Full Name
Terry Virts
Job Title
Astronaut, Col.
One More Orbit
Speaker Bio
United States Air Force Colonel (ret.) Terry Virts is a veteran of two spaceflights, a two-week
mission onboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 2010 and a 200-day flight in the Space Station
in 2014/2015. His seven months in space included three spacewalks, piloting the Space Shuttle,
performing scientific experiments and working closely with multiple international partners,
including Russian Space Agency cosmonauts during some of the most stressful US-Russian
relations since the cold war. While in space Virts captured more than 300,000 still images,
more than on any other space mission. He also performed an integral role by filming and
appearing in the IMAX film “ A Beautiful Planet,” narrated by Jennifer Lawrence.
However, Terry’s interests go well beyond space. His book, “View From Above,” is a National
Geographic work that combines 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. His work has been praised by readers, fellow
authors and photographers.
His desire is to have a global impact on people, through film, television, writing and speaking.
Virts storytelling combines the awesome experiences of launch, flight, spacewalks and landing
with the sublime views and surprising perspectives he gained about Earth’s environment and
global wealth patterns. 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’ background as an F-16 pilot, test pilot and astronaut gives him tremendous insight into
operations and safety. His lessons learned in aviation, combined with his personal stories from
NASA’s Columbia accident and Shuttle risk management, are applicable to any industry. His
education at the U.S. Air Force Academy, as an applied mathematics major and French minor,
as well as Embry Riddle and Harvard Business School gives him a broad background.
He has not stood still since returning to Earth. Virts’ recent projects have included writing,
co-hosting National Geographic’s coverage of the 2017 eclipse, using his drone and
cinematography skills to film great white sharks off the coast of Mexico, visiting and filming
Antarctica and the South Pole, promoting public policy and speaking extensively throughout
Asia and Europe. He routinely provides advice and mentorship to companies in multiple
industries through various board roles. He is currently working on a television project as well as
his next book.
Terry Virts