Scott Parazynski, MD
- Former Astronaut, Physician, & Everest Mountaineer
- Flew 5 Space Shuttle Missions and conducted 7 spacewalks (EVAs)
- Filmed on Discovery Channel's 3rd season of: "Everest: Beyond the Limit"
Dr. Parazynski has spoken all over the world about the rigors, risks and rewards of exploration in extreme environments, deriving important lessons in teamwork, risk management and leadership under the most demanding circumstances, on or off the planet. Dr. Scott Parazynski has lived and traveled all over the world, spending many of his grade schoolread the rest
Dr. Parazynski has spoken all over the world about the rigors, risks and rewards of exploration in extreme environments, deriving important lessons in teamwork, risk management and leadership under the most demanding circumstances, on or off the planet. Among his many presentations, he has:
- Delivered hundreds of keynotes to corporate leaders, industry and scientific conventions, and major non-profit organizations
- Presented Medical Grand Rounds at some of the world’s most prestigious medical schools, hospitals and conferences
- Appeared on all major US broadcast networks as well as many overseas TV networks, discussing various aspects of the space program, the importance of exploration, STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and technological innovation
- Filmed as team physician and summit climber during Discovery Channel’s 3rd season of: “Everest: Beyond the Limit”
Dr. Scott Parazynski has lived and traveled all over the world, spending many of his grade school and high school years in places such as Dakar, Senegal; Beirut, Lebanon; Tehran, Iran; and Athens, Greece. A graduate of Stanford University and Stanford Medical School, he went on to train at Harvard and in Denver in preparation for a career in emergency medicine and trauma. Dr. Parazynski is also physiologist with expertise in human adaptation to stressful environments.
In 1992 he was selected to join NASA’s Astronaut Corps and eventually flew 5 Space Shuttle Missions and conducted 7 spacewalks (EVAs). In his 17 years as an Astronaut, he served in numerous senior leadership roles, including EVA Branch Chief and the Lead Astronaut for Space Shuttle Thermal Protection System Inspection & Repair (in the aftermath of the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy). Mission highlights include a global ozone mapping mission on STS-66; leading the first joint US-Russian spacewalk during STS-86 while docked to the Russian space station Mir; serving as Senator John Glenn’s crewmate and “personal physician” during STS-95; and conducting EVA assembly of the Canadian-built space station arm during STS-100.
In October 2007, Dr. Parazynski led the EVA team on STS-120, a highly complex space station assembly flight, during which he performed 4 EVAs. The fourth and final EVA is regarded by many as one of the most challenging and dangerous ever performed. During the EVA he was positioned by a 90-foot robotic boom farther than any orbiting astronaut had ever ventured from the safety of their airlock. During this EVA he had to repair a fully energized solar array wing. The tremendous coordinated effort in orbit and on the ground by Mission Control and other engineering experts has been likened to the Space Shuttle and Space Station era’s “Apollo 13 moment.”
All told, Dr. Parazynski has spent over 8 weeks in space with more than 47 hours outside on spacewalks. While he has traveled over 23 million miles in orbit he has yet to earn a single frequent flyer mile!
In addition to being a life-long SCUBA diver and accomplished mountaineer, Scott is also a commercial, instrument, multiengine and seaplane-rated pilot with over 2,500 flight hours. He began climbing in his teens, and has climbed in the Alaska Range, the Cascades, the Rockies, the Alps, the Andes and the Himalayas. On his second attempt to scale Mt. Everest, on May 20, 2009, he became the first astronaut to stand on top of the world. Additionally, as part of a NASA-sponsored expedition to the high Andes, he conducted a scientific dive in the summit caldera lake of 19,700-foot Licancabur volcano, the world’s highest lake.
He currently serves as Chief Medical Officer and Director of the UTMB Center for Polar Medical Operations, helping oversee all medical screening and healthcare delivery in Antarctica for the National Science Foundation. He serves on the Boards of Directors of several organizations and companies, as well as on the visiting or adjunct faculty at several universities around the world.
Dr. Parazynski has numerous publications in the field of space physiology, and has a particular expertise in human adaptation to stressful environments.
He is the recipient of a number of prestigious awards, including: five NASA Spaceflight Medals, two NASA Distinguished Service Medals, two NASA Exceptional Service Medals, two Vladimir Komarov Diplomas from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, two Flight Achievement Awards from the American Astronomical Association, the Aviation Week Laureate Award, the Ellis Island Family Heritage Award, Gold Medal from the American Institute of Polish Culture, the National Eagle Scout Association Outstanding Eagle Award, the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and the Lowell Thomas Award from the Explorers Club. Additionally, he a member of the Arkansas Aviation Hall of Fame and was awarded the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the Military University of Technology in Warsaw, Poland.read less
The only unattainable limits we face, are the ones we foolishly impose on ourselves.