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Gregory H. “Box” Johnson      

Former NASA Astronaut, Retired Air Force Colonel & Past President of the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space

Astronaut Gregory H. “Box” Johnson (Col, USAF, Ret.) is an American former Air Force Officer and pilot, aerospace engineer, fighter/test pilot, MBA and NASA astronaut. He is the former President and Executive Director for the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS).

While in the Air Force, Johnson flew the F-15E in support of Operations Desert Storm and Southern Watch. He has logged over 5,000 flight hours in more than 50 different aircraft.

Johnson served as the pilot and primary robotic arm operator of STS-123 which delivered the Kibo logistics module and the Dextre robot arm to the International Space Station (ISS) as well as the pilot of STS-134, the final flight of Endeavour, personally delivering the most important particle detector ever designed to further the fundamental understanding of our universe. Johnson served as a CAPCOM for several missions including the final Hubble flight and was the astronaut representative to the External Tank (ET) foam impact test team that eventually proved that ET foam debris on ascent could critically damage the shuttle’s leading edge thermal protection system.

While at NASA, Johnson supported the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, was Chief of the Astronaut Safety Branch, Crew Representative for Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), a display designer for the Shuttle Cockpit Avionics Upgrade (CAU) program, Division Chief for External Communications/STEM, and was lead of ISS Visiting Vehicles Team before leaving NASA.

From 2013-2018, Johnson served as the President and Executive Director of the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS). CASIS was created by Congress to manage 50% of the US resources aboard the ISS National Lab, including upmass, on-orbit volume, and astronaut research time. The mission of CASIS is to maximize utilization of the ISS National Laboratory by building commercial markets complementing NASA’s traditional projects to promote and facilitate new, innovative translational research, technology demonstration and STEM opportunities. He now serves as an aerospace consultant and STEM advocate.

Speech Topics


Experiences in space, combat, and the Air Force

Leadership and Management

NASA/non-profit, planning/execution/debrief, team building

STEM education: primary/secondary/university levels

Motivational: corporate, commencement

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