Robert L. Gibson

Robert L. Gibson


Mr. Gibson is a retired astronaut, U.S. Navy pilot, and Southwest Airlines Captain. He is rated as a Naval Aviator, Naval Test Pilot, and Naval Pilot Astronaut. He flew on five successful Space Shuttle missions, four of which as Crew Commander. Mr. Gibson has FAA ratings for Airline Transport Pilot, Multi-Engine Land Aircraft, and Glider Rating. His aircraft Type Ratings include Boeing 737 and Beechcraft Premier and has Letters of Authorization in Mig-15, Mig-21, T-33, Fouga Magister, and Hawker Sea Fury Aircraft. He has accumulated more than 13,000 hours of flight time in more than 50 types of civilian and military aircraft, of which more than 9000 hours are jet and rocket powered. He has more than 300 carrier landings. Mr. Gibson’s civilian experience includes light planes, sailplanes, and experimental racing and aerobatic aircraft. He holds the world record for the 100 km closed course, which he earned flying his own airplane equipped with a wing that he designed and built. Mr. Gibson is a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and the Explorers Club.


  • The End of Innocence, Space Shuttle, The First 20 Years, Smithsonian Institution, DK Publishing Inc., January 2002
  • Mig Pilot, Oshkosh Memories, Writer's Club Press, January 2000
  • The First Space Shuttle To Mir Docking, The Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Proceedings, January 1995

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