Astronaut Biography: Michael Lopez-Alegria
Expedition 14 commander Michael Lopez-Alegria passes in front of a camera inside the U.S.-buit Destiny module during a change of command ceremony aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
Credit: NASA TV.

NAME: Michael E. Lopez-Alegria (Captain, U.S. Navy)
NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA: Born May 30, 1958, in Madrid, Spain, and grew up in Mission Viejo, California. Married to the former Daria Robinson of Geneva, Switzerland. They have one son. Michael enjoys sports, traveling and cooking, and is interested in national and international political, economic and security affairs. His parents are deceased. Daria's parents, Professor Stuart and Margareta Robinson, reside in Geneva.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Mission Viejo High School, Mission Viejo, California, in 1976; received a bachelor of science degree in systems engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1980; and a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1988. Graduate of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security. Speaks Spanish, French and Russian.

ORGANIZATIONS: Member, Association of Naval Aviation, Society of Experimental Test Pilots, and Association of Space Explorers.

EXPERIENCE: Following flight training, Lopez-Alegria was designated a Naval Aviator on September 4, 1981. He served as a flight instructor in Pensacola, Florida, until March 1983 and then as a pilot and mission commander of EP-3E aircraft.

In 1986 he was assigned to a two-year cooperative program between the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland.

His final tour before being assigned to NASA was at the Naval Air Test Center as an engineering test pilot and program manager. He has accumulated more than 5,000 pilot hours in over 30 different aircraft types.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Lopez-Alegria reported for training to the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in August 1992.

Following one year of training and designation as an astronaut, he was first assigned to be the Astronaut Office technical point of contact to various Space Shuttle project elements, then to the Kennedy Space Center where he provided crew representation on orbiter processing issues and support during launches and landings.

Following his first space flight he served as NASA Director of Operations at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Star City, Russia. After his second mission, he led the newly formed ISS Crew Operations branch of the Astronaut Office.

Upon completion of his third spaceflight, he was assigned as the technical assistant to JSC's EVA Office. Lopez-Alegria has logged over 42 days in space, circled the Earth 674 times, and performed 5 EVAs totaling 34 hours.

He is assigned to command Expedition 14 and will serve as the NASA station science officer during a six-month tour of duty aboard the International Space Station. Expedition 14 is scheduled for launch aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in September 2006.

SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-73 Columbia (October 20 to November 5, 1995) was launched from and returned to land at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

STS-73 was the second United States Microgravity Laboratory mission and focused on materials science, biotechnology, combustion science, the physics of fluids, and numerous scientific experiments housed in the pressurized Spacelab module. Lopez-Alegria served as the flight engineer during the ascent and entry phases of flight, and was responsible for all operations of the "blue" shift on orbit.

STS-92 Discovery (October 11-24, 2000) was launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida and returned to land at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

During the 13-day flight, the seven-member crew attached the Z1 Truss and Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 to the International Space Station using Discovery's robotic arm and performed four spacewalks to configure these elements. Lopez-Alegria totaled 14 hours and 3 minutes of EVA (extravehicular activity) time in two spacewalks.

STS-113 Endeavour (November 23-Dec 7, 2002) was the 16th shuttle mission to visit the International Space Station. Mission accomplishments included the delivery of the Expedition Six crew, the delivery, installation and activation of the P1 Truss, and the transfer of cargo from Endeavour to the ISS. During the mission Lopez-Alegria performed three EVAs totaling 19 hours and 55 minutes. STS-113 brought home the Expedition Five crew from their 6-month stay aboard the station.

Last updated: 2006

  • Mission Endeavour: STS-113 Story and Multimedia Archive
  • STS-92 Collection of SPACE.com stories
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  • Complete ISS Expedition 14 Mission Coverage