Virts USAF, Col. Terry Profile
Col. Terry Virts USAF
Colonel Terry Virts is a veteran of two spaceflights, a two-week mission onboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 2010 and a 200-day flight to the Space Station in 2014/2015. His seven months in space included three spacewalks, piloting the Space Shuttle, performing science experiments, and working closely with multiple international partners, including Russian Space Agency cosmonauts during some of the most stressful U.S./Russian relations since the cold war. While Virts was in space he took over 300,000 still images, more than on any other space mission, and was an integral part of filming and starring in the recent IMAX film “A Beautiful Planet.” Virts’ interests go far beyond space however. His book, “View From Above,” is a National Geographic tome combining some of his best photographs from space with stories that share the experience of spaceflight, perspectives on life on earth, and our place in the cosmos. His passion as a photographer shines through, and this work has been praised by readers as well as fellow authors and photographers. His desire is to have a global impact on people through speaking, combining the awesome experiences of launch and landing and spacewalks with the sublime views and surprising perspectives he gained on our planet’s environment and global wealth. His speaking topics include risk and crisis management, the importance of strategy and vision, innovation, and intercultural leadership. Virts speaks French and Russian and has lived and worked extensively abroad, bringing a unique and powerful perspective on today’s global environment. Virts’s background as an F-16 pilot, Test Pilot, and astronaut gives him tremendous insight into operations and safety, and his lessons learned from aviation as well as his personal stories from NASA’s Columbia accident and Shuttle risk management are applicable to any industry. His education at the US Air Force Academy, as an applied mathematics major and French minor, as well as Embry Riddle and Harvard Business School gives him a very broad background. He has not stood still since returning to earth – he has been involved in multiple projects, including writing, co-hosting National Geographic’s coverage of a recent eclipse, and using his drone and cinematography skills to film great white sharks off the coast of Mexico, visiting and filming Antarctica and the South Pole, while also speaking extensively throughout Asia and Europe. He is currently developing a TV show.
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