Ronald John Garan Jr. (born October 30, 1961) is a NASA astronaut. After graduating from State University of New York College at Oneonta in 1982, he joined the Air Force, becoming a Second Lieutenant in 1984. He became an F-16 pilot, and flew combat missions in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Before becoming an astronaut he was the Operations Officer of the 40th Flight Test Squadron (FTS). He first flew in space as a Mission Specialist on the STS-124 mission to the International Space Station (ISS). He returned to ISS on April 4, 2011, for a six-month stay as a member of Expedition 27.
Selected as a pilot by NASA in July 2000, Colonel Garan reported for training in August 2000. Following the completion of two years of training and evaluation, he was assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Station and Shuttle Operations Branches.
In April 2006, Garan became an aquanaut through his participation in the joint NASA-National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NEEMO 9 (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations) project, an exploration research mission held in Aquarius, the world’s only undersea research laboratory. During this eighteen-day mission, the six-person crew of NEEMO 9 developed lunar surface exploration procedures and telemedical technology applications in support of the United States’ Vision for Space Exploration. Ron Garan completed his first space flight in 2008 on STS-124 as Mission Specialist 2 for ascent and entry, and has logged over 13 days in space and 27 hours and 3 minutes of EVA in four spacewalks.