Story Musgrave Profile

  • Musgrave is NASA's longest-serving astronaut and the specialist who repaired the Hubble Telescope.

  • In addition to clocking thousands of hours in outer space, Musgrave is a retired trauma surgeon, pilot, landscape architect, mechanic, concept artist, design professor, business owner, farmer, and father of seven.

  • Musgrave pulls lessons from his fascinating life to show audiences how they can integrate their talents and create opportunities to maximize their potential.
  • Dr. Story Musgrave’s varied career includes classified department of defense missions, thousands of hours in outer space, and seven graduate degrees. A maestro of multiple disciplines, Musgrave expands people’s perspectives on human potential by sharing the approaches he has used to build the adventure-filled life he wanted.

    Musgrave is perhaps best known for his 30 years of service as a NASA astronaut – the longest period of service in NASA history. His work repairing and saving the Hubble Space Telescope contributed to numerous scientific discoveries and the advancement of our knowledge of the universe as well as our own planet. Astronaut, however, is just one of the many job titles on Musgrave’s impressive resume: he has also been or currently is a trauma surgeon, mechanic, concept artist, farmer, business owner, design professor, pilot, and father of seven. He is working on ongoing projects designing human and robotic vehicles for space exploration. He also enjoys transforming Florida plots into ecological home sites dotted with palm trees and Bahia grasses.

    Musgrave credits his many accomplishments to his guiding philosophy of “being the best every minute of your life, for the fun of it.” He was born and raised on a small family farm in Massachusetts, where he learned to survive in the woods and fix and drive a tractor before the age of thirteen. Although he failed to graduate from high school, he trail blazed his own path to success, serving with the U.S. Marines in Korea and pursuing any opportunity he had to apply and advance his talents. Both a mathematical genius and creative artist, Musgrave is uniquely positioned to speak on a wide range of topics including vision, leadership, motivation, safety, quality, innovation, creativity, design, simplicity, beauty, and ecology.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio
        • Story Musgrave was born in 1935 on a dairy farm in Stockbridge, MA. He was in the forests alone at 3 and by 5 floated his homebuilt rafts on the rivers. He rode combines at 5, drove trucks and tractors at 10 and when alone in remote fields, repaired them by 13.

      Story never finished school, ran off to Korea with the U.S. Marines where he was an aircraft electrician and an engine mechanic.

      He started flying with the Marines and over the next 55 years accumulated 18,000 hours in over 160 aircraft. He is a parachutist with over 800 freefalls.

      He has 7 graduate degrees in math, computers, chemistry, medicine, physiology, literature and psychology. He has been awarded 20 honorary doctorates. He was a part-time trauma surgeon during his 30 year astronaut career.

      Story was an NASA astronaut for over 30 years and flew on six spaceflights. He performed the first shuttle spacewalk on Challenger′s first flight, was a pilot on an astronomy mission, conducted two classified DOD missions, was the lead spacewalker on the Hubble Telescope repair mission and on his last flight, he operated an electronic chip manufacturing satellite on Columbia.

      Today he operates a palm farm in Orlando, FL, a production company in Sydney and a sculpture company in Burbank, CA. He is also a landscape architect, a concept artist with Walt Disney Imagineering, an innovator with Applied Minds Inc. and a professor of design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.

      Story also performs multimedia presentations on topics such as vision, leadership, motivation, safety, quality, innovation, creativity, design, simplicity, beauty and ecology.

      He has 7 beautiful children: Lorelei, Scott, Holly, Todd, Jeff, Lane and Story; 3 beautiful grandchildren, and a beautiful wife Amanda.

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    Rating Entries

    Story was my guest speaker at the crane certification institute 2 years in a row.

    Fantastic presentation


      Story was very well received. People were impressed by his resume and experience, and definitely understood his message as it was extremely relatable and utilized the same “language.” Story himself was a wonderful man. So positive and happy. A great person to be around!
      Pacific Gas and Electric
      (Event booked by

      Thank you so much for recommending Story for our Houston event – Story was fascinating, moving and motivating and someone that will not be forgotten! He stayed in constant communication with Howard and myself, keeping us posted to his location and providing contact information as we approached the event date. It was a huge success!
      Shearman & Sterling LLP
      (Event booked by

      Story’s speech/presentation was great. He was very generous with his time (arriving early and staying late), seemed genuinely interested in our company and what we were doing and everyone really enjoy him.

      Siemens Energy, Inc.
      (Event booked by

      Today, we cannot meet Columbus, Edison, Newton or Socrates, great men of our past. Just the same, we cannot meet or speak with Flash Gordon, Han Solo, Will Robinson or even Captain Kirk. But, you now have a unique opportunity to meet all of these people and more in a real life hero, a rare genius that has changed the world for us all and made all of our lives richer and more rewarding.

