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Polystyrene Spheres

Mission: STS-6 Challenger   Crew: Paul J. Weitz
Karol J. Bobko
Donald H. Peterson
F. Story Musgrave
Launch: April 4, 1983  
Landing: April 9, 1983  
Duration: 5 days, 2 hours  
Comment: Maiden flight of Space Shuttle Challenger

These polystyrene spheres were the the first true product made in space. They were created on-board STS-6 as the result of an experiment developed by Lehigh University to produce a Standard Reference Material used in calibrating particle size measuring instruments (for example, optical and electron microscopes). The spheres are so small - 10 micrometers in diameter - that 18000 could fit on the head of a pin. The beads were first offered to the public in 1985.

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