Mike is a NASA astronaut and physician with a particular interest in adaptive physiology and human performance associated with weightlessness and fractional gravity, along with intersections with other extreme environments.
After completing residency training in internal and aerospace medicine, Mike came to the NASA Johnson Space Center in 1991 and never left. Serving as a project physician and flight surgeon, he worked fairly extensively with Russian space medical counterparts at the Institute of Biomedical Problems in Moscow and the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Star City during the course of the US/Russian Shuttle-Mir and developing International Space Station (ISS) programs. Barratt served as lead crew surgeon for the first NASA / Mir flight and for several Space Shuttle flights and contributed heavily to the development of the onboard medical system for ISS.
Barratt was selected into the NASA astronaut class of 2000 and has continued to train, work medical and life sciences issues for the crew office, and occasionally fly in space since then. He served as ISS flight engineer on Expeditions 19 and 20 commuting to the station on the Soyuz TMA-14 vehicle and spending 199 days in orbit.
During this time the station transitioned from three to a six-person permanent crew, received two visiting Space Shuttles and the first Japanese HTV cargo vehicle. Barratt performed two spacewalks in the Russian Orlan suit and participated in a vigorous onboard science and construction program. He also flew as a crewmember of the STS-133 mission in 2011, the final flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery, serving as lead robotics and rendezvous officer.
Except for pauses as deputy chief of the astronaut office and program manager of NASA’s Human Research Program, Barratt continues to train as an active member of the astronaut corps and works heavily with the Commercial Crew and Orion Programs in applying medical standards to new vehicle design and operations.
Mike has served for many years as the associate editor for space medicine for the journal Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance and is lead editor for the textbook ‘Principles of Clinical Medicine for Space Flight’. He lectures frequently in space medicine for introductory and formal training programs in the US and elsewhere, shamelessly hoping to focus new enthusiasm and talent toward the fledgeling prince of medical specialities.