Ron Garan Profile
Seeing our planet from space puts humanity's common challenges into perspective. Ron Garan is a retired NASA astronaut who has traveled 71,075,867 miles in 2,842 orbits of our planet during more than 178 days in space and 27 hours and 3 minutes of EVA during four spacewalks.
Ron is also a highly decorated fighter pilot, test pilot, explorer, entrepreneur and humanitarian who believes that appropriately designed and targeted social enterprise can solve many of the problems facing our world.
Ron flew on both the US Space Shuttle and the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. He is also an aquanaut and participated in the joint NASA-NOAA, NEEMO-9 mission - an exploration research mission held in Aquarius, the world's only undersea research laboratory. During this mission, he and the crew spent 18 continuous days living and working on the ocean floor.
Ron Garan's last NASA assignment was with the administration's Open Innovation Initiative to increase transparency, collaboration and innovation within government. In this capacity, Ron has been involved in many global mass collaboration and citizen science programs.
Prior to retiring from the US government, Ron was on assignment with the US Agency for International Development (USAID). At USAID he led an effort called Unity Node to develop a universal, open source, collaborative platform to enable humanitarian organizations around the world to work together toward common goals and assisted USAID to establish an Applied Research for Development Program.
Ron Garan has a sizeable social media following (3.5 million) and is included on Google Plus' "Top 25 Followed" and Kred's "Top 1% Influencer" lists. Ron has been effectively using these platforms to tell the success story of the US and International Space Programs and started an initiative called Fragile Oasis to using his "Orbital Perspective" to inspire people to improve life on Earth.
Outside of his work with the US government, Ron Garan is also a serial entrepreneur who has founded multiple business enterprises and social-impact focused start-ups including Manna Energy Ltd., which was created to leverage the $120B/year Carbon Market to finance humanitarian projects in developing countries. Manna Energy is the first organization in the world to successfully register a United Nations Clean Development Mechanism carbon credit program for water treatment. Manna also developed, under contract with a partner organization, the largest water treatment intervention conducted by a private organization – a four-million person program operating in Kenya, completely funded by carbon credits.
Ron represented Manna Energy Ltd as one of ten global innovators in the field of water purification during the 2009 Launch-Water forum (sponsored by NASA, US State Dept., USAID, and Nike) and is now a member of the Launch Council.
Ron has also been selected as the technical and scientific advisor to the Social Business movement and its founder Nobel Peace Laureate Mohammad Yunus.