The Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) was designed by the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to test the performance of spacecraft materials, components, and systems that have been exposed to the environment of micrometeoroids and space debris for an extended period of time. The LDEF proved invaluable to the development of future spacecraft and the International Space Station (ISS). The LDEF carried 57 science and technology experiments, the work of more than 200 investigators. MSFC`s experiments included: Trapped Proton Energy Determination to determine protons trapped in the Earth's magnetic field and the impact of radiation particles; Linear Energy Transfer Spectrum Measurement Experiment which measures the linear energy transfer spectrum behind different shielding configurations; Atomic oxygen-Simulated Out-gassing, an experiment that exposes thermal control surfaces to atomic oxygen to measure the damaging out-gassed products; Thermal Control Surfaces Experiment to determine the effects of the near-Earth orbital environment and the shuttle induced environment on spacecraft thermal control surfaces; Transverse Flat-Plate Heat Pipe Experiment, to evaluate the zero-gravity performance of a number of transverse flat plate heat pipe modules and their ability to transport large quantities of heat; Solar Array Materials Passive LDEF Experiment to examine the effects of space on mechanical, electrical, and optical properties of lightweight solar array materials; and the Effects of Solar Radiation on Glasses. Launched aboard the Space Shuttle Orbiter Challenger's STS-41C mission April 6, 1984, the LDEF remained in orbit for five years until January 1990 when it was retrieved by the Space Shuttle Orbiter Columbia STS-32 mission and brought back to Earth for close examination and analysis.