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STS 51-J was the first flight of the shuttle Atlantis. On board were Karol Bobko, Ronald Grabe, Robert Stewart, David Hilmers, and William Pailes. This was a US Department of Defense mission to launch two Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) satellites as part of a US military satellite constellation placed in geosynchronous orbit to provide high-volume, secure voice and data communications.

Alternate Names

  • 16115
  • STS 21
  • STS51J

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1985-10-03
Launch Vehicle: Shuttle
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Flight (United States)


  • Human Crew

Additional Information

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

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