Gregory “Ray J” Johnson
Gregory “Ray J” Johnson, a Seattle native, attended the University of Washington earning a BS in Aeronautics and Astronautics. After college he entered the United States Navy as a carrier pilot flying the A-6E Intruder and later attended the United States Air Force Test Pilot School in Edwards AFB CA. Following active duty he joined NASA as an aerospace engineer and research pilot and later joined the astronaut corps as the class leader of the 17 th group of astronauts. He was the pilot on the final Space Shuttle mission to the Hubble Space Telescope.
Ray J has held numerous management assignments at NASA including Deputy, Flight Operations Directorate; Chief and Deputy Chief, Aircraft Operations Division; Manager, Launch Integration for the Space Shuttle Program at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center; Deputy Chief, Astronaut Office’s Space Shuttle Program Branch. After retiring from NASA Ray J joined Blue Origin as their Senior Vice President for New Shepard, a suborbital launch vehicle scheduled to fly astronauts into space above the Karman line. Ray J oversaw 4 successful New Shepard test launches before his retirement in 2020.
Ray J has accumulated over 11,800 flight hours including over 300 hours in space, as well as over 500 carrier landings. He is a member of the Senior Executive Service, Association of Space Explorers, Society of Experimental Test pilots, and Tau Beta Pi honorary engineering society. He is married to Nanette Faget and has 5 grown children.