Dr. Leroy Chiao, Astronaut and Pioneer in Commercial Spaceflight
Dr. Leroy Chiao is a renowned American astronaut and international space station commander. A pioneer in the commercial space sector, his accomplished track record in space, in the lab, and in the field offers audiences an unparalleled glimpse into space exploration and how lessons learned apply to businesses worldwide. His broad technical expertise allows him to offer compelling insights on future technology trends, the fascinating biomedical effects of spaceflight, and the need for our renewed focus on innovation.
Leroy Chiao has a unique perspective of the world, being one of the few individuals to have seen it from space. Ever since he sat transfixed as a child watching the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, he knew that his destination was the stars. The son of Chinese immigrants, Chiao became one of the most accomplished astronauts in the history of the United States’ space program. He is a veteran of four space missions, and during his stellar, 15-year NASA career, he logged 229 days in space – more than 36 hours of which were spent in Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA), and he earned the honor of commanding the International Space Station. He is also one of only 166 people to walk in space (a feat he accomplished six times). His most recent mission was as commander and NASA science officer of Expedition 10 aboard the International Space Station.
For his work, Chiao earned numerous accolades, including NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal, two Exceptional Service Medals, and four Space Flight Medals. He is also the only American to be awarded the Order of Gagarin Medal by the Russian Federation.
A trusted expert, Chiao frequently appears on television and other news media addressing science, space exploration, and international issues. He has also has testified before the U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science and Space and served on the White House-appointed Review of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Committee.