STS-36 Fact Sheet

By Cliff Lethbridge

STS-36 — Atlantis

34th Space Shuttle Mission

6th Flight of Atlantis


John O. Creighton, Commander

John S. Casper, Pilot

David C. Hilmers, Mission Specialist

Richard M. Mullane, Mission Specialist

Pierre J. Thuot, Mission Specialist

Orbiter Preparations:

Tow to Orbiter Processing Facility – October 30, 1989

Rollover to Vehicle Assembly Building – January 19, 1990

Rollout to Launch Pad 39A – January 25, 1990


February 28, 1990 – 2:50:22 a.m. EST. Launch was originally set for February 22, 1990 but was postponed to February 23, 24 and 25 due to the crew commander’s flu combined with marginal weather conditions.

This was the first time since Apollo 13 in 1970 that an illness affected a U.S. manned space mission. However, Apollo 13 involved the replacement of a crew member. STS-36 Commander John O. Creighton flew the mission upon his recovery.

Launch attempt on February 25, 1990 was scrubbed due to the malfunction of a range safety computer. February 26, 1990 launch attempt was scrubbed due to poor weather. February 28 launch time was not made public until T-9 minutes and counting.


March 4, 1990 – 10:08:44 a.m. PST at Runway 23, Edwards Air Force Base, California. Rollout distance was 7,900 feet. Rollout time was 53 seconds. Mission duration was 4 days, 10 hours, 18 minutes, 22 seconds. Landing occurred during the 72nd orbit.

Mission Summary:

This was the sixth dedicated Department of Defense mission in the Space Shuttle program. Mission elements were kept secret.