Inside Rensselaer
* Kristy Kolb

Listen to a podcast interview with Gregory Wiseman '97.

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Gregory Wiseman ’97 Named NASA Astronaut
Gregory Wiseman ’97, a lieutenant commander and test pilot with the U.S. Navy, was named among the newest class of NASA astronauts. The nine men and women, selected from 3,500 applicants, began training in August at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Wiseman, who was serving as department head of Strike Fighter Squadron 103 aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower at the time of his selection, has had an interest in flight and space from a very young age. Watching space shuttle launches on television and seeing the Blue Angels perform every spring inspired him to pursue a career as a pilot.

“I never imagined I would get to compete for a spot in the space program but I always chose the path in life that would keep the dream a possibility,” he said. “I maintained a strong educational focus on engineering during college and my career. After my first tour flying F-14s in the Navy, I knew I wanted to be a test pilot; my desire to fly with NASA certainly pushed me in that direction.”

Wiseman earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical, computer, and systems engineering from Rensselaer, and a master’s in systems engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

Wiseman is the third Rensselaer alumnus to become an astronaut. Jack Swigert ’65 joined NASA’s fifth astronaut class and was the prime command pilot of Apollo 13. Rick Mastracchio ’87 is still an active astronaut who has logged more than 24 days in space including 18 hours on three spacewalks.
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 3, Number 7, August 28, 2009
©2009 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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