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Fred Gregory  

Astronaut, Military Fighter & Test Pilot

Frederick Gregory, Colonel, USAF (Ret.) is a former test pilot, NASA astronaut, and NASA Deputy Administrator. He was the first African-American Deputy Administrator.

Prior to serving as Deputy Administrator, Mr. Gregory was the Associate Administrator for the Office of Space Flight. He was responsible for overseeing the management of the International Space Station; Space Shuttle operations; Space Access using Expendable Launch Vehicles for commercial launch services; Space Communications; and Advanced Programs.

From June 1992 to December 2001, Mr. Gregory held the position of Associate Administrator, Office of Safety and Mission Assurance, at NASA Headquarters. As Associate Administrator, he was responsible for assuring the safety, reliability, quality, and mission assurance of all NASA programs

He attended the United States Air Force Academy where he received his undergraduate degree in Military Engineering. He earned his wings after helicopter school, flew in Vietnam, transitioned to fighter aircraft, attended the Navy Test Pilot School, and then conducted testing as an engineering test pilot for both the Air Force and NASA. He received a Master’s Degree from the George Washington University in Information Systems.

During his time in the Air Force, Gregory logged more than 7,000 hours in more than 50 types of aircraft as a helicopter, fighter and test pilot. He flew 550 combat rescue missions in Vietnam.

In 1978, Gregory applied for and was chosen as a member of the first class of Space Shuttle astronauts.

Gregory became the first American with an African lineage to pilot a space craft, the orbiter Challenger on mission STS-51B. This flight was the second flight for the laboratory developed by the European Space Agency for scientific experiments on the space shuttle.

The crew also deployed the Northern Utah Satellite before landing at Edwards Air Force Base. He was then the first person ever of African lineage to command any space mission with the launch of STS-33 in 1989 on the orbiter Discovery, which carried a classified payload. He then commanded STS-44 on Atlantis which in addition to deploying a Department of Defense satellite, DPS 15, also conducted extensive studies to evaluate medical countermeasures to long duration space flight.

Speech Topics


Life in Space

Revolutionary Thinking vs. Evolutionary Thinking

Motivational Talks with students of All Ages

How do you prepare to become an Astronaut…or anything?

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