Biography

Jerry Lynn Ross is an Indiana native, a graduate of Purdue University, a retired United States Air Force officer, and a former astronaut who retired from NASA in 2012. He is a veteran of seven U.S. Space Shuttle missions and shares an individual world record for the most spaceflights flown.

  • First person in history to be launched into space seven times.
  • With NASA Astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz, holds the record for the number of times launched into space—seven.
  • One of only three NASA astronauts to support the US Space Shuttle program from before the first launch through its final landing.
  • Supported the International Space Station program from inception through final assembly and initial operations.
  • Led the team of spacewalkers who began assembly of the Space Station and among the first to enter it on orbit.
  • With nine spacewalks, is tied for third among spacewalkers worldwide and second in the US for most spacewalks performed.
  • With over fifty-eight hours on spacewalks, is third among spacewalkers worldwide and second in the US for time spent walking in space.
  • Helped develop and create the facilities, tools, techniques, and training needed to construct the International Space Station.
  • Performed a leadership role in the recovery of the Space Shuttle Columbia wreckage.
  • Awarded two Defense Superior Service Medals, the Air Force Legion of Merit, four Defense Meritorious Service Medals, two Air Force Meritorious Service Medals, the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, and fifteen NASA medals.
  • The only three-time recipient of the American Astronautical Society’s Victor A. Prather Award for spacewalking achievements and the only four-time recipient of the Society’s Flight Achievement Award.
  • Named to the Purdue University Air Force ROTC Hall of Fame.
  • Recipient of the honorary doctor of science degree from Purdue University in 2000 and the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from the Purdue University College of Engineering in 2004.
  • In 2003, his hometown school system, Crown Point Community School Corporation, named Jerry Ross Elementary School in his honor.
  • A member of the Silver Team, NASA’s first pair of spacewalking grandfathers.

Learn more about Jerry’s NASA career at: http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/ross.html