Mission insignia
Mission statistics
Mission nameSTS-4
Space shuttleColumbia
Launch pad39-A
Launch dateJune 27, 1982, 15:00:00 UTC
LandingJuly 4, 1982, 16:09:31 UTC
Mission duration7d/01:09:31
Number of orbits113
Orbital altitude365 km
Orbital inclination28.5°
Distance traveled4,700,000 km
Crew photo
L-R Hartsfield and Mattingly
Related missions
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STS-4 was a space shuttle mission by NASA using the Space Shuttle Columbia, launched June 27, 1982. This was the fourth space shuttle mission, and was also the fourth mission for the Space Shuttle Columbia.


  • Commander: T. Kenneth Mattingly, Jr (Second spaceflight)
  • Pilot: Henry W. Hartsfield (First spaceflight)

Backup crew

From STS-4 onwards, NASA halted the appointment and training of complete backup flight crews. Instead, individual flight crew members may have designated backups who could take their place within the prime crew. The decision on whether to appoint a reserve crew member is made on a per-flight basis by flight management teams at Johnson Space Center. Consequently, the last NASA flight to have a full-time backup crew was STS-3.

Mission parameters

  • Mass:
    • Orbiter Liftoff: 241,662 lb (109,616 kg)
    • Orbiter Landing: 208,941 lb (94,774 kg)
    • Payload: 24,491 lb (11,109 kg)
  • Perigee: 183 mi (295 km)
  • Apogee: 188 mi (302 km)
  • Inclination: 28.5
  • Period: 90.3 min

Mission highlights

The Induced Environment Contaminant Monitor (IECM) is grappled by the RMS

This mission marked the first time the Space Shuttle was launched precisely at its scheduled launch time. It also was the last research and development flight in the program. Liftoff took place on June 27, 1982, at 11:00 a.m. EST, with Ken Mattingly as commander, and Henry Hartsfield as pilot. Its cargo consisted of the first Getaway Special payloads which included nine scientific experiments provided by students from Utah State University, and a classified Air Force payload.

In the middeck, a Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System and the Monodisperse Latex Reactor were flown for the second time. The crew conducted a lightning survey with handheld cameras, and performed medical experiments on themselves for two student projects. They also operated the RMS with an instrument called the Induced Environment Contamination Monitor mounted on its end designed to obtain information on gases or particles being released by the orbiter in flight.

STS-4 was a planned 7-day mission and landing occurred on July 4, 1982, at 9:10 a.m. PDT, on the 15,000 ft (4.6 km) concrete runway 22 at Edwards AFB; it was the first Shuttle landing on a concrete runway. The crew was met by President Ronald Reagan and his wife.

The flight lasted 7 days, 1 hour, 9 minutes, 40 seconds. Distance traveled was 2.9 million miles (4.7 million km) in 112 complete orbits. All mission objectives were achieved, although the two SRBs were lost when their main parachutes failed causing the empty casings to hit the water at high speeds and sink. Columbia was returned to KSC on July 15.

Mission insignia

The path of the red, white, and blue in the mission patch tell the flight's numerical designation in the Space Transportation System's mission sequence.

Wake-up calls

A tradition for NASA human spaceflights since the days of Gemini, mission crews are played a special musical track at the start of each day in space. Each track is specially chosen, often by their families, and usually has a special meaning to an individual member of the crew, or is applicable to their daily activities.

Flight DaySongArtist/Composer
Day 2Up, Up and AwayThe 5th Dimension
Day 3Hold That TigerAuburn University Band
Day 4taped message for Hank Hartfield on his anniversary
Day 5Theme from Chariots of Fire
Day 6Delta Chi fraternity song
Day 7This is My Country