Stephen Thorne Status: Died While In Active Service 2/11/1953 – 5/24/1986 Nationality: American Type: Government Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration Stephen Douglas Thorne was an American naval officer and aviator, test pilot and a NASA astronaut candidate. He was born on February 11, 1953, in Frankfurt, West Germany, and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1975. He was a Navy fighter pilot from 1976 until he became a test pilot in 1981. He was accepted for NASA astronaut training in June 1985, but died in an airplane accident where he was a passenger on May 24, 1986.