Retired NASA Astronaut to Discuss Space Program and STEM Careers Nov. 15 at Muskegon Community College

Community News |Nov 4, 2019|3 min read

Retired NASA astronaut and space shuttle pilot Gregory H. Johnson will speak about the space program and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) on Friday, Nov. 15, at 2 p.m. in Muskegon Community College’s Stevenson Center Room 1300.


The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the MCC Math and Physical Sciences Department. For more information, contact (231) 777-0289.


A retired colonel in the U.S. Air Force, Johnson is a veteran pilot of two space flights. His first flight, STS-123, delivered the Kibo logistics module and the Dextre robot arm to the International Space Station. He was the mission’s primary robotic arm operator. Johnson was the pilot of STS-134, the final flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour and the penultimate flight of the Space Shuttle Program.


In 2013, Johnson was named executive director for the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, the nonprofit entity selected by NASA to manage the utilization of the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory. The facility is focused on accelerating basic discoveries and innovation in areas that require microgravity and other extreme conditions uniquely provided by space.


An Eagle Scout who graduated from high school in Fairborn, Ohio, Johnson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a Master of Science in flight structures engineering from Columbia University, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.


As a U.S. Air Force pilot, Johnson was deployed to Saudi Arabia in 1990 and flew 34 combat missions in support of Operation Desert Storm. In December 1992, he was again deployed to Saudi Arabia for three months, flying an additional 27 combat missions in support of Operation Southern Watch.  In 1993, he was selected for Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base. After graduation, he was assigned to the 445th Flight Test Squadron and flew and tested F-15C/E, NF-15B, and T-38A/B aircraft. He has logged over 5,000 flight hours in more than 50 different aircraft.


Selected by NASA in June 1998, Johnson completed Astronaut Candidate Training in 2000. He retired from the Air Force in 2009 and continued to serve NASA as a civilian.


Johnson has received many awards, including the NASA Superior Performance Award and the 1996 Lieutenant General Bobby Bond Award for the top Air Force test pilot. His military decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross.