photo of Michael Lopez-AlegriaMichael E. Lopez-Alegria has over three decades of aviation and space experience with the U.S. Navy and NASA in a variety of roles including Naval Aviator, engineering test pilot and program manager, astronaut and International Space Station commander, and President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. He is now an independent consultant to commercial space companies and serves on several advisory boards and committees to public and private organizations. He is based in Washington, DC.

Mr. Lopez-Alegria is a Captain, U.S. Navy, (Retired) and a former NASA Astronaut. He was born in Madrid, Spain, and grew up in Mission Viejo, California. Mr. Lopez-Alegria received a Bachelor of Science degree in systems engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Master of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. He is a graduate of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security. He speaks Spanish, French, and Russian.

Following flight training and designation as a Naval Aviator in 1981, Mr. Lopez-Alegria served as a flight instructor and then as a pilot and mission commander of EP-3E aircraft. In 1986, he was assigned to a 2-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 5,700 pilot hours in over 30 different aircraft types. A veteran of four space flights, Mr. Lopez-Alegria has logged more than 257 days in space and performed 10 spacewalks totaling 67 hours and 40 minutes of EVA. He retired from the Navy in June 2008 and left NASA in March 2012.