Marcos Gabriel Berríos, Ph.D., Major, U.S. Air Force
Marcos Gabriel Berríos was selected by NASA to join the 2021 Astronaut Candidate Class. He reports for duty in January 2022. The Air Force test pilot holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and a doctorate in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University, Palo Alto, California. An experienced pilot, Berríos has accumulated more than 110 combat missions and 1,300 hours of flight time in more than 21 different aircraft.
Born in Fort Campbell, Tennessee, Berríos considers Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, to be his hometown. Berríos enjoys hiking, strength training, and swimming.
Graduated from Antilles High School in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. Earned a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Earned a master of science in mechanical engineering and a doctorate in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University, Palo Alto, California. Graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland.
Berríos began his career as an aerospace engineer for the U.S. Army Aviation Development Directorate at Moffett Field, California, in 2011. His research focused on understanding the dynamic behavior of using two helicopters to carry a single external load and the associated flight control challenges. In addition, he led research efforts on developing flying qualities requirements and flight control methodologies for unmanned aerial systems. Berríos leveraged his operational flying experience to serve as a research pilot, evaluating flight symbology and displays, advanced flight control concepts, and pilot-vehicle interfaces.
He began his operational flying career in 2011 as a National Guardsman and HH-60G Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) helicopter pilot assigned to the 129th Rescue Squadron of the California Air National Guard at Moffett Field. He deployed to Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa in support of Operation Enduring Freedom where he conducted casualty evacuation and special operations missions. In support of the State of California, he conducted overwater and mountainous rescues, aerial firefighting, and counter drug operations.
In 2019, Berríos reported for duty at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland. Upon graduation, he was assigned to the CSAR Combined Test Force at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada as a developmental test pilot. Berríos executed a variety of flight test activities that included avionics, defensive systems, synthetic vision technologies, and electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles.
Berríos originally received his commission through the Air National Guard in 2008. After completing Initial Flight School, he reported to Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas and later Fort Rucker in Alabama for U.S. Air Force Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training. He earned his wings in 2010 and reported to Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico for training in the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter.
At the time of his selection as a NASA astronaut candidate, Berríos served as the commander of Detachment 1, 413th Flight Test Squadron and deputy director of the CSAR Combined Task Force. He has accumulated more than 110 combat missions and 1,300 hours of flight time in more than 21 different aircraft.
Berríos was selected as a NASA astronaut candidate in December 2021 and reported for duty in January 2022 to complete two years of initial astronaut training.
Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters; Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with gold border; Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster; Gates Millennium Scholar, NASA Group Achievement Award.
Vertical Flight Society, U.S. Navy Test Pilot School Alumni Association.