Ambitious, loud, and rotund, Richard Palmer has always had his eyes set to the stars above. When he joined Shinra in its early beginnings, there was no space program to speak of. But he knew that the next greatest frontier would be that of the celestial and he wanted to be the one that took them there. He convinced President Shinra to create the Space Program and became the department head. He hired a team of engineers and brilliant minds to work for him including Shera Black and Cid Highwind. They worked on the program around the clock, building test rockets, modules, airplanes, and more. The Highwind airship was born of this project and Cid considered it his baby.

The program was given less and less funding over the years, but Palmer managed to squeeze enough together for the creation of the ShinRa-26, the rocket he said would take them to the moon. The scientists worked feverishly on the project and Cid subjected himself to intense flight training to prepare for the day when ShinRa-26 would take to the heavens. But it would not come to pass. The launch was bungled by faulty equipment and rather than risk the lives of those involved, Cid aborted the launch. The rocket sputtered briefly but settled into its scaffolding and remained there.

Since then, the budgeting for Palmer’s department was drastically cut and he often fights over the scraps given to the executives to keep the program alive.