Mission successfully launched after many countdown "holds" and postponements from the originally scheduled launch date of December 18. Successfully deployed the RCA Satcom KU-1 satellite. The decision was made to shorten the flight by one day to allow additional "turn-around" time for Space Shuttle Columbia's next scheduled flight, Mission STS 61-E. Landing attempts at the Kennedy Space Center on the 16th and 17th were waved off due to unfavorable landing conditions. Landing was made at Edwards Air Force Base, Ca. on January 18 at 8:59 AM EST following another weather-related wave-off at Kennedy Space Center. Mission elapsed time: six days, two hours, four minutes.
Launch Vehicle: Columbia Crew: Commander: Robert L. Gibson, Pilot: Charles L. Bolden, Mission Specialists: Franklin Chang-Diaz, Steven A. Hawley, George D. Nelson, Payload Specialists: Robert Cenker, Congressman Bill Nelso.