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Sierra Space bolsters Human Spaceflight Center and Astronaut Training Academy Team

Sierra Space, a leading space company building the first end-to-end business and technology platform in space, today announced Thomas H. Marshburn, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer for the company’s Human Spaceflight Center and Astronaut Training Academy. Dr. Marshburn will report to Sierra Space President and former NASA astronaut, Dr. Janet Kavandi.

Thomas H. Marshburn, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for Sierra Space Human Spaceflight Center and Astronaut Training Academy

Dr. Marshburn, also a veteran astronaut, will be based out of Sierra Space’s facilities located at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. He is a veteran of three spaceflights, STS-127, Expedition 34/35, and Expedition 66/67 as part of Crew-3. Prior to becoming an astronaut, Marshburn served as a Flight Surgeon, assigned to Space Shuttle Medical Operations and to the joint U.S./Russian Space Program. Dr. Mashburn went on to become the Medical Operations Lead for the International Space Station.


“Today is a landmark for Sierra Space, as we welcome Tom to the team,” said Sierra Space President Dr. Janet Kavandi. “With the development of the Sierra Space Human Spaceflight Center and Astronaut Training Academy, we are changing the landscape of the commercial space economy. Tom will play a pivotal role in shaping Sierra Space’s bold and ambitious plans. We look forward to seeing all the contributions that his expertise, capabilities and strengths as a physician and veteran leader will provide Sierra Space and the future astronauts we will train.”


Marshburn served as pilot of the NASA SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station (ISS), which launched on November 10, 2021. He also served as a flight engineer on Expedition 66 and commander of Expedition 67 during that mission. Returning on May 6, 2022, the international crew of four spent 177 days in orbit.


“I am thrilled to join Sierra Space in this important role with the Human Spaceflight Center,” added Marshburn. “I look forward to creating and developing the rules, regulations and training that will ensure Sierra Space properly equips the future astronaut corps with the tools to succeed as the company expands humanity’s reach into space with the launch of the Dream Chaser spaceplane and Orbital Reef space station.”


Marshburn received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Davidson College, North Carolina, in 1982; a Masters in Engineering Physics from the University of Virginia in 1984; a Doctorate of Medicine degree from Wake Forest University in 1989; and a Masters in Medical Science from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in 1997.


Sierra Space is building the world’s first commercial space platform, enabling a vibrant new space economy where companies in multiple industries can develop their next breakthrough products and services in the unique environment of space, delivering the discoveries of tomorrow to benefit life on Earth. The company’s new Human Spaceflight Center and Astronaut Training Academy will recruit, train and prepare the future astronaut corps required for the developing commercial space economy.

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