STS-51

Space ShuttleSpace Shuttle Discovery lifts off on the 57th shuttle mission, a nine-day stay in orbit to release a communications satellite and test a new second stage engine designed to push that satellite into geosynchronous orbit. A free-floating ultraviolet spectography experiment is released from the shuttle’s cargo bay and retrieved before the end of the mission, and spacewalking techniques for the upcoming Hubble Space Telescope repair mission are practiced. Aboard Discovery for her 17th flight are Commander Frank Culbertson Jr., Pilot William Readdy, and mission specialists James Newman, Daniel Bursch and Carl Walz.