STS-61-C was the twenty-fourth mission of the Space Shuttle, and the seventh mission of Columbia. It was the first time Columbia flew since STS-9. A seven-person crew, it carried the first African-American pilot (future NASA administrator Charles Bolden), as well as the first Costa Rican astronaut (Franklin Chang-Diaz) and the second sitting politician to fly in space (Rep. Bill Nelson). It was the last flight before the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, which occurred just ten days after STS-61-C's landing.
Launch date: January 12, 1986 11:55:00 UTC
Landing: January 18, 1986 14:58:51 UTC