The shuttle Atlantis brought
seven astronauts, including Robert Satcher ’86, PhD ’93, an orthopedic surgeon who
tweeted through space, back to Earth on Nov. 27 after a 11-day NASA mission to
stock the International Space Station (ISS) with spare parts — some 15 tons of them.
The mission’s third and final
spacewalk was delayed a bit when a valve on the drink bag in Satcher’s suit
came off. Fortunately, the value was securely reattached before Satcher, who
holds an MIT doctorate in chemical engineering, and his partner left the ISS to
help install an enormous oxygen tank.
leaky value might have caused blobs of water to float into his eyes during the
spacewalk, which helped to prepare ISS for the arrival of a new module on February’s
Satcher was the tweeter-on-board
for the mission. You can read his posts and see updates with video and other resources
from the mission on two Twitter accounts: Astro_Bones focuses on the overall
mission and ZeroG_MD recounts medical updates.
See photos by and of Satcher on Slice
of MIT plus links to other MIT astronaut coverage.
In an alumni profile, learn how
Satcher became an astronaut and how his orthopedic research background fits
in with NASA's high-priority research on microgravity and the musculoskeletal
What’s next for MIT astronauts? In
February, Nick Patrick SM ’90, PhD ’96 will launch on Space
Shuttle Mission STS-130 and will join Tim Creamer SM ’92 on ISS — the 13th time in history that
two or more MIT Astronauts are in space simultaneously. Read about their
mission on the MIT Club of South Texas MIT Astronauts web site or trace the history
of MIT alumni in space.