      Dr. Story Musgrave might be known as the astronaut with the most missions, the longest service and the specialist who repaired and saved the Hubble Space Telescope. But, in public speaking, it is his many other identities and accomplishments that come together in concert and he shines as a true performance artist. It’s a special opportunity to meet a technician, master mechanic, electrician, programmer and mathematician. How many of us work a lifetime to achieve competency in one domain? With seven graduate degrees in business, literature, biophysics, medicine and more, he personifies contrast, diversity and integration. He is both a surgeon and a photographer; a jet pilot and a Disney Studios advisor.

      While he has more hours than any other human flying above the earth in a T-38 jet, his work on the ground provides a profound insight into the infinite beauty of mother earth. He is a landscaper and terraformer solely responsible for developing and producing the rare red palm tree. It may seem like a contradiction to find the scientist and astronaut working as a horticulturist and farmer. How Story integrates these personas is the real story. Do not miss any opportunity to hear how these contrasts are unified as he expands our minds, rallies our ambition, refines our appreciation of life and defines our place on earth and in the universe. (From Dr. Jerry Galloway)

      What an inspiration! The presentation given by Dr. Story Musgrave was truly a lifetime experience. The messages of life were beyond anything I have ever read, heard, or thought of myself. Story’s intriguing presentation captures the audience, generating emotional and an enlightening response from the crowd. Story has a magnetic personality that draws you to an interest in his lifes’ accomplishments, and then implements the wisdom into each that we all have opportunities to accomplish things as well.

      Thank you Story, for sharing time out of your magnificent life with our Chamber of Commerce membership as well as our school aged students. You have encouraged a tremendous amount of people. I have received many testimonials from those in attendance praising your presentation and words of wisdom. The most impressive ones for me come from our teenaged students. You really make a larger impact on the lives of so many people than what you probably realize. Also, congratulations to you Story, for the opportunity to be living such a fulfilling, interesting and noble life. You created successful opportunities for yourself through your determination and intelligence and are very much deserving of any past and future awards and recognitions. I have no doubts that you still have many more accomplishments coming to you in your lifetime. Thanks again for the inspiration Dr. Musgrave… are truly one of a kind.
      –Penny Thompson, Monticello/Wayne County Chamber of Commerce

      Thank you for touching my life, my heart and my soul with your beautiful lecture. Meeting you last night at the Cernan Earth and Space Center was an honor and privilege that I will never forget for as long as I walk upon mother earth. You are an extraordinary, talented, gifted and compassionate human being. Mere words could never adequately express how deeply your lecture inspired and affected me.

      Thank you so much for that life-long motivation that I found when I listened to you during Space Camp at Huntsville Alabama.

      Thank you so much for taking your time to share your story and inspirations with my students. You had many life lessons for them and I think they can apply at least some of these to their own lives. The students that I have spoken to after the presentation were inspired.

      Your career has inspired me to follow suit and join the elite group of people who can say they have been to space and helped mankind because of it.

      It was terrific getting to hear about your many activities and achievements in space, and your reflections on the different perspectives you can realize from allowing yourself to take in fully the awesome experience of leaving the earth′s atmosphere – being one of the first few human beings to attain the heady role of “astronaut”. I could have listened to you speak for many more hours, and probably days, weeks, months….

      You are an inspiration to me because my coming into the world and youthful days were bound in poverty and irregularities. After seeing what you have done with your unlimited mind makes me believe that I can be a modest success in my life if I learn as you have to access the boundless areas our collective (generation to generation) learning and achievement capabilities. You are a major success and in my mind, a true American hero.

      I would like to express my sincere thanks to you for addressing our group and for sharing yourself with us. I was very moved by your forthright approach to life and by your amazing story about how you have lived your life. I am sure that many people have said this to you before, but I really felt a connection to everything you said and perhaps that is why I found it so moving. I am currently reading your biography and I find it to be inspirational for my own life. Your strength of character is evident in every page of the book. Meeting you has had a profound effect on my life and I am very grateful for having had the opportunity.

      Thank you for the presentation. It was inspiring and thought provoking. I makes me think about my own teaching and wonder if I am truly a mentor to each of my students. You said so many things that have caused me to reflect on my own beliefs and thoughts. Thank you for that.

      I attended to Space Camp for Educators in Huntsville, AL. I had the blessing and privilege to be part of your “The Beauty of the Cosmos” presentation′s audience. I just want to express my deepest gratitude to you for sharing your amazing achievements, marvelous experiences, and philosophy with all of us. It was an honor to meet you. I am extremely impressed by your strength, extraordinary intelligence, achievements, character, personality, spirituality, but most of all for your incredible capability to inspire every person that gets to know you. I promise you I will climb every mountain as read in the autograph you signed for me.

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