Leland D. Melvin (Actual)

6 Arrow Pointing Right


Missions and Ranks

Mission Specialist 1- 2) Mission Specialist 1

STS-122: Atlantis
Captain Stephen Frick

Missions and Ranks

STS-129: Atlantis
Captain Charles O. Hobaugh


National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

STS-122 Destination:
Delivery of Columbus lab to ISS

STS-129 Destination:
ISS spare part delivery and positioning

Leland Melvin has a long and diverse career as an athlete, astronaut, scientist, engineer, photographer, and musician. Before becoming an astronaut, Melvin was drafted to the Detroit Lions.

During his astronaut training for spacewalks, Melvin suffered a sudden injury which caused him to lose almost all of his hearing and was medically disqualified to fly in space by NASA flight surgeons. Nevertheless, Melvin persevered and was able to not only fully complete his astronaut training but to work on 2 off-planet missions to the ISS, where he worked on the delivery and installation of the European Space Agency’s Columbus Laboratory, as well as the repair of numerous key maintenance and repair operations throughout the station.

While stationed on the ISS, Melvin also compiled a portfolio of Outerspace photography showcasing the beauty of the planet, our universe, and the human-made structures in space.

Leland holds four honorary doctorates for his service in education, the sciences, and philanthropy. He was chosen as an ICON MANN with Quincy Jones, Forrest Whitaker, Steve Harvey and 24 other men selected for their ability to inspire people of all ages through their vision and commitment to creating positive change throughout the world. Leland has been honored with the NFL Players Association “Award of Excellence” for inspiring athletes to pursue excellence on and off the field. He has written a chapter on the power of visualization in Venus Williams’ book Come to Win.

Leland has appeared on Top Chef as a celebrity judge and Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmerman, while Cesar Milan helped him with his unruly pooch Jake on an episode of The Dog Whisperer. He was featured in a Sci-Fi Channel program documenting the making of the Reach for the Stars will.i.am song, which was transmitted to Mars and back to inspire students to pursue STEAM.

After 24 years with NASA as a researcher, astronaut, and Senior Executive Service leader he looks to share his stories of perseverance and excellence to inspire communities for lasting positive change.

He’s also the only astronaut we’ve found so far that has his own website.

– Lelandmelvin.com