Encyclopedia Astronautica

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Loria, Christopher Joseph 'Gus' (1960-) Hispanic-American test pilot astronaut, 1996-2005. US Marine Corps. Grew up in Belmont, Massachusetts. Flew 42 combat missions over Iraq.

NASA Official Biography

NAME: Christopher J. "Gus" Loria (Major, USMC)
NASA Astronaut Candidate (Pilot)

Born July 9, 1960 in Newton, Massachusetts. Considers Belmont, Massachusetts, his hometown. Married to the former Sandra Lee Sullivan, R.N., of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. They have two children. He enjoys running, cycling, weight training, sailing, hiking, fishing, hunting. His mother, Joan Loria, resides in Belmont, Massachusetts. His father, Robert L. Loria, is deceased.

Graduated from Belmont High School in 1978, and from the US Naval Academy Prepatory School in 1979. Bachelor of science degree in general engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1983. Currently completing his thesis for a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology.

Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Safari Club International, Experimental Aircraft Association, Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association, U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association, Marine Corps Aviation Association, National Rifle Association.

Naval Test Wing Atlantic Test Pilot of the Year 1995-1996. Who's Who in the World 1995, Who's Who in the American West 1994. Graduated first in all phases of flight training, Commodore's List with Distinction. Personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, 2 Navy Commendation Medals (1 with "V"), 2 Air Medals (both with "V"), 4 Strike Flight Air Medals, Navy Achievement Medal.

Loria received his commission from the Naval Academy in 1983, and was designated a Naval Aviator in July 1988. He transitioned to the F/A-18 Hornet with Strike Fighter Squadron 125 (VFA-125) at Naval air Station Lemoore, California, during August 1988 through August 1989. His next assignment was with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 (VMFA-314) the "Black Knights" at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California, where he served as squadron pilot and performed collateral duties as the Quality Assurance Officer and Assistant Maintenance Officer in the squadron aircraft maintenance department. While assigned to the Black Knights he deployed to Bahrain for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm where he flew 42 combat missions in support of allied operations. In 1992, while assigned as an instructor pilot to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101 (VMFAT-101) he was selected for the United States Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California. January 1994 to July 1996, he was assigned to the Strike Aircraft Test Squadron, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, as an experimental test pilot. Loria distinguished himself in the areas of high angle of attack flight test, aircraft departure and spin testing, ordnance, flight controls and aircraft flying qualities testing for the F/A-18 Hornet.

He has almost 2,000 hours of flight time and had flown over 35 different aircraft.

Previous NASA experience includes assignment as test pilot and Project Officer for the Department of the Navy on the X-31 Program at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Facility, Edwards AFB, CA from July 1994 to June 1995. Also test pilot on Dryden's F/A-18 High Alpha Research Vehicle or "HARV" during March of 1995, conducting spin testing and the first successful excitation of the Hornet Falling Leaf out of control mode during flight test. Participated in physiology testing of the prototype High Altitude & G System (or HAGS) which is a combination g-suit and partial pressure suit for NASA Dryden's F-16XL Program. Lead Department of the Navy test pilot on the prestigious NASA/U.S. Navy/Industry Aircraft Control Power Working Group. Selected by NASA in April 1996, Loria reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996 to begin two years of training and evaluation. Successful completion of initial training will qualify him for various technical assignments leading to selection as a pilot on a Space Shuttle flight crew.


Birth Place: Newton, Massachusetts.
Status: Inactive.

Born: 1960.07.09.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • Astronaut Category of persons, applied to those trained for spaceflight outside of Russia and China. More...
  • NASA Group 16 - 1996 Requirement: pilot, engineer, and scientist astronauts for space shuttle flights. Nickname: The Sardines (named because that's how packed they were; at 44 this was the largest ASCAN class of all time) More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA Astronaut Biographies, Johnson Space Center, NASA, 1995-present. Web Address when accessed: here.

Loria Chronology

1983 December 5 - .
  • NASA Astronaut Training Group 16 selected. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Brown, David; Burbank; Cagle; Caldeiro; Camarda; Carey; Clark; Fincke; Forrester; Frick; Guidoni; Herrington; Higginbotham; Hobaugh; Kelly; Kelly, Mark; Kelly, Scott; Lockhart; Loria; Magnus; Massimino; Mastracchio; McCool; Morin; Nowak; Pettit; Phillips. The group was selected to provide pilot, engineer, and scientist astronauts for space shuttle flights.. Qualifications: Pilots: Bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics. Advanced degree desirable. At least 1,000 flight-hours of pilot-in-command time. Flight test experience desirable. Excellent health. Vision minimum 20/50 uncorrected, correctable to 20/20 vision; maximum sitting blood pressure 140/90. Height between 163 and 193 cm.

    Mission Specialists: Bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics and minimum three years of related experience or an advanced degree. Vision minimum 20/150 uncorrected, correctable to 20/20. Maximum sitting blood pressure of 140/90. Height between 150 and 193 cm.. 10 pilots and 25 mission specialists selected from over 2,400 applicants. 9 additional international astronauts.

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