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Cradle, Payload Assist Module (PAM-D), Space Shuttle (flown)


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

This is the PAM (Payload Assist Module), a portable launch platform for helping launch small satellites from the Space Shuttle than would be normally possible since the Shuttle only operates in low Earth orbits. The PAM has a spin motor and spring device for spinning the satellite to create inertia for stability and for ejecting it.

This PAM-D was flown on four Space Shuttle missions including STS-21 and STS-25, both in 1985. The latter flight carried the Arab Shiek S. Al-Saud and Patrick Baudry.

Sheik Al-Saud was a space tourist while Baudry was the first Frenchman into space, On the same mission the ARABSAT was launched. The PAM-D also launched ANIK-C2 in 1983 (STS-7), Weststar-VI in 1985 (STS-41B); and AUSSAT-B in 1985 (STS-27).

This object was donated to the Smithsonian in 1990 by the McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Co.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Co.

Credit Line

McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company


Overall: Stainless Steel, Stainless Fabric, Rubber (Silicone), Plastic, Nylon, Paint, Steel, Synthetic Fabric, Aluminum, Cadmium Plating, Brass, Velcro, Mylar (Polyester), Gold Plating, Beryllium


Other: 9ft 3in. x 7ft 7in. x 16ft 5in., 2000lb. (281.9 x 231.2 x 500.4cm, 907.2kg)

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National Air and Space Museum Collection

Country of Origin

United States of America




SPACECRAFT-Manned-Parts & Structural Components

Inventory Number


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