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John M. Grunsfeld

Physicist & Former NASA Astronaut

Physicist & Former NASA Astronaut

Travels From Travels From:
Washington, DC, USA
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John M. Grunsfeld Biography

Dr. John M. Grunsfeld was named associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters (HQ) in Washington, D.C. in January 2012. Dr. Grunsfeld's background includes research in high energy astrophysics, cosmic ray physics and in the emerging field of exoplanet studies with specific interest in future astronomical instrumentation.

As a child, Grunsfeld dreamed of becoming an astronaut. He studied science and his dream came true. A veteran of five space flights, STS-67 (1995), STS-81 (1997), STS-103 (1999) STS-109 (2002) and STS-125 (2009), Grunsfeld has logged more than 58 days in space, including 58 hours and 30 minutes of extravehicular activities (EVA) in eight spacewalks. He visited the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) three times as an astronaut to service and upgrade the observatory.

Grunsfeld earned his bachelor's degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1980. Returning to his native Chicago, he earned a master's degree and, in 1988, a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago. His doctoral thesis was based on a cosmic ray experiment on the space shuttle Challenger. He then joined the faculty of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) as a senior research fellow in physics, mathematics and astronomy.

Grunsfeld joined NASA's astronaut corps in 1992. He qualified for flight selection as a mission specialist and was assigned as the lead for the development of portable computers for use in space.

He first flew to space aboard Endeavour in March 1995 on a mission that studied the far ultraviolet spectra of faint astronomical objects using the Astro-2 Observatory. His second flight was aboard Atlantis in January 1997. This mission docked with the Russian space station Mir, exchanged U.S. astronauts living aboard the outpost and performed scientific research using the Biorack payload. Grunsfeld flew on three more shuttle missions -- Discovery in December 1999, Columbia in March 2002 (payload commander) and Atlantis in May 2009 (lead spacewalker in charge of Hubble activities) -- that successfully serviced and upgraded HST.

After the 1999 mission, he served as NASA's chief of extravehicular activity. Grunsfeld also was an instructor in the Extravehicular Activity Branch and Robotics Branch of the astronaut program and worked on the exploration concepts and technologies for use beyond low Earth orbit in the Advanced Programs Branch.

In 2004 and 2005, Grunsfeld was the commander and science officer on the backup crew for Expedition 13 to the International Space Station (ISS). He also served as the NASA Chief Scientist detailed to NASA HQ from 2003 to 2004. In this position, he helped develop President George W. Bush's "Vision for Space Exploration."

He retired from NASA in December 2009 and served as deputy director for the Space Telescope Science Institute, in Baltimore, Md., managing the science program for HST and its partner in the forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope. He returned to NASA in January 2012 as the associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA HQ in Washington. One facet of Grunsfeld's duties as associate administrator is representing NASA's current and future space science programs and projects to Congress, the media and the public.

Grunsfeld and his wife Carol have two children. Some of his favorite pastimes include: mountaineering, flying, sailing, bicycling and music.

John M. Grunsfeld Videos

  • John Grunsfeld: What are the Roles of Humans and Robots
  • Dr. John Grunsfeld, Astronaut, on Ultraviolet Telescopes
  • A Conversation with Astronauts Ron Garan and John Grunsfeld

FAQs on booking John M. Grunsfeld

  • How do I book John M. Grunsfeld to speak at my event?

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  • What are the speaker fees for John M. Grunsfeld

    Speaking fees for John M. Grunsfeld, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book John M. Grunsfeld are for live events and for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire John M. Grunsfeld, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does John M. Grunsfeld speak about?

    John M. Grunsfeld is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Astronauts, Education, Innovation, Science and Engineering, Science and Technology, STEM, Technology.
  • Where does John M. Grunsfeld travel from?

    John M. Grunsfeld generally travels from Washington, DC, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
  • Who is John M. Grunsfeld’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like John M. Grunsfeld for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book John M. Grunsfeld for your next private or corporate function.
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John M. Grunsfeld is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book John M. Grunsfeld for your event is available upon request. John M. Grunsfeld generally travels from Washington, DC, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Ed Lu, Michael Foale, Jo Dunkley, Leland Melvin and José M. Hernández. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling John M. Grunsfeld for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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