The First Armenian In Space – James Philip Bagian

James Philip Bagian, MD, PE, (born 22 February 1952), is an Armenian-American engineer and a former NASA astronaut. During his career as an astronaut, he logged 337 hours of spaceflight, over two missions, STS-29 (in 1989) and STS-40 (in 1991). After leaving NASA in 1995, Bagian was elected as a member of both the National Academy of Engineering and of the Institute of Medicine. Bagian is currently the Director of the Center for Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety at the University of Michigan.

So far Bagian is the only Armenian to have been in space.

Bagian graduated from Central High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1969; he received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University in 1973, and a doctorate in medicine from Thomas Jefferson University in 1977.

Bagian became a NASA astronaut in July of the year 1980. He took part in both the planning and provision of emergency medical and rescue support for the first six Shuttle flights. He also served as the Astronaut Office Coordinator for Space Shuttle payload software and crew equipment, as well as supporting the development of a variety of payloads and participating in the verification of Space Shuttle flight software. In 1986, Dr. Bagian served as an investigator for the STS 51-L accident board. He was also responsible for the development program and implementation of the pressure suit used for crew escape and various other crew survival equipment to be used on future Shuttle missions and was in charge of shuttle search and rescue planning and implementation for the Astronaut Office. Dr. Bagian was a member of the NASA Headquarters Research Animal Holding Facility Review Board. He has authored numerous scientific papers in the fields of human factors, environmental and aerospace medicine. A veteran of two space flights, STS-29 in 1989 and STS-40 in 1991, Dr. Bagian has logged over 337 hours in space.



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