After a childhood being interested in reaching Earth’s orbit, one Brooke Army Medical Center physician is on track to become the first Army doctor to be sent into space.
Lt. Col. (Dr.) Andrew Morgan will be a part of Expedition 60/61, which is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station in July 2019, according to an Army article. Morgan’s assignment to the expedition was announced by NASA last week.
As a child living in San Antonio in the mid 1980’s, Morgan’s interest in space exploration was sparked by the space shuttle that would stop in San Antonio en route between Florida and California.
In June of 2013, Morgan was selected as an astronaut after a lengthy selection process, becoming the first Army Medical Corps officer to be selected as an astronaut. The selection process itself took more than a year and a half, and involved multiple interviews, medical and language aptitude testing.
Morgan was one of 120 candidates initially interviewed for the spot.
Following his selection, Morgan and his wife and four children moved to Houston, where Morgan would take part in a two-year training program at the Johnson Space Center.
The training program involved flight training, Russian language proficiency, extra-vehicular activity, robotics and space station systems and maintenance, T-38 flight training, and water and wilderness survival training. Following the conclusion of the program, Morgan was assigned to the Extravehicular Activity spacewalk and spacesuit/ Robotics branch.
Maj. Jasmin Moghbeli begins astronaut training in August.
While undergoing training, Morgan, a 1998 West Point graduate, also settled in at Brooke Army Medical Center in order to maintain his medical credentials.
Now that he has been officially assigned to a flight, Morgan will undergo a refresher course over the course of the next year to prepare him for the expedition next July.
He will travel to the ISS in a Russian Soyuz rocket and spacecraft alongside an Italian astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut. After boarding the ISS, he will work alongside fellow American astronaut Christina Koch and a Russian cosmonaut who are scheduled to launch to the ISS three months earlier than Morgan.