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EXPERIENCE: Lounge entered on active duty with the United States Navy following graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy and spent the next nine years in a variety of assignments. He completed Naval flight officer training at Pensacola, Florida, went on to advanced training as a radar intercept officer in the F-4J Phantom, and subsequently reported to Fighter Squadron 142 based at Naval Air Station Miramar, California. While with VF-142, he completed a 9-month Southeast Asia cruise aboard the USS ENTERPRISE (participating in 99 combat missions) and a 7-month Mediterranean cruise aboard the USS AMERICA. In 1974, he returned to the U.S. Naval Academy as an instructor in the Physics Department. Lounge transferred to the Navy Space Project Office in Washington, D.C., in 1976, for a 2-year tour as a staff project office. He resigned his regular United States Navy commission in 1978.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Mr. Lounge has been employed at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center since July 1978. During this time, he worked as lead engineer for Space Shuttle launched satellites, and also served as a member of the Skylab Re-entry Flight Control Team. He completed these assignments while with the Payload Operations Division.
Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 1980, he completed a 1 year training and evaluation period, and became an astronaut in August 1981. He served as a member of the launch support team at Kennedy Space Center for the STS-1, STS-2, and STS-3 missions. Following his first flight, he was assigned to the first mission to carry the Centaur (cryogenically fueled) upper stage (STS-61F). After the mission was canceled, he participated in Space Station design development. From 1989 through 1991, Mr. Lounge served as Chief of the Space Station Support Office, representing astronaut interests in Space Station design and operation planning.
A veteran of three space flights, Mike Lounge logged more than 482 hours in space. He was a mission specialist on STS-51I (August 27 to September 3, 1985) and STS-26 (September 29 to October 3, 1988) and was the flight engineer on STS-35 (December 2 to December 10, 1990).
Mr. Lounge resigned from NASA in June 1991. He went on to become Director of Space Shuttle and Space Station Program Development for Boeing – NASA Systems.
SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-51I Discovery, launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on August 27, 1985. During that mission, Lounge’s duties included deployment of the Australian AUSSAT communications satellite and operation of the Remote Manipulator System (RMS). The crew deployed two other communications satellites, the Navy's SYNCOM IV-4, and American Satellite Company's ASC-1, and also performed a successful on-orbit rendezvous and repair of the ailing 15,400 lb SYNCOM IV-3 satellite. STS-51I completed 112 orbits of the Earth before landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on September 3, 1985. Mission duration was 171 hours, 17 minutes, 42 seconds.
STS-26 Discovery, the first flight to be flown after the Challenger accident, launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on September 29, 1988. During the 4-day mission, the crew successfully deployed the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-C), which was subsequently carried to orbit by the Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) rocket. They also operated eleven mid-deck experiments. Discovery completed 64 orbits of the Earth before landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on October 3, 1988. Mission duration was 97 hours, 57 seconds.
STS-35 Columbia, launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida on December 2, 1990. Lounge served as flight engineer on this 9-day flight that was dedicated to astronomy. Very exciting observations of the Universe were collected by the ASTRO-1 ultraviolet telescope and by the Broad Band X-Ray Telescope. Columbia completed 142 orbits of the Earth before landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on December 10, 1990. Mission duration was 215 hours, 5 minutes, 8 seconds.