During his 17-year career with the NASA Astronaut Corps, Dr. Parazynski flew on five shuttle missions and conducted seven spacewalks, traveling over 23 million miles in orbit, spending more than eight weeks in space and 47 hours outside the vehicle. As a shuttle crew member, he served as crew medical officer, shuttle flight engineer, lead spacewalker, assembly and maintenance worker, operator of robotic arms and more.
Since leaving the space agency in 2008, he has worked in senior leadership positions in both the aerospace and medical research industries, and has been instrumental in the development of numerous medical devices and other technologies for supporting life in extreme environments.
Parazynski currently serves as the chief medical officer and director of The University of Texas Medical Branch’s Center for Polar Medical Operations in Galveston. In this role, he oversees the medical screening and on-ice care of the National Science Foundation’s U.S. Antarctic Program.