NASA astronauts Gregory Chamitoff and Ronald Garan are leaving the agency. Chamitoff is joining the faculty of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, and the University of Sydney in Australia. Garan will work on a range of new entrepreneurial and humanitarian efforts.
“Greg and Ron will certainly be missed by the Astronaut Office,” said Bob Behnken, NASA’s chief astronaut.
“Greg’s passion for sharing the spaceflight experience will serve him well as he begins a new adventure in academia and continues to inspire the next generation of innovators and explorers. I’ll miss Ron both as a contributor to our office and as a classmate. The entire office is grateful for their service to NASA.”
Chamitoff began his 18-year NASA career in 1995 as a space shuttle guidance and control officer in mission control at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. He was selected as an astronaut in 1998. He flew in space twice, in 2008 as a flight engineer and science officer for Expeditions 17 and 18 aboard the International Space Station, and as a mission specialist during STS-134 in 2011, the penultimate shuttle mission. During his most recent mission, Chamitoff participated in two spacewalks to complete assembly of the International Space Station, taking part in the installation of the Alphamagnetic Spectrometer. He has spent more than 198 days in space.
Garan, who joined the agency in 2000, is ending a 13-year NASA career that included more than 178 days in space and four spacewalks. Garan flew in space twice, first in 2008 as a space shuttle Discovery mission specialist on STS-124, and again in 2011 aboard the International Space Station as a flight engineer for Expeditions 27 and 28. Garan retired from the Air Force as a colonel in 2009 after 25 years of service. He has logged more than 5,000 flight hours in more than 30 aircraft types. He recently served within NASAís Open Government Initiative.