First Orthopedic Surgeon in Space

Robert Satcher Jr, MD, PhD, made history last Tuesday when he lifted off in the space shuttle Atlantis, headed to the International Space Station. Dr. Satcher will be the first orthopaedic surgeon to orbit the earth and is one of only 23 US physicians who have become astronauts.

Dr. Satcher is serving as the flight crew medical officer and as a mission specialist on the 11-day assignment. On 2 space walks, he will install an oxygen tank in the space station and perform maintenance work on the station’s Canadian-made robotic arms, which he will get to maneuver.

Dr. Satcher has an impressive CV: an MD from Harvard University, a PhD in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and orthopaedic surgery residency training at the University of California–San Francisco, followed by fellowships in research and musculoskeletal oncology.

Congratulations, Dr. Satcher!

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