Space Shuttle is used to support scientific research in such diverse
fields as astronomy, physiology, and materials processing. It has
delivered into orbit a variety of scientific satellites and observatories.
The Shuttle has also been used to carry Spacelab and to repair or
recover scientific satellites. For some fields, such as biological
and biomedical research, the Shuttle is an asset; for others, automated
spacecraft are more appropriate and economical.
Shuttle was first used to retrieve, repair, and release a satellite
in 1984, when astronauts repaired the Solar Maximum Mission satellite
in the payload bay of Challenger.