PERSONAL DATA: Born July 28, 1961, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Considers Little Rock, Palo Alto, California, and Evergreen, Colorado, to be his hometowns. Married to the former Gail Marie Vozzella. They have two children. He enjoys mountaineering, rock climbing, flying, SCUBA diving, skiing, travel, woodworking, and nature photography. A commercial, multi-engine, seaplane and instrument-rated pilot, Dr. Parazynski has logged over 2500 flight hours in a variety of aircraft. As a mountaineer, he has scaled major mountains in the Alaska Range, the Cascades, the Rockies and the Andes. His summits include Cerro Aconcagua (at 22,841 feet above sea level, the tallest mountain in the world outside of Asia) and 53 of Colorado's peaks over 14,000 feet in altitude. In May of 2008, as a result of a serious back injury, he was forced to turn back at 24,500 feet on a summit bid on Mount Everest.
EDUCATION: Attended junior high school in Dakar, Senegal, and Beirut, Lebanon. Attended high school at the Tehran American School, Iran, and the American Community School, Athens, Greece, graduating in 1979. He received a bachelor of science degree in biology from Stanford University in 1983, continuing on to graduate with honors from Stanford Medical School in 1989. He served his medical internship at the Brigham and Women's Hospital of Harvard Medical School (1990). He had completed 22 months of a residency program in emergency medicine in Denver, Colorado when selected to the Astronaut Corps.
SPECIAL HONORS: National Institutes of Health Predoctoral Training Award in Cancer Biology (1983); Rhodes Scholarship finalist (1984); NASA Graduate Student Researcher's Award (1988); Stanford Medical Scholars Program (1988); Research Honors Award from Stanford Medical School (1989); NASA-Ames Certificate of Recognition (1990); Wilderness Medical Society Research Award (1991); Space Station Team Excellence Award (1996); Vladimir Komarov Diploma from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (1995, 1999); NASA Exceptional Service Medals (1998, 1999); NASA Space Flight Medals (1994, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2007); NASA Distinguished Service Medal (2002); Ellis Island Family Heritage Award (2005); Flight Achievement Award from the American Astronomical Association (1998, 2008); Aviation Week Laureate Award (2008); Lowell Thomas Award from the Explorers Club (2008); Randolph C. Lovelace Award from the Society of NASA Flight Surgeons (2008); Arkansas Aviation Hall of Fame (2008).
EXPERIENCE: While an undergraduate at Stanford University, Dr. Parazynski studied antigenic variation in African Sleeping Sickness, using sophisticated molecular biological techniques. While in medical school, he was awarded a NASA Graduate Student Fellowship and conducted research at NASA-Ames Research Center on fluid shifts that occur during human space flight. Additionally, he has been involved in the design of several exercise devices that are being developed for long-duration space flight, and has conducted research on high-altitude acclimatization. Dr. Parazynski has numerous publications in the field of space physiology, and has a particular expertise in human adaptation to stressful environments.
SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: The STS-66 Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science-3 (ATLAS-3) mission was launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on November 3, 1994, and returned to land at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on November 14, 1994. ATLAS-3 was part of an on-going program to determine the earth's energy balance and atmospheric change over an 11-year solar cycle, particularly with respect to humanity's impact on global-ozone distribution. Dr. Parazynski had responsibility for a number of on-orbit activities including operation of the ATLAS experiments and Spacelab Pallet, as well as several secondary experiments in the crew cabin. He and his crewmates also successfully evaluated the Interlimb Resistance Device, a free-floating exercise he developed to prevent musculoskeletal atrophy in microgravity. The Space Shuttle Atlantis circled the earth 175 times and traveled over 4.5 million miles during its 262-hour and 34-minute flight.
STS-95 Discovery (October 29 to November 7, 1998) was a 9-day mission during which the crew supported a variety of research payloads, including deployment of the Spartan solar-observing spacecraft and the testing of the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform. The crew also conducted investigations on the correlation between space flight and the aging process. Dr. Parazynski was the flight engineer (MS2) for the mission, as well as the navigator for the Spartan spacecraft rendezvous. During the flight, he also operated the Shuttle's robotic arm in support of the testing of several space-vision systems being considered for ISS assembly. In addition, he was responsible for monitoring several life sciences investigations, including those involving crewmate Senator John Glenn. The mission was accomplished in 134 earth orbits, traveling 3.6 million miles in 213-hours and 44-minutes.
STS-100 Endeavour (April 19 to May 1, 2001) was the 9th mission to the International Space Station (ISS) Alpha during which the crew successfully delivered and installed the Space Station "Canadarm2" robotic arm, to be used for all future Space Station assembly and maintenance tasks. Dr. Parazynski conducted two spacewalks with Canadian colleague Chris Hadfield to assemble and power the next generation robotic arm. Additionally, the pair installed a new UHF radio antenna for space-to-space communications during Space Shuttle rendezvous and ISS extravehicular activity. A critical on-orbit spare, a direct current switching unit, was also transferred to Alpha during the 14 hours and 50 minutes of EVA work. Also during the flight, Dr. Parazynski operated Endeavour's robotic arm to install, and later remove, the Italian-built "Raffaello" Multi-Purpose Logistics Module. Traveling 4.9 million miles in 283-hours and 30-minutes, the mission was accomplished in 186 earth orbits.
STS-120 Discovery (October 23-November 7, 2007) launched from and returned to land at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. During the mission, the Node 2 module named "Harmony" was delivered to the International Space Station. This element opened up the capability for future international laboratories to be added to the station. Parazynski served as EV1 (lead spacewalker) and accumulated over 27 EVA hours in 4 spacewalks. One of the major EVA mission objectives was the relocation of the P6 Solar Array from the top of the Z1 Truss to the end of the port side of the Integrated Truss Structure. During the IVA-commanded re-deploy of the solar array, several array panels snagged and were damaged, requiring an unplanned spacewalk to successfully repair the array. The mission was accomplished in 238 orbits, traveling 6.2 million miles in 15 days, 2 hours, and 23 minutes.