Gregory “Ray J” Johnson
Gregory “Ray J” Johnson serves as Senior Vice President of the New Shepard program at Blue Origin, a private space company developing vehicles and technologies that dramatically improve access to space for people and payloads.
As SVP, New Shepard, Ray J leverages his comprehensive experience in spaceflight and aircraft operations to produce a fleet of suborbital space vehicles, create a detailed logistics and maintenance capability that sustains high-tempo operations, and design and implement a New Shepard astronaut experience that will be life-changing. Ray J will ensure that the development of all these capabilities stands on a foundation of mission assurance.
Ray J began his career as a U.S. Navy carrier pilot flying the A-6E Intruder and later attended the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. 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 seventeenth group of astronauts. He was the pilot on the final Space Shuttle mission to the Hubble Space Telescope and has accumulated 11,800+ flight hours, including 300+ hours in space as well as 500+ carrier landings. Ray J has also 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.
He holds a B.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the University of Washington