James Reilly was destined to explore our earth, our oceans and beyond. The lifelong adventurer was active in ROTC as a teen growing up in the neighborhood, earning a U.S. Navy scholarship that sent him to the University of Texas where he got an undergraduate and master’s degree in geosciences. From there, he has scoured the earth and even left its atmosphere as a NASA astronaut.
Three things to know:
He was selected to serve as a research scientist in Antarctica when he was a graduate student, specializing in stable isotope geochronology (whatever that means). It earned him the Antarctic Service Medal in 1978.
As part of his work for as an oil and gas exploration geologist for Enserch Exploration Inc., Reilly spent approximately 22 days in submarines operated by Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution and the U.S. Navy.
After years of applying, he was selected by NASA in 1994 to serve as a mission specialist, leading to three trips outside the earth, including a visit to the International Space Station.