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Meet NASA's Future Explorer - Thomas Marshburn
10.21.04
What's it like to wake up one morning and realize that you've been invited to explore the Universe? The members of the 2004 Astronaut Candidate Class have had several months to contemplate that question. Join us in this series of video interviews with eight members of the class and share in their excitement as they become part of NASA's vision for space exploration.

The 2004 Astronaut Candidate Class

Image above: The 11-member 2004 class of astronauts and three Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronauts. Pictured are (first row, left to right), Bobby Satcher, Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, Chris Cassidy, Ricky Arnold, Randy Bresnik and Tom Marshburn; (second row) Akihiko Hoshide, Shannon Walker, Joe Acaba, Jim Dutton , Shane Kimbrough, Satoshi Furukawa, Jose Hernandez and Naoko Yamazaki.


Thomas (Tom) Marshburn - Mission Specialist

Thomas H. (Tom) Marshburn poses with a T-38 jet trainer aircraft at Ellington Field
Dr. Marshburn is a medical doctor and worked at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston as a flight surgeon. Marshburn says his wife and 18-month-old daughter are excited about all of the adventures that await him.

Image to right: Tom Marshburn, one of six mission specialist candidates in NASA's 2004 Astronaut Candidate Class, is an avid mountain climber and a private pilot. Credit: NASA

When he was 19 years old, he backpacked all the way from Canada to Mexico. His trek took him along the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs along the backbone of the Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges.

"Now, I would be very excited to fly into space, particularly to the Moon or Mars -- or to be part of the planning process for those missions," he says.

An Interview with Astronaut Candidate Tom Marshburn:

Tom's wife also works for NASA, and he shared the news with her at work that he had been selected to join the 2004 Astronaut Candidate Class. Listen as he describes how he shared the news with the rest of his family.
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In this portion of the interview Tom remembers two college professors who had an impact on his academic career.
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Tom continues his dialogue about his college professors and how he was motivated to do his best because of their interest in him and his classmates.
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Tom is an avid hiker, and several times he has found himself in precariously dangerous situations. He describes two of those times and how he felt being isolated in unfamiliar terrain.
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Working at NASA as a doctor has given Tom a glimpse into the challenges of working in an extreme environment. He talks about how working as a team is important, whether it is on a climbing trip or working on a space mission.
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Thomas H. Marshburn during water survival training at Pensacola Naval Air Station
"I have never lost the joy in learning things. I consider that one of the best journeys there is now."
-- Tom Marshburn


Image to right: Tom Marshburn rehearses the landing portion of a parachute drop during water survival training at Pensacola Naval Air Station. Credit: NASA

Full Interview
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Astronaut Candidate Tom Marshburn
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