Twenty-five years ago today — October 30, 1985 — the Space Shuttle Challenger launched from Kennedy Space Center with an international crew of eight.
(Crew of STS-61A on the mid-deck of the orbiter. NASA image.)
Mission STS-61A included U.S. astronauts Henry W. Hartsfield, Steve R. Nagel, Bonnie J. Dunbar, James F. Buchli, and Guion S. Bluford, along with West German astronauts Ernst Messerschmid and Reinhard Furrer, and Wubbo J. Ockels of the Netherlands.
The crew spent a week in space, performing 75 different experiments in Spacelab D-1. The scientific experiments were directed from the German Space Operations Center at Oberpfaffenhofen, making this the first German-dedicated Spacelab mission.
The crew also launched the Global Low Orbit Message Relay (GLOMR) Satellite, a small experiment for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency. The GLOMR proof-of-concept relay operated for a little over a year before it re-entered the atmosphere.by