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10 fast facts about astronaut Leroy Chiao

To celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month, we are highlighting Leroy Chiao who is a Chinese American NASA Astronaut.

Check out these ten fascinating facts about Chiao:

“I was eight years old when I saw the Apollo Moon landing in 1969. I was riveted. We watched it all afternoon; it was so amazing to go out, look up and realize that, almost a quarter of a million miles away, two astronauts were getting ready to take their first steps on the Moon.”

NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao

  1. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1960
  2. Earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara
  3. Aviator call sign is “Shandong” to honor the coastal province in eastern China where is parents were born
  4. Selected as an astronaut in 1990
  5. Veteran of four spaceflights (STS-65 July 8-23, 1994, STS-72 Jan. 11-20, 1996, STS-92 Oct. 11-24, 2000, International Space Station Expedition 10 Oct. 13 to April 24, 2005)
  6. Logged a total of 229 days, 7 hours, 38 minutes and 5 seconds in space, including 36 hours and 7 minutes of spacewalk time
  7. Became the first American to vote in a presidential election while in space in 2004
  8. Speaks English, Russian and Mandarin
  9. Married his wife Karen in 2003 and has two kids (twins named Henry and Caroline)
  10. Retired from NASA in 2005


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