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Long Duration Exposure Facility
LDEF, shortly before deployment, flies on the RMS arm of Space Shuttle Challenger over Baja California.
1,374,052,506 km (853,796,644 mi)
9,700 kg (21,400 lb)
Start of mission
April 6, 1984, 13:58:00 (1984-04-06UTC13:58Z) UTC
Space Shuttle Challenger
End of mission
Space Shuttle Columbia
January 12, 1990, 15:16 (1990-01-12UTC15:17Z) UTC
January 20, 1990, 09:35:37 UTC
Edwards Runway 22
473.0 km (293.9 mi)
483.0 km (300.1 mi)
NASA’s Long Duration Exposure Facility, or LDEF (acronym pronounced “EL-deaf”), was a school bus-sized cylindrical facility designed to provide long-term experimental data on the outer space environment and its effects on space systems, materials, operations and selected spore’s survival. It was placed in low Earth orbit by Space Shuttle Challenger in April 1984. The original plan called for the LDEF to be retrieved in March 1985, but after a series of delays it was eventually returned to Earth by Columbia in January 1990.
It successfully carried science and technology experiments for about 5.7 years, that have revealed a broad and detailed collection of space environmental data. LDEF’s 69 months in space provided scientific data on the long-term effects of space exposure on materials, components and systems that has benefited NASA spacecraft designers to this day.
5 See also
7 External links
Researchers identified the