Catalyst Summer 2014 CoverCatalyst Magazine

Read Catalyst, our free publication for alumni and friends of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and the Wake Forest School of Medicine.






Alumni News

Flight Engineer Marshburn Tweets from Space Station

Tom Marshburn

The specialty of Thomas H. Marshburn, MD '89, is listed as emergency medicine. He is definitely not tending to ankle sprains in the suburbs, though: One of his recent Twitter comments came from high above planet Earth: "Yes, the Cupola provides our widest view of the world. Very popular place on the Station when we're not working in the labs!"

For his latest mission, Marshburn went to Kazakhstan for the December 2012 launch, which was a joint venture among NASA and the Russian, Canadian, European and Japanese space agencies. The five-month mission delivered Flight Engineer Marshburn and a Canadian and a Russian astronaut to the space station, where they joined three crew members already aboard.

He and his colleagues performed a series of experiments and maintained the space station, which served as their quarters until returning home in May.

After working in Texas and Massachusetts as an emergency room physician, the Statesville, N.C., native joined NASA in 1994 as a flight surgeon.

His first space mission was aboard the shuttle Endeavor in July 2009. He had just graduated from NASA astronaut training, which included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station systems, physical training, T-38 flight training, and water and wilderness survival training.

Marshburn took a Wake Forest School of Medicine cap with him on the 2009 space trip. Photographs of the cap and the certificate of authenticity are in the school's Dorothy Carpenter Medical Archives.

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