Frederick's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    UK Team

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Washington, DC

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 3

  • ON DVD:

FREDERICK GREGORY

Deputy Administrator
NASA

“I think that you have to really believe. And this means having high esteem with yourself.”

INTERESTS:

Science

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Chance Choices Confidence Experience Risk Planning Self-Reflection Beliefs & Faith Opportunity

FOUNDATION:

Accomplishing Goals

TAGS:

air force, air force academy, astronaut, boat racing, boating, contribution, direction, emotion, flying, have fun, helicopter pilot, instant gratification, instant satisfaction, intellectual, looking back, make a contribution, racing boats, self esteem, test pilot

BIOGRAPHY:

  • When he was young, he had to choose between racing boats and going into the Air Force—one was “instant gratification,” one was an “investment.”
  • Chose the Air Force, thinks he made the right choice; it was something he’d always wanted to do, paid off in the long run.
  • Was the first African American to pilot a space flight, later the first African American to command a space flight.
  • Says he never planned his next step; he based choices off of emotion rather than intellect.
  • “When it was no longer fun, I quit doing it”; moved 13 or 14 times during first eight years in the Air Force.
  • He was a test pilot for five or six years, got bored, applied to the astronaut program, was an astronaut for years, got bored, left.
  • Now he’s in an administrative position and loves it; looks back and says he loves the things he’s done and learned.
  • Says “you can’t sit back and wait for something to occur...you have to go out and do it yourself.”

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