Sierra Space Bolsters Human Spaceflight Center and Astronaut Training Academy Team

Hires Veteran NASA Astronaut and Former Head of ISS Medical Operations Dr. Tom Marshburn as Chief Medical Officer

LOUISVILLE, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sierra Space, a leading space company building the first end-to-end business and technology platform in space, today announced Thomas H. Marshburn, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer for the company’s Human Spaceflight Center and Astronaut Training Academy. Dr. Marshburn will report to Sierra Space President and former NASA astronaut, Dr. Janet Kavandi.

Dr. Marshburn, also a veteran astronaut, will be based out of Sierra Space’s facilities located at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. He is a veteran of three spaceflights, STS-127, Expedition 34/35, and Expedition 66/67 as part of Crew-3. Prior to becoming an astronaut, Marshburn served as a Flight Surgeon, assigned to Space Shuttle Medical Operations and to the joint U.S./Russian Space Program. Dr. Mashburn went on to become the Medical Operations Lead for the International Space Station.

“Today is a landmark for Sierra Space, as we welcome Tom to the team,” said Sierra Space President Dr. Janet Kavandi. “With the development of the Sierra Space Human Spaceflight Center and Astronaut Training Academy, we are changing the landscape of the commercial space economy. Tom will play a pivotal role in shaping Sierra Space’s bold and ambitious plans. We look forward to seeing all the contributions that his expertise, capabilities and strengths as a physician and veteran leader will provide Sierra Space and the future astronauts we will train.”

Marshburn served as pilot of the NASA SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station (ISS), which launched on November 10, 2021. He also served as a flight engineer on Expedition 66 and commander of Expedition 67 during that mission. Returning on May 6, 2022, the international crew of four spent 177 days in orbit.

“I am thrilled to join Sierra Space in this important role with the Human Spaceflight Center,” added Marshburn. “I look forward to creating and developing the rules, regulations and training that will ensure Sierra Space properly equips the future astronaut corps with the tools to succeed as the company expands humanity’s reach into space with the launch of the Dream Chaser spaceplane and Orbital Reef space station.”

Marshburn received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Davidson College, North Carolina, in 1982; a Masters in Engineering Physics from the University of Virginia in 1984; a Doctorate of Medicine degree from Wake Forest University in 1989; and a Masters in Medical Science from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in 1997.

Sierra Space is building the world’s first commercial space platform, enabling a vibrant new space economy where companies in multiple industries can develop their next breakthrough products and services in the unique environment of space, delivering the discoveries of tomorrow to benefit life on Earth. The company’s new Human Spaceflight Center and Astronaut Training Academy will recruit, train and prepare the future astronaut corps required for the developing commercial space economy.

About Sierra Space

Sierra Space (www.sierraspace.com) is a leading commercial space company at the forefront of innovation and the commercialization of space in the Orbital Age. Sierra Space is building platforms in space to benefit life on Earth. The company is in the latter stages of doubling its headcount, with large presences in Colorado, Florida and Wisconsin. Significant investors in Sierra Space include General Atlantic, Coatue, and Moore Strategic Ventures.

With more than 30 years and 500 missions of space flight heritage, Sierra Space is enabling the future of space transportation with Dream Chaser®, the world’s only winged commercial spaceplane. Under construction at its Colorado headquarters and expected to launch in 2023 on the first of a series of NASA missions to the International Space Station, Dream Chaser® can safely carry cargo – and eventually crew – to on-orbit destinations, returning to land on compatible commercial airport runways worldwide. The company is also establishing a Human Spaceflight Center and Astronaut Training Academy. Sierra Space is additionally building an array of in-space destinations for low-Earth orbit (LEO) commercialization including the LIFE™ (Large Integrated Flexible Environment) habitat at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a three-story commercial habitation and science platform designed for LEO. Both Dream Chaser and LIFE are central components to Orbital Reef, a mixed-use business park in LEO being developed by principal partners Sierra Space and Blue Origin, which is expected to be operational by the end of the decade.


Alex Walker

Sierra Space

(303) 803-2297


Eric Becker

ICR for Sierra Space

(303) 638-3469



Sign-up for the Collision Repair daily e-zine and never miss a story –  SUBSCRIBE NOW FOR FREE!

Related Posts