Completed training at the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School in 1959.
Set world time-to-climb records in 1962 at 3,000 and 25,000 meter altitudes in the F-4 Phantom.
Served as Pilot of Gemini 3 where he and Gus Grissom (enshrined 1987) spent four hours and 53 minutes orbiting the earth.
Served as the Command Pilot of Gemini 10 in 1966. Less than six hours after the launching of the spacecraft, it rendezvoused and docked with an Agena Target Vehicle. The linked spacecraft orbited the earth for almost 39 hours.
Served as Command Module Pilot for Apollo 10.
Commanded Apollo 16 where his flight mates, Kenneth Mattingly and Charles Duke (enshrined 2019), collected almost 200 pounds of rock samples and drove over 27 kilometers in the lunar rover.
Served as the Spacecraft Commander during the first flight of the Columbia Space Shuttle in 1981. Columbia was the first manned spaceship to be flown into orbit without previous unmanned orbital testing and the first winged reentry vehicle to return from space to a runway landing.
Flew as Spacecraft Commander of STS-9, the first Spacelab mission, in 1983.
First person to fly in space six times.
Selected to be Chief of the Astronaut Office, with responsibility for the coordination, scheduling, and control of activities of the astronauts.