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1984-02-03
Launch Vehicle: Shuttle
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 91 kg

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (United States)


  • Engineering

Additional Information

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

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