Mike Gernhardt, from Diver to Astronaut

Mike Gernhardt, from Diver to Astronaut

Mike Gernhardt has achieved more than most people can even imagine. From plunging into hundreds of meters below the sea level to having spent months in space, Mike has seen and done it all.

Gernhardt has been serving as an astronaut at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center for the past 23 years. Before joining NASA in 1992, he worked as a deep sea diver and a project manager at the subsea oil fields.

He started scuba diving at the age of 10 and claims the ocean to be the first love of his life. Talking about his early life, he explains, “As an undergrad, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do in grad school, and I had been working summers in college as a scuba diving instructor and boat captain, and then as an apprentice for a deep sea diver”

In 1977, Gernhardt started out his diving career. He logged over 700 deep sea dives throughout his career. At the same time, he attended the Vanderbilt University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in physics in 1978.

He earned a Master of Science degree in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983. His quest for knowledge pushed him further and he received a doctorate in bioengineering in 1991.

A year after receiving his Doctorate degree, Gernhardt started working for NASA. He embarked on his first expedition in space in 1995. Since then, he has made four space journeys.

Recalling his first spacewalk, he said, “The first time you look back at Earth, it just takes your breath away and it’s hard to believe that you’re out in space and floating above the clouds.”

Although Gernhardt is working as a full-time astronaut, his love for the ocean still remains. He is likely to attend Oceanology International 2020 in London. Oceanology International is a much-anticipated event among the marine science and ocean technology communities. Gernhardt will be a valuable addition to this event.

Gernhardt’s life is truly inspiring and his recounts are mesmerizing. Speaking to youngsters, Gerhardt advised, “Get as much education as you can, study hard, work hard and do things that you like!”


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