Atlantis launched from Kennedy Space Center on February 28, 1990 at 2:50 AM EST and landed at Edwards Air Force Base on March 4 at 10:08 AM PST. The shuttle orbited 72 times at an altitude of 132 nautical miles at an inclination of 62 degrees and travelled 1.9 million miles. The mission lasted 4 days, 10 hours, 18 minutes, and 22 seconds.
This was a Department of Defense mission and all shuttle activities were classified.
The launch set for February 22 was postponed to February 23, February 24, and February 25 due to illness of the crew commander and weather conditions. It was the first time since Apollo 13 in 1970 that a manned space mission was affected by the illness of a crew member. The launch was set for February 25 and scrubbed due to a malfunction of a range safety computer. The launch was reset for February 26 and scrubbed again due to weather conditions (Note: external tank loaded only for launch attempts on February 25 and 26, and launch on February 28). The launch on February 28 was set for a classified window lying within a launch period extending from 12 midnight to 4 a.m. EST.
Atlantis was crewed by Commander John O. Creighton, Pilot John H. Casper, and Mission Specialists Richard M. Mullane, David C. Hilmers, and Pierre J. Thuot.