Meet Astronaut Fred Gregory
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.
Fred Gregory was selected to become an astronaut by NASA in 1978. He is a veteran of three space shuttle missions totaling more than 455 hours in space. Since Gregory was a young boy, he's always wanted to fly. Years later, Gregory followed his dream to the United States Air Force Academy where he studied military engineering before graduating in 1964. He received his wings in 1965 after attending pilot and helicopter training at Stead Air Force Base, Nevada. Since then, Gregory has accumulated over 6,976 hours of flying time including 550 combat missions in Vietnam.
On April 29, 1985, STS-51B/Spacelab-3 Challenger launched with Fred Gregory as its pilot. For seven days, the crew of Skylab-3 performed experiments on atmospheric physics and life sciences. Gregory's second mission, on November 22, 1989, on STS-33 Discovery launched carrying payloads for the Department of Defense. The last mission Gregory launched with was STS-44 Atlantis on November 24, 1991. The crew deployed a Defense Support Program (DSP) satellite and evaluated medical countermeasures to long duration space flight.
Following his space flights, Gregory worked as Associate Administrator for the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance at NASA Headquarters from 1992 until 2001. He became NASA's Deputy Administrator in 2002 until his retirement from NASA in 2005. On May 1, 2004, Gregory was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. He has been awarded many honors and medals including three NASA Space Flight Medals and the National Society of Black Engineers Distinguished National Scientist Award. Gregory continues to stay active in his down time by fishing and hunting.