Scott E. Parazynski, M.D. (b. July 28, 1961 in Little Rock, Arkansas) is a NASA astronaut.
Parazynski considers Palo Alto, California, and Evergreen, Colorado, to be his hometowns. He is 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 2000 flight hours in a variety of aircraft. As a mountaineer, his summits include Cerro Aconcagua (at 22,841 feet above sea level, the tallest mountain in the world outside of Asia) and 48 of Colorado's peaks over 14,000 feet in altitude.
Parazynski attended junior high school in Dakar, Senegal, and Beirut, Lebanon. He 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.
Parazynski is a member of the Aerospace Medical Association, the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology, the Wilderness Medical Society, the American Alpine Club, the Association of Space Explorers, the Experimental Aircraft Association, and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
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)
NASA Exceptional Service Medals (1998, 1999)
NASA Space Flight Medals (1994, 1997, 1998, 2001)
NASA Distinguished Service Medal (2002)
While in medical school, he competed on the United States Development Luge Team and was ranked among the top 10 competitors in the nation during the 1988 Olympic Trials. He also served as an Olympic Team Coach for the Philippines during the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, Canada.
While an undergraduate at Stanford University, Dr. Parazynski studied antigenic shift in African Sleeping Sickness, using sophisticated molecular biology 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 (ecology).
Selected as an astronaut in March 1992, Dr. Parazynski reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1992. He completed one year of training and evaluation, and was qualified as a mission specialist. Dr. Parazynski initially served as one of the crew representatives for extra-vehicular activity (EVA) in the Astronaut Office Mission Development Branch. Following his first flight, he was assigned as a backup for the third American long-duration stay aboard Russia's space station Mir, and was expected to serve as a prime crew member on a subsequent mission. He spent 5-months in training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Star City, Moscow, Russia.
In October 1995, when sitting-height parameters raised concerns about his fitting safely in the Soyuz spacecraft in the event of an emergency on-board the Mir station, he was deemed too tall for the mission and was withdrawn from Mir training. He has served as the Astronaut Office Operations Planning Branch crew representative for Space Shuttle, Space Station and Soyuz training, and also served as Deputy (Operations and Training) of the Astronaut Office ISS Branch. Most recently, he served as Chief of the Astronaut Office EVA Branch. A veteran of four space flights, STS-66 (1994), STS-86 (1997), STS-95 (1998), and STS-100 (2001), Dr. Parazynski has logged over 1,019 hours (6 weeks) in space, including 20 hours of EVA, and traveled over 17 million miles. Dr. Parazynski is assigned to the STS-118 mission, during which he will perform 3 spacewalks to continue International Space Station assembly. The mission will launch in 2004.
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-86 Atlantis (September 25 to October 6, 1997) was the seventh mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir. Highlights of the mission included the exchange of U.S. crew members Michael Foale and David Wolf, the transfer of 10,400 pounds of science and logistics, and the first Shuttle-based joint American-Russian spacewalk. Dr. Parazynski served as the flight engineer (MS2) during the flight, and was also the navigator during the Mir rendezvous. Dr. Parazynski (EV1) and Russian cosmonaut Vladimir Titov performed a 5 hour, 1 minute spacewalk during which they retrieved four experiment packages first deployed during the STS-76 Shuttle-Mir docking mission. They also deployed the Spektr Solar Array Cap, which was designed to be used in a future Mir spacewalk to seal a leak in the Spektr module's damaged hull. Other objectives of EVA included the evaluation of common EVA tools to be used by astronauts wearing either Russian or American-made spacesuits, and a systems flight test of the Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER). The Space Shuttle Atlantis circled the earth 169 times and traveled over 4.2 million miles during its 259-hour and 21-minute flight, landing at the Kennedy Space Center.
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.