Ron Garan received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force in 1984 and earned his wings at Vance AFB, OK, in 1985. He was selected as a pilot by NASA in July 2000. In April 2006, he became an aquanaut through his participation in the joint NASA-NOAA, NEEMO 9 (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations), an exploration research mission held in Aquarius, the world’s only undersea research laboratory. During this 18-day mission, the six-person crew of NEEMO 9 developed lunar surface exploration procedures and telemedical technology applications in support of our Nation’s Vision for Space Exploration.
Ron Garan completed his first spaceflight in 2008 on STS-124 as Mission Specialist 2 (Flight Engineer) for ascent and entry. STS-124 Discovery (May 31 to June 14, 2008) was the 123rd space shuttle flight and the 26th shuttle flight to the International Space Station (ISS). STS-124 launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and docked with the ISS on June 2, 2008, to deliver the Japanese Experiment Module-Pressurized Module (JEM-PM) and the Japanese Remote Manipulator System (JEM-RMS). STS-124 shuttle astronauts delivered the 37-foot (11-meter) Kibo lab and added its rooftop storage room, and Garan accumulated 20 hours and 32 minutes of EVA in three spacewalks required to maintain the station and prime the new Japanese module’s robotic arm for work during the 9 days it was docked at the orbiting laboratory. The STS-124 mission was completed in 218 orbits, traveling 5,735,643 miles in 13 days, 18 hours, 13 minutes and 7 seconds.
Expedition 27/28 was Garan’s second space mission. Garan’s journey to the ISS began on April 4, 2011, with a launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in a Soyuz spacecraft dubbed “Gagarin.” The launch was from the same launch pad that Yuri Gagarin launched from nearly 50 years prior. While aboard the station, the crew continued work on a variety of microgravity experiments and received provisions from two shuttle missions, including the last space shuttle visit to the station. Garan participated in the last space-shuttle-based spacewalk during the STS-135 mission. Expedition 28 landed in Kazakhstan on September 15, 2011, after traveling 65,340,224 miles in 2,624 orbits during 164 days in space.
Garan has logged more than 178 days in space and 27 hours and 3 minutes of EVA in four spacewalks.
Ron Garan was selected as an innovator for LAUNCH Water in 2010.
Garan is presently working in NASA’s Open Government Initiative, which seeks to develop innovative collaborations within government, industry and with citizens around the world.