The mission assigned to space shuttle Discovery on its first flight was one of the most demanding faced by any early shuttle. Commander Henry Hartsfield Jr., pilot Michael Coats, and mission specialists Judith Resnik, Steven Hawley, Richard Mullane and Charles Walker were to deploy three separate satellites during their six-day mission. The satellites were the Satellite Business System SBS-D, the LEASAT 2 and TELSTAR. This mission was also designated to test the Office of Application and Space Technology solar wing that extended from the payload bay and carried various types of solar cells. The solar wing experiment gathered data concerning solar arrays to be used in building future large facilities such as a projected space station. Although Discovery's first launch had been delayed three times due to technical problems, once aloft it performed to the highest expectations.
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