A native of Enid, Oklahoma, born Nov. 22, 1930, Dr. Garriott graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and received a M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. He received his jet aircraft certification from the US Air Force Pilot Training Program in 1966.
Dr. Garriott served as electronics officer on active duty in the US Navy from 1953 to 1956. From 1961 to 1965 he was Assistant Professor, then Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He performed research and led graduate studies in ionospheric physics after obtaining his doctorate and authored or co-authored 45 scientific papers, chapters and one book, principally in the areas of physical sciences.
In 1965 he was one of the first six Scientist-Astronauts selected by NASA. His first space flight aboard Skylab in 1973 set a new record for duration by being in space for approximately 60 days, more than double the previous record and still the second longest US manned space mission. Extensive experimental studies of our sun, of earth resources and in life sciences relating to human adaptation to weightlessness were made. His second space flight was aboard Spacelab-1 in 1983, a multi-disciplinary and international mission of 10 days. More than 70 separate experiments in six different disciplines were conducted, primarily to demonstrate the suitability of Spacelab for research in all of these areas. He operated the first Amateur Radio Station from space, which has since expanded into an important activity on dozens of Shuttle flights and the Space Station MIR, with scores of astronauts and cosmonauts participating.
Between these missions, he received a NASA fellowship for one year's study at Stanford and held posts of Deputy, Acting and Director of Science and Applications at Johnson Space Center. In the latter post, he was responsible for all research in physical sciences at the Johnson Space Center. He has also held the position of Program Scientist in the Space Station Program Office.