Annual UND Space Studies conference to feature expert on crew health and Mars mission

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News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences


The annual University of North Dakota Space Studies Capstone Conference will feature Jonathan B. Clark, associate professor of neurology and space medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, on Thursday, May 15at 8 p.m. His presentation, "Crew Health Support for a Mars Fly By Mission: The Inspiration Mars Project," will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, James Buchli Room. The presentation is free and open to the public.

More about the topic:

This presentation will cover the human centric facets of launching a man and woman from Earth to deep space on a mission to fly by neighboring planets within a decade and return safely to Earth. The Inspiration Mars Project has enlisted a multidisciplinary and mult-institutional team to address the real threats to crew health and safety to inspire the next generation to continue space exploration beyond Low Earth Orbit. The Inspiration Mars Project is the first step to extend a continuous human presence beyond just one planet.

About the presenter:

Jonathan Clark, associate professor of neurology and space medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, is also the Space Medicine Advisor for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI). He is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston where he teaches at the Aerospace Medicine Residency.

Clark is a Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association. He was a Member of the NASA Spacecraft Survival Integrated Investigation Team from 2004 to 2007 and a Member of the NASA Constellation Program EVA Systems Standing Review Board from 2007 to 2010.

Clark worked at NASA from 1997 to 2005 and was a Space Shuttle Crew Surgeon on six shuttle missions and was Chief of the Medical Operations Branch. He was a DOD Space Shuttle Support Flight Surgeon covering two space shuttle flights and flew combat medical evacuation missions in Operation Desert Storm with the U.S. Marine Corps.

He was Medical Director of the Red Bull Stratos Project, a manned stratospheric balloon freefall parachute flight test program, which on 14 October 2012 successfully accomplished the highest stratospheric freefall parachute jump (highest exit altitude) from 127,852 feet, achieving human supersonic flight (Mach 1.25) or maximum vertical speed without a drogue chute at 843.6 miles per hour 1357.6 kilometers per hour.

About UND Space Studies:

The Department of Space Studies has approximately 25 M.S. students on campus and more than 100 students in the distance program. Nearly 700 Master of Science Degrees in Space Studies have been awarded since the program's inception in 1987. Space Studies graduates have careers in a variety of different space-related disciplines including government, business, science, law, medicine, education, military, and public relations.

The Department of Space Studies is also headquarters to two state-wide NASA funded programs - the ND NASA EPSCoR, which is aimed at enhancing NASA relevant research capabilities in the state and, North Dakota Space Grant Consortium, which promotes STEM education at college level in North Dakota through "hands on" student projects, and provides scholarships and fellowships for students, summer internships at NASA centers, and seed research.