NASA Astronaut Michael Gernhardt Departs NASA

NASA Astronaut Michael Gernhardt Departs NASA

Jul 22, 2022 by PR Newswire

Key Facts

  • Prior to becoming an astronaut, Gernhardt was a professional deep-sea diver and founder of Oceaneering Space Systems, where he led the development of a variety of spacewalking tools, life support systems, and decompression procedures.
  • In my position as chief astronaut, I assigned him to lead the early assembly of the International Space Station, a role that continues to enable space station operations still decades later, and that led to an array of benefits for Earth and exploration," said NASA Associate Administrator Bob Cabana.
  • On July 20, 2001, during the STS-104 mission, Gernhardt and his crewmate NASA astronaut James Reilly, were the first crew members to use the exercise pre-breathing protocol, ushering in a new era of spacewalks from the station.
  • Gernhardt also was the principal investigator on the development and implementation of the "campout," or sleeping overnight in the airlock at lower pressure, the in-suit light exercise pre-breathing protocol, and the exploration atmosphere that uses a lower cabin pressure with higher oxygen concentration and an associated pre-breathing protocol that will facilitate spacewalks on the Moon and Mars.

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