Mission typeSatellite deployment
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftSpace Shuttle Discovery
Crew size7
MembersRobert L. Crippen
Guy S. Gardner
Richard M. Mullane
Jerry L. Ross
Dale A. Gardner
Edward C. Aldridge, Jr.
Brett Watterson
Start of mission
Launch date15 July 1986
Not launched
Launch siteVandenberg SLC-6
End of mission
Landing siteVandenberg Runway 12

Front row (l to r): Guy Gardner, Mike Mullane, Jerry Ross, and Dale Gardner. Back row (l to r): Pete Aldridge, Jr, Robert Crippen, and Brett Watterson 

STS-62-A was a planned Space Shuttle mission to deliver a reconnaissance payload (Teal Ruby) into polar orbit. It was expected to use Discovery. It would have been the first crewed launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and the first crewed mission to go into polar orbit. The mission designation, 62-A, meant: 6=fiscal year 1986, 2=Vandenberg (1=Kennedy Space Center), and A=first flight in that fiscal year.


Position[1] Astronaut
Commander Robert L. Crippen
Would have been fifth spaceflight
Pilot Guy S. Gardner
Would have been first spaceflight
Mission Specialist 1 Richard M. Mullane
Would have been second spaceflight
Mission Specialist 2 Jerry L. Ross
Would have been second spaceflight
Mission Specialist 3 Dale A. Gardner
Would have been third spaceflight
Payload Specialist 1 Edward C. Aldridge, Jr.
Would have been first spaceflight
Payload Specialist 2 Brett Watterson, MSE
Would have been first spaceflight

Post-Challenger accident

The destruction of Challenger and subsequent halt of the Space Shuttle Program led to the cancellation of the mission.

Guy Gardner, Jerry Ross, and Mike Mullane were members of the second post-Challenger mission STS-27—a classified mission for the DoD—during which the Lacrosse-1 radar reconnaissance spacecraft was allegedly deployed.[2][3]


  1. ^ "85-0025 Crews for First Vandenberg Mission, DoD Flight Named" (PDF) (Press release). NASA Johnson Space Center News. 15 February 1985.
  2. ^ Jenkins, Dennis R. (2001). Space Shuttle: The History of the National Space Transportation System The First 100 Missions. Saint Paul: Voyageur Press. p. 329. ISBN 0-9633974-5-1..
  3. ^ "NASA National Space Science Data Center – Lacrosse 1 Details". Retrieved 11 February 2008.