Michael López-Alegría was born in Madrid, Spain, and immigrated as a young boy with his family to the United States. He has over 40 years 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, NASA astronaut, and International Space Station commander.
López-Alegría is currently the Chief Astronaut for Axiom Space and was selected to command the crew of Ax-1, the first fully private orbital space mission in human history. He is a six-time astronaut, having flown on Space Shuttle missions STS-73, STS-92, and STS- 113, served as Commander of ISS Expedition 14 (flying to and from the ISS aboard Soyuz TMA-9), and served as Commander of Ax-1 (flying to and from the ISS aboard SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket). López-Alegría returned to space as the Commander of Ax-3, on January 18, 2024. He holds NASA records for the most Extravehicular Activities (EVA) or “spacewalks” (10) and cumulative EVA time (67 hours 40 minutes). He was inducted to the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame as a 2020 inductee.
López-Alegría is the former President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, where he was a spokesman, thought leader and advocate with the U.S. Congress and pertinent Executive Agencies for favorable public policy on behalf of the commercial spaceflight industry. He has served on several advisory boards and committees of public and private organizations, including the Human Exploration and Operations Committee of the NASA Advisory Council and the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee to the FAA.
López-Alegría is the Chairman of ASTM International’s Committee on Commercial Spaceflight as well as the past President of the Association of Space Explorers USA, a professional and educational organization of current and former astronauts.
He is based in Washington, DC.