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Robert "Hoot" Gibson

Captain Robert “Hoot” Gibson entered the United States Navy after college and served as a fighter pilot in the F-4 “Phantom” and F-14 “Tomcat” aircraft, flying combat missions in Southeast Asia and making more than 300 carrier landings aboard the aircraft carriers USS Coral Sea and USS Enterprise. After attending the Navy Fighter Weapons School, better known as TOPGUN, and the Navy Test Pilot School, he served as a flight test pilot prior to being selected to become an Astronaut in 1978 in the first Space Shuttle Astronaut selection. In eighteen years as an Astronaut, he flew five space flights, four of them as Mission Commander, aboard the space shuttles Challenger, Columbia, Atlantis, and Endeavour. His final space flight was the first mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir in 1995. In his career with NASA, he held the positions of Deputy Chief of NASA Aircraft Operations, Deputy Director of Flight Crew Operations, and Chief Astronaut.

In a flying career spanning more than sixty years, he has accumulated more than 14,000 hours of flight time in more than 160 types of military and civilian aircraft. He has received numerous honors, awards, and decorations and has established six Aviation World Records and three Space World Records.

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