Meet Astronaut Jerry Ross
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.
The daily Astronaut Encounter briefings allow time for a presentation from the astronaut and a discussion, so bring your questions and your camera.
Visitors can also get an astronaut's autograph at The Space Shop at various times during the day.
With an additional purchase, visitors can enjoy an exclusive buffet lunch and group presentation during Dine With An Astronaut. Offered at noon daily, lunch includes a question and answer session and photo opportunities!
Jerry Ross is a retired NASA astronaut and United States Air Force colonel. Ross entered active duty with the Air Force in 1972 and his time in the Air Force led Ross to become a payload officer/flight controller at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in 1979. After selected by NASA to be an astronaut in May 1980, Ross flew as a mission specialist for six of his record holding seven flights to space. He broke the world record for being the first human launched into space seven times. Over the span of almost 1,400 career hours in space, Ross conducted nine spacewalks totally more than 58 hours of extra vehicular activity.
Ross spent a considerable amount of time working on the International Space Station (ISS) between 1998 and 2002. Endeavour launched the first ISS assembly mission, STS-88, on December 4, 1998. It was a 12-day mission during which Ross completed three spacewalks and aided in connecting umbilicals between the U.S. Unity module and the Russian Zarya module. Five of Ross's seven flights were flown on space shuttle Atlantis. From his first launch into space on November 26, 1986, aboard STS-61B Atlantis to his last on April 8, 2002 with STS-110 Atlantis. He also flew on STS-27 Atlantis, STS-37 Atlantis, STS-55 Columbia, and STS-74 Atlantis.
Throughout his career, Ross received 15 NASA medals and was awarded the American Astronautical Society's Victor A. Prather Award for his numerous spacewalking achievements. Before retiring from NASA in January 2012, Ross served as chief of the Vehicle Integration Test Office at Johnson Space Center from 2003-2011. "Spacewalker: My Journey in Space and Faith as NASA's Record-Setting Frequent Flyer" is Ross's recently published autobiography.