Colonel, USAF, RET.
NASA Astronaut (FORMER)
Pam Melroy is a retired Air Force test pilot and former NASA astronaut and Space Shuttle commander. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics and Astronomy from Wellesley College and a Master of Science degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Colonel Melroy attended Undergraduate Pilot Training at Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock, Texas, and flew the KC-10 for six years at Barksdale Air Force Base as a co-pilot, aircraft commander and instructor pilot. Colonel Melroy is a veteran of Operation Just Cause and Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, with more than 200 combat and combat support hours. In June 1991, she attended the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California. She was then assigned to the C-17 Combined Test Force, where she served as a test pilot until her selection for the Astronaut Program. She has logged more than 6,000 hours flight time in more than 50 different aircraft.
Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA, Colonel Melroy reported to the Johnson Space Center, Texas, in March 1995. She flew three missions in space: as Space Shuttle pilot during STS-92 in 2000 and STS-112 in 2002, and as Space Shuttle Commander during STS-120 in 2007. All three missions were assembly missions to build the International Space Station. She is one of only two women to command the Space Shuttle. She has logged more than 38 days in space. Colonel Melroy retired from the Air Force in 2007, and left NASA in August 2009. After NASA, she served as Deputy Program manager for the Lockheed Martin Orion Space Exploration Initiatives program and as Director of Field Operations and acting Deputy Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation at the Federal Aviation Administration. She went on to serve as Deputy Director, Tactical Technology Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Colonel Melroy now is Senior Advisor for Space Strategy at Nova Systems.