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Robert Lee Satcher, Jr.
Robert Satcher.jpg
NASA Astronaut
Status Active
Born September 22, 1965 (1965-09-22) (age 44)
Hampton, Virginia
Other occupation Medical Doctor
Time in space 10d 19h 16m [1]
Selection 2004 NASA Group 19
Missions STS-129
Mission insignia Logo STS-129.jpg

Robert Lee Satcher, Jr. (born on September 22, 1965) is a physician, chemical engineer, and NASA astronaut.[2] He became the first orthopedic surgeon in space during STS-129.[3]



Born in Hampton, Virginia, Satcher graduated from Denmark-Olar High School in Denmark, SC (1982), and went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree and a Doctorate degree in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then went on to medical school at Harvard Medical School, and received his medical degree in 1994. Satcher did his internship, residency, and postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley from 1994-2000, and an orthopedic oncology fellowship at the University of Florida from 2000-2001.[2]

Prior to being accepted into the astronaut program by NASA, Satcher was the Assistant Professor at The Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Satcher also held appointments as an Attending Physician in Orthopaedic Surgery at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, specializing in Musculoskeletal Oncology; and an Adjuct Appointment in The Biomedical Engineering Department at Northwestern University School of Engineering.[2]

Satcher was also a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Advanced Medicine at Northwestern University. Satcher was also a Schweitzer Fellow at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, in Lambaréné, Gabon. Satcher's experience in engineering includes internships at DuPont in the Textile Fibers Research Group, and the Polymer Products Division.[2]

NASA career

Selected by NASA in May 2004, Satcher completed Astronaut Candidate Training in February, 2006. Satcher is currently assigned to the STS-129 crew as a Mission Specialist.

Awards and honors

Satcher was a National Merit Scholar, and received the Monsanto Award and the Albert G. Hill Award from MIT, fellowships from both the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and UNCF/Merck Research department, and is a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society.[2]


This article incorporates text in the public domain from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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