Press Release

Former Astronaut Scott Parazynski, MD Named Chair-Elect of Challenger Center’s Board of Directors

By SpaceRef Editor
November 8, 2009
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Former Astronaut Scott Parazynski, MD Named Chair-Elect of Challenger Center’s Board of Directors

Alexandria, Virginia – Challenger Center for Space Science Education announced today that former astronaut Scott Parazynski, MD has been named Chair-Elect of its Board of Directors. He will assume the role of the Chair of the Board in November 2010, succeeding Former Astronaut William F. Readdy.

“Scott is a top-notch leader and manager with a passion for education, and I look forward to working with him this year as he transitions to his next role as Chair of the Board,” said Chair of the Board William F. Readdy.

“I want to express my gratitude to the Challenger Center Board of Directors, and to Bill Readdy, for placing their confidence in me to take on this leadership role. I am looking forward to supporting Challenger Center and its network of 47 Challenger Learning Centers in their educational mission to inspire students to study science and engineering. I am excited about Challenger Center’s new initiatives to engage its millions of alumni and the general public in space and science programs,” said Parazynski.

Parazynski is a physician and physiologist with expertise in human adaptation to stressful environments. He was selected to NASA’s astronaut corps in 1992, and flew five Space Shuttle Missions and conducted seven spacewalks. He has spent more than eight weeks in space, and 47+ hours outside the vehicle on spacewalks. He has traveled more than 23 million miles in orbit. He is also an accomplished mountaineer, scuba diver, and pilot.

Earlier this year Parazynski became the first astronaut to climb to the summit of Mt. Everest. (online journal) He is currently Director of Business Development for Wyle’s Integrated Science and Engineering Group based in Houston, Texas

Parazynski received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Stanford University, continuing on to graduate with honors from Stanford Medical School. He served his medical internship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital of Harvard Medical School and had completed 22 months of a residency program in emergency medicine in Denver, Colorado when he was selected to the astronaut corps.

For a complete list of the Challenger Center Board of Directors, go to

Using space exploration as a theme and simulations as a vehicle, Challenger Center creates positive educational experiences that raise students’ expectations of success, fosters a long-term interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and inspires students to pursue studies and careers in these areas. To learn more, visit

Rob Cork, Director of Communications
+1 703-535-1361
Challenger Center for Space Science Education
300 N. Lee Street, Suite 301,
Alexandria, VA 22314

SpaceRef staff editor.