Stephen Douglas Thorne was an American naval officer and aviator, test pilot and a NASA astronaut candidate. He was born on February 11, 1953, in Frankfurt, West Germany, and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1975. He was a Navy fighter pilot from 1976 until he became a test pilot in 1981. He was accepted for NASA astronaut training in June 1985, but died in an airplane accident where he was a passenger on May 24, 1986.
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.