Shuttle Deploys Test Satellite
Challenger’s astronauts interrupted their lab work today to launch a small experimental satellite to test a system for tracking Soviet missile-firing submarines under the Arctic ice pack.
The 150-pound payload sprang out of a canister mounted outside the Spacelab workshop where crew members were conducting medical tests and basic research in metals processing, biology, life sciences and navigation. The newly launched satellite is designed to send on-off commands to small remote sensors dropped off by ship or aircraft in remote or hostile areas. The sensors could track submarines lurking under the ice and relay that information to the satellite.