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Mission or Study ID:   STS-4
Shuttle Program
Launch/Start Date:
Landing/End Date:
7 days
STS-4 Crew Patch

STS-4, the last Shuttle test flight, was the first mission to carry payloads for the Department of Defense. This mission also included the first ''Get Away Special'' experiments mounted in the cargo bay, which contained nine experiments from Utah State University. Other payloads included the first commercial experiment involving Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES), Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR), deployment of the Induced Environment Contamination Monitor (IECM), and two Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSIP) experiments. The crew, Commander Thomas K.Mattingly and Pilot Henry Hartsfield, further tested the mechanical and thermal performance of Columbia, as well as the environment surrounding the spacecraft. They collected data for two medical experiments on themselves and took photos of lightning activity in the Earth's atmosphere. The crew made the first Shuttle landing on a concrete runway instead of the dry lakebed at Edwards Air Force Base.

Detailed Supplementary Objectives (DSOs) were also performed on this mission. A DSO is a NASA-sponsored investigation that is performed by shuttle crewmembers, who serve as the test subjects. These studies are designed to require minimal crew time, power, and stowage. Biomedical DSOs focus on operational concerns, including space motion sickness, cardiovascular deconditioning, muscle loss, changes in coordination and balance strategies, radiation exposure, pharmacokinetics and changes in the body's biochemistry.

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