KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Five military astronauts were named Tuesday to fly the second post-Challenger space shuttle flight, which will be a secret mission for the Defense Department.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced it had selected Navy Cmdr. Robert L. Gibson, a veteran of two shuttle flights, to command the crew.
The others chosen were Air Force Lt. Col. Guy S. Gardner, Air Force Col. Richard M. Mullane, Air Force Lt. Col. Jerry L. Ross and Navy Cmdr. William M. Shepard. Gardner will be the pilot, and the others will be mission specialists.
The flight is set for September, 1988. The nature of the Pentagon cargo has not been disclosed.
NASA earlier named five veteran astronauts to fly the first mission since the January, 1986, Challenger explosion that killed the seven crew members. That flight is scheduled for next June 2.