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Scott Parazynski

speaker location icon Houston, Texas

One of the world’s most experienced spacewalkers; performed one of the most dangerous and challenging in history while repairing a live solar array

First (and only) astronaut to successfully scale Mt. Everest; featured as Team Physician during the Discovery Channel’s “Everest: Beyond the Limit” Season 3

Inventor, technology pioneer and business executive (aerospace, medicine and education)

In 1992 Dr. Scott Parazynski, a physician, was selected to join NASA’s Astronaut Corps. In his 17 years as an astronaut he flew 5 Space Shuttle Missions, conducted 7 spacewalks (EVAs), and served in numerous senior leadership roles. 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.

On his second attempt to scale Mt. Everest, on May 20, 2009, Scott 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 serves on the Boards of Directors of several organisations and companies, as well as on the visiting or adjunct faculty at several universities around the world. Currently, Scott is Director and Chief Medical Officer of UTMB’s Center for Polar Medical Operations in Galveston, where he oversees the medical screening and on-ice care of the National Science Foundation’s US Antarctic Program.

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, and two Vladimir Komarov Diplomas from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. 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.

Our Comment

"Dr. Parazynski has spoken all over the world about the rigours, 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. He also shares his unique insights on the importance of exploration, STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and technological innovation."

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