Here, at a glance, are the facts about the 27th space shuttle mission:

Spaceship: Atlantis, on its third flight.

Launch: 7:31 a.m. MST, Friday.

Orbit: Not officially released because Atlantis carries a classified Defense Department payload.

Landing: At Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Time and date not released.

Crew: Navy Cmdr. Robert L. "Hoot" Gibson, 42, commander; Air Force Col. Guy S. Gardner, 40, pilot; Air Force Col. Richard M. Mullane, 43; Air Force Lt. Col. Jerry L. Ross, 40; and Navy Cmdr. William M. Shepherd, 39.

Major goal: Classified, but reportedly to deploy an intelligence-gathering satellite.

Next flight: Discovery, on Feb. 18, 1989, with a five-man crew which will deploy a Tracking and Data Relay communications satellite.