A former surgeon who served with U.S. Army Special Forces, Colonel Andrew Morgan, blasted into space on Saturday, July 20, 2019. His launch on a space rocket took place on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing mission.
Andrew Morgan has an impressive background. He is a graduate of West Point, has served in Special Forces as well as other Army units, is an emergency medical physician, and now . . . an astronaut. He is the first Army Medical Corps officer to be selected as an astronaut. Morgan has served as a Special Forces battalion surgeon with the 3rd Special Forces Group and has more than 20 years of military service.
50 years ago today, July 20, 1969, United States astronauts landed on the moon for the first time. The event made astronaut Neil Armstrong famous for his comment upon stepping onto the moon’s surface – “One small leap for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Morgan and his fellow crewmates lifted off in Soyuz 59S (MS-13 rocket) from the Baikonur Cosmodrone in Kazakhstan on Saturday, July 20, 2019. He will serve as a flight engineer during his time at the International Space Station (ISS). This is his first space mission. His fellow crewmates come from Italy and Russia. A significant part of their mission will be to conduct scientific experiments.
Andrew Morgan has always searched for adventure. While attending West Point he was a competitive skydiver and a member of the West Point skydiving team that won a national collegiate title. He later would would spend time with the Army’s Golden Knights demonstration parachute team. He is also Special Operations Diving Medical Officer as well as a Military Flight Surgeon
In addition to his medical training Colonel Morgan has graduated from some special operations specialty schools including Ranger School, Combat Diver Qualification Course, Airborne and Freefall Parachutist courses, and other SOF-related courses.
As an emergency physician he is accustomed to wounds and injuries soldiers of the special operations community present. In addition, he has a sub-specialty certification in primary care sports medicine. He is a graduate of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Engineering at the United States Military Academy. He completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at the Madigan-University of Washington and a fellowship in Primary Care Sports Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, and other regions of the world.
Morgan began his astronaut training in August 2013. As a trainee, he attended the two-year technical training program at the Johnson Space Center in Texas. The training program is diverse: including language training (Russian), robotics, space walking, and flight training. Time was also spent at the Kennedy Space Center and Goddard Space Center.
The space mission will last at least six months but Morgan expects to be busy. He will be involved in a number of scientific experiments – some medically-focused and others associated with physical science, material science, and biological science. There is a bit of maintenance involved in keeping the space station running smoothly. And, of course, he will have ample time to practice his Russian language skills.
Astronaut Moments: Drew Morgan. Andrew Morgan talks about his path to becoming an astronaut. (NASA YouTube, July 18, 2019, 3 mins).
Newest Army Astronaut. Colonel Andrew Morgan is featured in this video where he talks about astronaut training and how a military career affects his family life. (DVIDS, July 15, 2019, 3 mins).
Apollo 11 Moonwalk. Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon. (Defense.gov, July 19, 2019, 2 mins.)
Photos: Courtesy of NASA and DoD.
NASA Biography for Andrew Morgan
The Pulse Blog, Uniformed Services University (USU), several 2019 articles.
Facebook, NASA Astronaut Andrew Morgan