Michael S. Hopkins


As an engineer, test pilot, and astronaut, for his decorated service in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force, his contributions to the NASA space program, and his continued dedication to the University of Illinois.

NASA Astronaut

  • BS, Aerospace Engineering, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1991
  • MS, Aerospace Engineering, Stanford University, 1992

Michael S. Hopkins is commander on the Crew-1 SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience, which launched on November 15, 2020. He is also a flight engineer on the International Space Station for Expedition 64, his second long-duration space mission. Hopkins previously logged 166 days in space as a memberof the Expedition 37/38 crew.

Hopkins was commissioned as a second lieutenant for the United States Air Force in 1992, and was assigned to the Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he worked on advanced space system technologies. He completed flight testing engineering at USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB, and worked at the 418 Flight Test Squadron testing multiple aircrafts.

Hopkins pursued several international training opportunities throughout his career. In 1999 he moved to Cold Lake, Alberta, as an exchange officer with the Canadian Flight Test Center. Then after six months of language training at the Defense Language Institute in California he moved to Parm, Italy in 2003 to study political Science at the Università degli Studi di Parma.

In 2005, Hopkins was assigned to the United States Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office at the Pentagon, where he served as a project engineer and program manager. He was selected as a special assistant to the vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2008.

Hopkins’ selection as part of NASA’s 20th astronaut class in 2009 began his spaceflight career. Last year, he voluntarily transferred from the United States Air Force to the United States Space Force while working as a flight engineer for the International Space Station.

Throughout his academic and professional career, Hopkins has received many honors. He was named a Distinguished Graduate of the Reserve Officers Training Corps while a student at the University of Illinois, and a Distinguished Graduate and top flight test engineer in United States Air Force Test Pilot School, Class 96B. He was selected as an Olmsted Scholar by the George and Carol Olmsted Foundation, and awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Aerial Achievement Medal, two Air Force Commendation Medals and four Air Force Achievement Medals.

Hopkins was the captain of the Illinois football team and continues to stay engaged with the program. He is currently a member of the Aerospace Engineering Alumni Board and Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity.

Current as of March 2021