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Test Pilots  
Richard A. Searfoss
Director of Flight Test Operations and Chief Test Pilot, NASA Astronaut (Former) and Colonel, USAF (Ret.)
 

Colonel Rick Searfoss has piloted XCOR rocket powered vehicles a total of 49 times. He flew the first generation aircraft, the EZ-Rocket nine times, and went on to fly the X-Racer, XCOR’s second generation rocket plane, 40 times including the plane’s first public appearance at EAA AirVenture 2008 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He was also at the controls during the record-setting seven flights in one day on October 1, 2008.

Col. Searfoss was the number one graduate in his class at the United States Air Force Academy, earning top overall, academic, engineering, and aeronautical engineering honors. He received an advanced degree from the California Institute of Technology as a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow.  He is also a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons (Topgun) School and U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, with over 5,900 hours flying time in 71 different types of aircraft.

As an astronaut he piloted two Space Shuttle missions and commanded a third, the STS-90 Neurolab mission on Columbia, for a total of 39 days in space.  This mission was the last and most complex of NASA’s Spacelab missions, focusing on the effects of microgravity on the brain and nervous system.  Colonel Searfoss is a recipient of the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal and the Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross.

In addition to his work with XCOR, Rick, the “Astronaut Speaker,” is a noted professional speaker, with real-world expertise and high-content programs on leadership, teamwork, innovation, and operational execution excellence.  As the only astronaut who has earned the coveted National Speakers Association Certified Speaking Professional designation, he shares with riveting stories and examples the lessons from command in space for corporate audiences worldwide.  See his speaker website at www.astronautspeaker.com .
In his spare time Rick enjoys backpacking, running, science fiction, and model aircraft.

Rick Searfoss

Brian Binnie
Senior Test Pilot and Senior Engineer
 

Brian Binnie is a decorated aviator, having piloted the Ansari X-Prize award winning flight that broke the winged aircraft altitude record previously held by the X-15. He also was the pilot of a unique prototype of a single stage to orbit system, the Roton Rocket Atmospheric Test Vehicle, from Rotary Rocket. Binnie has over 5300 hours of flight time in 85 different aircraft types and 29 years experience as a test pilot. A former Naval Aviator, he is a retired Commander having flown the A-7 Corsair, the A-6 Intruder, the F/A-18 Hornet and the AV-8B Harrier. He is a 1988 Graduate of the United States Naval Test Pilot School, received his Bachelors in Aerospace Engineering and Masters in Thermodynamics from Brown University and received a second Masters Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Princeton University.

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