National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058
NAME: Michael L. Gernhardt (Ph.D.)
- NASA Astronaut
- Born May 4, 1956, in Mansfield, Ohio. Single.
He enjoys running, swimming, flying, fishing, and scuba diving. His father,
George M. Gernhardt, resides in Marco Island, Florida. His mother, Suzanne C.
Winters, resides in Whitestone, Virginia.
- NASA Space Flight Medals (3); Exceptional Service
Medals (2); Exceptional Achievement Medal (1).
- Graduated from Malabar High School, Mansfield, Ohio, in 1974;
received a bachelor of science degree in physics from Vanderbilt University in 1978;
master of science degree and a doctorate in bioengineering from University of
Pennsylvania, in 1983 and 1991, respectively.
- American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
(AIAA); Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society; Sea Space Symposium; Aerospace
- From 1977 to 1984, Gernhardt worked as a professional deep
sea diver and project engineer on a variety of subsea oil field construction and
repair projects around the world. He has logged over 700 deep sea dives and has
experience in air, mixed gas, bounce bell and saturation diving. During his diving
career Gernhardt attended graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania and
developed a new theoretical decompression model based on tissue gas bubble dynamics.
He then participated in the development and field implementation of a variety of new
decompression tables. From 1984 to 1988, Gernhardt worked as Manager and then Vice
President of Special Projects for Oceaneering International. During this time he
led the development of a telerobotic system for subsea platform cleaning and
inspection as well as a variety of new diver and robot tools. In 1988 he founded
Oceaneering Space Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oceaneering International.
From 1988 until his selection by NASA in 1992, he worked on the development of
new astronaut and robot-compatible tools for performing maintenance on Space Station
Freedom. He also worked on the development of new portable life support systems and
decompression procedures for extravehicular activity.
- Dr. Gernhardt was selected by NASA in March 1992, and reported to the Johnson
Space Center in August 1992. Technical assignments to date include: flight software
verification in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL); development of
nitrox diving to support training for the Hubble Space Telescope repair and on a
variety of Space Station EVA developments; member of the astronaut support team
at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, responsible for Shuttle prelaunch vehicle checkout,
crew ingress/egress; spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) at Mission Control Center,
Houston, during various Shuttle missions; currently leading an international effort
to develop new prebreathe procedures for future spacewalks from an International
A three flight veteran, Dr. Gernhardt has logged over 931 hours
in space, including 6 hours and 46 minutes of EVA. He was a mission
STS-69 (September 7-18, 1995), STS-83 (April 4-8, 1997) and STS-94 (July 1-17, 1997).
Dr. Gernhardt is assigned to STS-101, where he will perform three spacewalks related to
the assembly of the International Space Station (ISS). Launch is targeted for
SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE:
- STS-69's prime objective
was the successful deployment and retrieval of a SPARTAN satellite and the Wake
Shield Facility (WSF). The WSF is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of using
this free-flying experiment to grow semiconductors, high temperature superconductors
and other materials using the ultra-high vacuum created behind the spacecraft near
the experiment package. Dr. Gernhardt was one of two astronauts to perform a
spacewalk to evaluate future Space Station tools and hardware, logging 6 hours and
46 minutes of EVA. Mission duration was 260 hours, 29 minutes, and 8 seconds,
traveling 4.5 million miles in 171 orbits of the Earth.
STS-83, the Microgravity Science Laboratory (MSL-1) Spacelab mission, was cut
short because of problems with one of the Shuttle's three fuel cell power
generation units. Mission duration was 95 hours and 12 minutes, traveling 1.5
million miles in 63 orbits of the Earth.
STS-94 was a re-flight of the
Microgravity Science Laboratory (MSL-1) Spacelab mission, and focused on materials
and combustion science research in microgravity. Mission duration was 376 hours
and 45 minutes, traveling 6.3 million miles in 251 orbits of the Earth.
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