Terry W. Virts

Terry W. Virts

Terry W. Virts, Jr.
NASA Astronaut
Nationality American
Status Active
Born (1967-12-01) December 1, 1967
Baltimore, Maryland
Rank Colonel US Air Force
Time in space
Currently in space
Selection 2000 NASA Group
Missions STS-130, Soyuz TMA-15M (Expedition 42)
Mission insignia

Terry W. Virts, Jr. (born 1 December 1967) is a NASA astronaut, and Colonel in the United States Air Force.

Background and education

Virts was born in 1967 in Baltimore, Maryland, but considers Columbia, Maryland, to be his hometown. He graduated from Oakland Mills High School in Columbia, Maryland in 1985. He earned a bachelor of science degree in mathematics (with a French minor) from the United States Air Force Academy in 1989 and a master of aeronautical science degree in aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1997. While at the Air Force Academy, Virts attended the École de l'Air in 1988 on an exchange program.

Military career

Virts was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant upon graduation from the United States Air Force Academy in 1989 and earned his pilot wings at 36th Fighter Squadron at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, and the 22d Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. Virts was selected for Test Pilot School in 1997 at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Following graduation, he was an Experimental Test Pilot at the F-16 Combined Test Force. He has logged over 3,000 flight hours in more than 40 different aircraft.

NASA career

Selected as a pilot by NASA in July 2000, Virts reported for training in August 2000. His technical assignments have included lead astronaut for the NASA T-38 program, Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL) test crewmember, and Expedition 9 crew support astronaut. He was the pilot of STS-130 aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour and is currently assigned as a CAPCOM, communicating with station crews from mission control in Houston.

On November 23, 2014, Soyuz TMA-15M carrying Terry and two other astronauts launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. It successfully docked at the International Space Station roughly six hours later.[1]

Awards and honors

Virts graduated with Academic Distinction from the United States Air Force Academy and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, was a distinguished graduate of Undergraduate Pilot Training at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona, and F-16 training at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. His military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, and the Air Force Commendation Medal.


  1. ^ Associated Press. "Crew docks at International Space Station". USA Today. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 

External links

  • NASA bio
  • Spacefacts biography of Terry W. Virts, Jr.
  • Howard County Times: "Oakland Mills grad set for space launch"