- American - Retired
- United States Air Force
Colonel Gary Eugene Payton, USAF, (born June 20, 1948) is an American former astronaut. Payton flew on the STS-51-C mission aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in January 1985 which launched and returned to land at the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida. STS-51C was the first dedicated Space Shuttle Department of Defense mission. Payton traveled over 1.2 million miles in 48 Earth orbits, and logged more than 73 hours in space.