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Selected by NASA in January 1978, Gibson became an astronaut in August 1979. He flew a total of five missions: STS 41-B in 1984, STS 61-C in 1986, STS-27 in 1988, STS-47 in 1992 (the 50th Space Shuttle mission), and STS-71. He logged a total of 36½ days in space over the span of five flights. Gibson served as Chief of the Astronaut Office (December 1992 to September 1994) and as Deputy Director, Flight Crew Operations (March-November 1996). He now is a pilot for Southwest Airlines.