US Astronaut goes to work in Sierra Space

US astronaut Tom Marshburn resigns from NASA, where he has worked for 28 years. He goes to work at Sierra Space, where he will train people flying to the commercial space station.

Tom Marshburn on his last flight. Source:

Tom Marshburn retires from NASA

American astronaut Tom Marshburn is leaving NASA and moving to the private company Sierra Space. He has worked for the American Space Agency for the last 28 years and during this time he has spent a total of 337 days in orbit.

He began his career as a doctor who dealt with the health of astronauts during flights. It was in this capacity that he participated in the Shuttle–Mir program in the late 1990s. However, after 10 years of work, he decided to become a professional himself, flying into space.

Marshburn visited the International Space Station three times. For the first time he flew there in 2009 on a shuttle, then in 2012-13 he was taken there by Soyuz, and finally, in 2021-2022, the astronaut got to space on a SpaceX spacecraft. Thus, he flew on three different types of spacecraft.

Sierra Space and its space plans

Now Marshburn will need all the experience in space in Sierra Space. There he will train astronauts and will work as a doctor again. They will be preparing for a flight to the space station, which the company is building with the support of NASA.

Actually, Sierra Space is currently working on two interrelated projects that Marshburn will be able to join. The first is actually a large multi-module station Orbital Reef. NASA has already allocated USD 415 million for its construction.

The second project involves the creation of a Dream Chaser spaceplane. Its main task will be related to the maintenance of Orbital Reef. However, even before that, it will be used to transport cargo to the International Space Station, which will be used at least until 2030.

Tom Marshburn is not the first astronaut to move from NASA to private companies. Recently, this practice has become common. Recently, Peggy Whitson and Michael Lopez-Alegria moved to Axiom Space, which is developing an alternative version of a private space station.

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