Born on 7 July 1960 Ford is married and has two children. He holds a doctorate in astronautical engineering. He completed primary Air Force jet training in 1984. Ford trained in the F-15 Eagle and had assignments in Germany and Iceland between 1984 and 1989. After spending 1990 as a student at the United States Air Force Test Pilot School he flew flight test missions in the F-16 at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, from 1991-1994.
Following a three-year doctorate he was assigned to the Air Force Test Pilot School where he served as the Director of Plans and Programs, taught academics, and instructed students on flight test techniques. He is a certificated flight instructor in airplanes and gliders.
Selected as a pilot by NASA in July 2000, Ford has fulfilled various roles in NASA’s Astronaut Office including Director of Operations at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Star City, near Moscow, in 2004 and thereafter as Space Shuttle and ISS CapCom in the Mission Control Center, working the STS-115, STS-116, STS-117, STS-120, STS-122, and STS-123 Shuttle missions, as well as ISS Expedition Stage Operations.
STS-128 will be Ford’s first space mission.