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Mike Gernhardt

Dr. Michael L Gernhardt received his Ph.D. in bioengineering from University of Pennsylvania in 1991. He is currently at NASA JSC developing concepts for human exploration missions to the moons of Mars as an intermediate step for eventual human exploration and pioneering of the surface of Mars. A four flight NASA astronaut veteran, Dr. Gernhardt has logged over 43 days in space, including four spacewalks totaling 23 hours and 16 minutes. Dr. Gernhardt later led and participated in several NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) missions from 2001 to 2012. In 1988 he founded Oceaneering Space Systems, a company formed to transfer sub sea technology and operational experience to the ISS program. From 1988 until his selection by NASA in 1992, he worked on the development of new astronaut and robot-compatible tools for performing maintenance on Space Station Freedom. He also worked on the development of new portable life support systems and decompression procedures for extravehicular activity. From 1984 to 1988, Dr. Gernhardt worked as Manager and then Vice President of Special Projects for Oceaneering International. During this time he led the development of a telerobotic system for sub sea platform cleaning and inspection as well as a variety of new diver and robot tools. From 1977 to 1984, Dr. Gernhardt worked as a professional deep sea diver and project engineer on a variety of sub sea oil field construction and repair projects around the world. During his diving career Gernhardt attended graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania and developed a new theoretical decompression model based on tissue gas bubble dynamics. He then participated in the development and field implementation of a variety of new decompression tables. He has logged over 700 deep sea dives.