Bob Hines was selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class. He reported to the Astronaut Office in August 2017. He has served more than 23 years in the United State Air Force (USAF) as an instructor pilot, fighter pilot, and a test pilot. Before his selection in 2017, he was serving as a Research Pilot at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. He has accumulated more than 4,000 hours of flight time in 50 different types of aircraft and has flown 76 combat missions in 3 different aircraft types while supporting contingency operations around the world. Hines served as the pilot on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station, which concluded on Oct. 14, 2022. He logged 170 days in space, overseeing the arrival of crew and cargo, maintaining the space station, and conducting science experiments of various disciplines.
Born January 11, 1975, in Fayetteville, North Carolina, he grew up moving many times throughout Pennsylvania including to State College, Lancaster, Pittsburgh, Mountaintop, and Hershey/Harrisburg. His wife, Kelli, is from Caledonia, Mississippi. The couple has three daughters. Bob’s father and step-mom, Robert, Sr., and Melody Hines and his mother and step-father, Lynne and Tom Swider, reside in Harrisburg.
Hines graduated from Crestwood High School in Mountaintop, Pennsylvania, in 1993. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering from Boston University (1997). Following graduation from U.S. Air Force (USAF) Test Pilot School (TPS) he was awarded a Master of Science in flight test engineering (2008). He went on to complete a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Alabama (2010). He graduated from the USAF Air Command & Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL (2010). Hines also is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Air War College, Maxwell AFB, AL (2020).
Upon graduation from Boston University, Bob worked as a telecommunications engineer at Fidelity Investments, Boston, MA. After being accepted to USAF Officer Training School, he received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in 1999. He went on to attend Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training at Columbus AFB, Mississippi. Upon completion of Pilot Training, he attended USAF Pilot Instructor Training and returned to Columbus AFB as a T-37 instructor pilot where he became a rare first-tour Evaluator Pilot. Bob’s next assignment was to fly the “Mighty” F-15E Strike Eagle. Following initial F-15E training at Seymour-Johnson Air Force Base, NC, Hines and his family moved to Royal Air Force (RAF) Lakenheath, United Kingdom where he flew missions throughout Europe supporting the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He also deployed to the Middle East and Africa in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
While at RAF Lakenheath, he was selected to attend the USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB, CA as part of Class 07B. Hines’ follow-on test assignment was to Eglin AFB, where he served as an F-15C/D/E Experimental Test Pilot. He was also selected to fly the U‑28 on an overseas deployment in support of Special Operations Forces. Hines went on to serve two assignments with the Air Force Reserves while acting as a Flight Test Pilot for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In the Reserves, he served as the Wing Plans Officer for the 147th Fighter Wing at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, Fort Worth, TX and the first F-15 Developmental Test Program Director with the 84th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Eglin AFB, FL where he continued to perform flight test on all models of the F-15.
In 2012, he was selected as a Research Pilot at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. In this role, he qualified as an instructor in T-38N. He also flew science missions in the WB-57 and the Gulfstream G-3 as well as Parabolic Missions in the C-9.
In 2017, he was selected as an astronaut candidate. Following ASCAN training, Hines was assigned to the Exploration Office where he served as the astronaut technical lead for Orion as well as the astronaut representative on the Orion Cockpit Working Group. Upon establishment of the Human Lander System Program, he served as a handling qualities and flight control specialist. He also assisted Human Landing Systems teams in cabin design and human factors assessments for the next generation of lunar landers.
Hines completed his first spaceflight as a mission specialist on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission, having logged a total of 170 days in space over his two increments, Expedition 67 and 68.
Following his spaceflight, Hines became the Lead for the Commercial Crew Program’s Joint Test Team and the Assistant to the Chief for Commercial Crew. In these roles, Hines is the Technical Authority leading astronaut development and testing of Boeing CST-100 Starliner, the SpaceX Crew Dragon, and any future human-rated spacecraft under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. This includes integration, design and testing with the International Space Station and testing in support of NASA’s Commercial Low Earth Orbit Development Program (CLDP). He also continues to support the Artemis program in various capacities such as conducting Manual Piloting tests on Orion and Lunar Payload Development.
Hines completed his first spaceflight as a mission specialist on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission (April 27 – Oct. 14, 2022), serving as flight engineer of Expedition 67 and 68 aboard the International Space Station. Hines logged a total of 170 days in space during the mission. He and his crewmates conducted hundreds of hours of science investigations and saw the arrival of five visiting vehicles to the space station, both crew and cargo. This was the fourth commercial crew rotation mission and the first flight of the Crew Dragon “Freedom” spacecraft.
NASA Stuart Present Flight Achievement Award, U.S. Air Force Bobby Bond Memorial Aviator Award, Meritorious Service Medal (2), Air Medal (2), Aerial Achievement Medal (2), Meritorious Unit Award, Outstanding Unit Award (12), Combat Readiness Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal and various other service awards.
Member of Society of Experimental Test Pilots and Member of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Astronaut Bob Hines (PDF 277 Kb)