Richard Michael "Mike" Mullane is an engineer and aircraft pilot, a retired USAF officer. and a former NASA astronaut. During his career, he flew as a mission specialist on STS-41-D, STS-27, and STS-36.
STS-27 was the twenty-seventh and the third for Atlantis. It carried a classified payload for the Department of Defence. The heat shielding was substantially damaged during lift-off, impacting the right wing. The crew narrowly survived re-entry with a steal bar taking the brunt of the heat before beginning to burn through the aluminum structure.Low Earth Orbit
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. NASA have many launch facilities but most are inactive. The most commonly used pad will be LC-39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.