Michael Gernhardt

Expertise: NASA Astronaut, Manager of Environmental Physiology Laboratory and
Principle Investigator of Prebreath Reduction Program, Johnson Space Center
Affiliation: NASA JSC
Certification/Education: Ph.D. Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania
M.A.Sc. Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania
B.Sc. Physics, Vanderbilt University


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; lead an international research team in developing a new exercise prebreathe protocol that improved the safety and efficiency of space walks from the ISS. Gernhardt presently serves as a member of the astronaut office EVA branch, Project Scientist of the EVA Physiology System and Performance Project (EPSP), Manager of JSC’s Environmental Physiology Laboratory, and Project Manager of the Small Pressurize Rover project.

A four flight veteran, Dr. Gernhardt has logged over 43 days in space, including 4 spacewalks totaling 23 hours and 16 minutes. He was a mission specialist on STS-69 in 1995, STS-83 in 1997, STS-94 in 1997 and STS-104 in 2001. Additionally he was crewmember on the NEEMO (NASA Extreme Enviroment Mission Operations) One, and Commander of the NEEMO eight multi-day underwater missions. He also served as a submersible pilot on the Pavilion Lake Expedition focused on exploring a deep water lake in western Canada where unusual life forms called microbiolites have very recently been discovered.

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