Rick Searfoss

Rick Searfoss

United States Air Force Colonel, NASA Astronaut, Test Pilot and former Mission Commander of Space Shuttle Columbia

Speaker Categories: Astronauts/Aviators | Safety | Safety | Leadership | Peak Performance | Military

Travels From: CA, United States.

Speaker Fee Range: $10,001 to $20,000*

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Rick Searfoss Bio
Speaker Topics

Space Shuttle Mission Commander & Pilot

As one of less than a hundred people ever who have actually ever commanded a human space mission, expert leadership speaker Colonel Rick Searfoss speaks with authority from personal experience.  In his career, he has led many different teams, including commanding the most complex science research space mission ever, the STS-90 Neurolab flight on space shuttle Columbia.  He also piloted two other space flights, including a joint Russian-American mission to the Mir space station.

Previous Flight Experience

Prior to becoming an astronaut Colonel Searfoss was a fighter pilot and test pilot in the U.S. Air Force, with over 5800 hours flying time in 71 different types of aircraft.  A distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons (Top Gun) School and the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, he is the Director of Flight Operations for XCOR Aerospace, where he flies the world's only liquid rocket-propelled aircraft and works with the development team of the Lynx suborbital spaceplane, for which he will be the first test pilot. 

Industry Experience

Rick has held executive level positions in the aerospace industry and was a contributing author to the book Leadership on the Run - How to Get Better Results Faster.  He also consults regularly for numerous entrepreneurial "New Space" ventures, including serving as the Chief Judge for the $10 million Ansari X Prize for the first private reusable human spacecraft and test flying the world's only liquid-fueled experimental rocket plane.

Aerospace Speaker

Rick is a high-content expert speaker on leadership, teamwork, innovation, peak performance, and related topics.  He is among less than 10% of professional speakers and the only astronaut to have earned the National Speakers Association Certified Speaking Professional designation, the speaking industry's international gold standard for speaking skill and experience. With compelling firsthand examples, Rick speaks from the heart to teach, motivate, enlighten, and uplift audiences.  His mission:  "to share the leadership, teamwork, innovation, and peak performance lessons of human space flight to empower organizations to achieve out-of-this-world results!"


Colonel Searfoss completed a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the USAF Academy, a Master of Science degree in aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology on a National Science Foundation Fellowship, and USAF Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College.

Awards and Recogntion

His numerous awards include the Harmon, Fairchild, Price and Tober Awards as the number one overall, academic, engineering, and aeronautical engineering graduate in his USAF Academy class, USAF Squadron Officer's School Commandant's Trophy as top graduate, Tactical Air Command F-111 Instructor Pilot of the Year, Outstanding Young Men of America, Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Legion of Merit.

Right Stuff Leadership! - Solutions from a Top Gun Command Astronaut

Purpose - Program - People - Perspective. True leaders balance all these elements to get the job done, build their organization, and uplift their followers. Colonel Rick Searfoss, Top Gun fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut, personally knows that commanding a Space Shuttle mission requires the utmost in competent, trustworthy, and service-oriented leadership. Too much is at stake for anything less than the real "right stuff!" Crucial real-world lessons delivered with high energy for all leaders!

Safety - The Only Option

Flying safety officer for the U. S. Astronaut Corps, major aerospace company Executive Safety Director, Chief of Flight Test for the world's only liquid-propellant rocket plane development company, and Space Shuttle Commander responsible for a $2 billion national asset and seven lives. With this safety leadership experience and a totally accident-free 25 year military and NASA high performance jet flying career, Colonel Rick Searfoss shares lessons and attitudes for building an effective "failure is not an option" safety culture.

Boosting Leading-Edge Innovation

Develop flexible adaptability to embrace the opportunities change offers. Research, innovation, and the exploration of the unknown in space give startling examples of adaptability. Amplified with Rick's unique current test pilot work helping develop leading-edge new technologies with the most creative private space companies of the new millennium, this program will prepare your team to innovate your way to a profitable and exciting future!

Execution Excellence When It Really Matters

Human space flight demands the relentless pursuit of execution perfection. Learn how to apply the real-life execution principles learned from leading Space Shuttle missions to your own dynamic business challenges. Colonel Searfoss' Prepare - Apply - Adapt - Debrief Astronaut Execution Cycle provides crucial keys for those in today's difficult business environment who must get the job done, and done right!

Countdown to Success! - The Peak Performance Primer

Competition to become an astronaut is fierce and only the very peak performers - literally one in thousands - succeed. Much like in Sales! From a successful astronaut career to his entrepreneurial space company business development leadership successes in recent years, pinnacle performer Rick Searfoss has wired the Countdown to Success. This program will arm you with the tools and attitudes to launch your own trajectory to peak personal effectiveness in sales or in life, for out-of-this-world results!

Trust-Based Teamwork

Secrets of trust-based, effective teams. Astronaut crewmates must act in unity as a finely honed team, literally trusting their lives to one another while fulfilling their nation's trust to care for billions of dollars of national assets and achieve real results for mission success. They also need to lead and motivate the members of a vast variety of other specialized teams for the mission to succeed. It's the perfect model for any ambitious team venture! Space Shuttle Commander and "team captain" Rick Searfoss shares these universal teamwork principles to accelerate your team's ascent to the pinnacle of cohesion and success.

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