The Orbiter Atlantis lifted off from Pad A, Launch Complex 39,
KSC, at 7:29 p.m. EST on November 26, 1985, the second night launch in the
Shuttle program and the second flight for Atlantis.
The primary payload of three communications satellites was successfully deployed, one at a time, and a major demonstration of construction techniques to build structures in orbit was successfully accomplished. This activity was filmed by an IMAX large-film camera mounted in the cargo bay, obtaining some excellent coverage. Three experiments located in the pressurized crew compartment were also completed, with good data obtained.
The landing was at Edwards AFB, at 4:33 p.m. EST on December 3, 1985, after a mission duration of 6 days, 21 hrs, and 5 minutes.
This crew was originaly manifasted to fly STS-51D and later STS-51I, but due to the problems with the Shuttle schedule the mission was reassigned and flown as STS-61B. The crew members were Brewster H. Shaw, Jr., commander; Bryan D. O'Connor, pilot; Mary L. Cleave, Sherwood C. Spring and Jerry L. Ross, mission specialists; and Rodolfo Neri Vela, Mexico, and Charles Walker, McDonnell Douglas, payload specialists.
This is the insignia designed by the STS-61 B crewmembers to represent their November 1985 mission aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis, depicted here in earth orbit, making only its second space flight. The design is surrounded by the sumames of the seven crewmembers. They are astronauts Brewster Shaw Jr., commander; Bryan D. O'Conner, pilot; Mary L. Cleave, Jerry L. Ross and Sherwood C. Spring, all mission specialists; and payload specialists Charles D. Walker, representing McDonnell Douglas, and Rodolfo Neri, representing Morelos of Mexico (note flag).