Michael R. Barratt, M.D., a 1991 graduate of Wright State's Aerospace Medicine Residency program will begin training this month, along with 16 other members (14 men and 3 women) of the NASA Astronaut Class of 2000.
Selected through a highly competitive process that evaluates education, training, experience, and other unique qualifications, these men and women will eventually fill seven pilot and ten mission specialist positions. During the next year these candidates will receive technical assignments and continue training in preparation for space flight assignment.
The 2000 class marks the 18th time NASA has opened its ranks to new applicants since the "Original 7" were announced in 1959. They will join the 164 astronauts listed on active duty, according to the NASA announcement.
"Barratt, while completing the aerospace medicine residency program, conducted his master's degree research project under water at Wright State University's swimming pool. Barratt simulated the research subjects being weightless. Using an apparatus that would require tightening of various parts, he discovered how the body needed to have 'fastening areas,' as in weightlessness when extra-vehicular activities are performed in space to build a space station," says Stanley Mohler, M.D., director of the School of Medicine's aerospace medicine program. Mohler says that, "Already, Dr. Barratt was giving attention to space station activities."
Barratt is currently working with International Space Station Medical Operations for NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. His position there as lead of medical operations has taken him to Russia to help monitor space-station-related activities where Dr. Barratt was flight surgeon for the MIR missions.
Wright State's Aerospace Medicine Residency Program is the longest running civilian program in the United States. It has been acknowledged as a leader in aerospace medicine world-wide. In addition to students from the U.S., the program has attracted students from 18 foreign countries. Graduates of the program hold responsible aerospace positions in all parts of the world.