NASA selects astronauts from a diverse pool of applicants with a wide variety of backgrounds from scientists to pilots. From the thousands of applications received, only a few are chosen to be a member of the elite NASA Astronaut Corps. Each day at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, visitors get the rare opportunity to meet veteran NASA astronauts.
You may meet the Astronaut of the Day at any of the following opportunities. See the Daily Schedule for times when you arrive.
Ed Gibson may have had just one trip to space, but his 84-day journey aboard Skylab was record-breaking. The three-person crew launched into space for their Skylab 4 mission in 1973. By the time they landed, they had completed four spacewalks, three of which included Gibson. That Skylab mission also broke the world record for longest flight in space, an American record that lasted for the next 21 years. Gibson was later inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.
Gibson studied physics and jet propulsion for more than 10 years before he was selected by NASA in 1965 as one of six American Scientist Astronauts. After earning Air Force Wings, Gibson was a support crewman for the Apollo 12 mission to the moon. Later he helped design and test many Skylab elements while waiting seven years for his flight. One of the crew’s objectives was to observe and film solar processes and the Comet Kohoutek using the Apollo Telescope Mount. They also performed medical experiments, student investigations, and observations of Earth’s resources.
Upon his return to Earth, Gibson continued to do research on Skylab data and then worked on Spacelab’s design in West Germany. He returned to America in 1977 and rejoined the Astronaut Office where he served on the Astronaut Selection Board and led rookie astronaut training. In 1990, he founded Gibson International, a consulting firm for business development in the space industry. He now consults for government and corporations and frequently talks about space, leadership, and motivation at public events.