NASA astronaut George Zamka
has left the agency and accepted a position with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) supporting Commercial Space Transportation. A veteran of two spaceflights, Zamka served first as pilot on STS-120 in 2007 and three years later as commander on STS-130 in 2010.
Before joining NASA, Zamka served in the U.S. Marine Corps as pilot and flew combat missions during Operation Desert Storm in the Middle East. He was selected to join the astronaut corps in 1998. Before flying in space, he served in multiple technical and leadership roles supporting Johnson Space Center's Astronaut Office. He served as lead for the shuttle training and procedures division and as supervisor for the astronaut candidate class of 2004. In his current role as a research pilot, and instructor pilot, Zamka provides training for astronauts in NASA aircraft.
Above: Astronaut George Zamka, STS-130 commander, occupies the commander's station on the flight deck of shuttle Endeavour.
"George will be greatly missed by both the Astronaut Office and the Aircraft Operations Division," said Dick Clark, chief of Aircraft Operations at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. "His outstanding leadership was critical to the success of the shuttle and station missions. His skill and flight expertise as an aviator and educator kept our astronauts prepared to fly in space. We wish him the best in this new phase of his career."
Zamka holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the United States Naval Academy and a Master of Science degree in engineering management from the Florida Institute of Technology.
Zamka retired from the Marine Corps as a colonel in 2010 after more than 26 years of service. He has logged more than 5,000 flight hours in more than 30 different aircraft. He ends his NASA career having logged more than 692 hours in space on two shuttle missions while traveling 12 million miles.