Challenger launched from Kennedy Space Center on February 3, 1884 at 8:00 PM EST and landed at Kennedy Space Center on February 11, 1984 at 7:15 AM EST. The shuttle orbited 128 times at an altitude of 189 nautical miles, at an inclination of 28.5 degrees, and travelled 3.3 million miles. The mission lasted 7 days, 23 hours, 15 minutes, and 55 seconds.
The highlights of the mission were the first untethered space walks were made by McCandless and Stewart using a manned maneuvering unit. In addition, two satellites were deployed, but failure of the rocket motors left them in low-Earth orbits, the WESTAR-VI and PALAPA-B2. The German-built Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS), originally flown on STS-7, became the first satellite refurbished and carried back into space. SPAS remained in the payload bay due to an electrical problem with Remote Manipulator System (RMS).
The RMS manipulator foot restraints were first used to practice procedures performed for Solar Maximum satellite retrieval and repair planned for next mission. Integrated Rendezvous Target (IRT) failed due to an internal issue. Five Get Away Special canisters flown in the cargo bay and Cinema-360 camera were used by crew. Other payloads included: Acoustic Containerless Experiment System (ACES); Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR); Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME), and Isoelectric Focusing (IEF) payload.
Challenger was crewed by Commander Vance D. Brand, Pilot Robert R. Gibson, and Mission Specialists Bruce McCandless, Ronald E. McNair, and Robert L. Stewart.