The first flight of Atlantis was launched from Kennedy Space Center on October 3, 1985 at 11:15 AM EDT and landed at Edwards Air Force Base on October 7 at 10:00 AM PDT. The shuttle orbited 64 times at an altitude of 319 nautical miles at an inclination of 28.5 degrees and travelled 1.7 million miles.

The launch was delayed 22 minutes, 30 seconds due to a main engine liquid hydrogen prevalve close remote power controller showing a faulty ‘on’ indication.

This was the second mission dedicated to the Department of Defense. All of its activities while in orbit are classified.

Atlantis was crewed by Commander Karol J. Bobko, Pilot Ronald J. Grabe, and Mission Specialists David C. Hilmers, Robert L. Stewart, and William A. Pailes.