On the ground during simulations, the crew could hear the mechanics of the communication satellite's rotation, but in space, the stabilisation of the seven tons of satellite was silent. Allen later commented that the only way to know the satellites were spinning was to see them doing so out of the aft flight deck windows and via computer confirmation that they were rotating at 49.9 revs per minute - something that still amazes him. The firing of the pyrotechnics and the mechanical deployment could still be felt inside the vehicle, however.
Although it was a two-person job, all four of the astronauts were involved in the deployment of both satellites. For the first deployment (SBS-C on FD 1), Lenoir acted as "flight director'' from the command seat on the flight deck, monitoring computer displays. Allen looked out of the aft flight deck windows, reporting what he saw to Lenoir, who operated the deployment procedures. On the second deployment (Anik C-3 on FD 2), these roles were reversed. According to Lenoir, Brand was overseeing the operation, "making sure we did not screw up since he was the commander of the whole thing.'' Overmyer took photos when Allen (the prime mission photographer) was occupied with the deployments.
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