Dr. John Grunsfeld
Space Telescope Science Institute and
Former NASA Astronaut
Dr. Grunsfeld’s research has covered x-ray and gamma-ray astronomy, high-energy cosmic ray studies, and development of new detectors and instrumentation. He studied binary pulsars and energetic x-ray and gamma ray sources using the NASA Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, x-ray astronomy satellites, radio telescopes, and optical telescopes including the NASA Hubble Space Telescope. Dr. Grunsfeld has logged over 58 days in space, including 58 hours in 8 space walks. In the fifth and final Hubble servicing mission in 2009, he served as the lead spacewalker in charge of the spacewalking and Hubble activities. He performed 3 of the 5 spacewalks on this flight totaling almost 21 hours. For the first time on orbit 2 scientific instruments were surgically repaired in the telescope. The mission was accomplished in 12 days traveling 5,276,000 miles in 197 Earth orbits.
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"Grunsfeld appeared on the PBS NOVA episode "Deadly Ascent", which showed him climbing Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America, in June 2000. Grunsfeld, along with Dr. Howard Donner, (a consultant to NASA) conducted research into the effects of body temperature at high altitudes by using internal thermometers swallowed in pill form. He was able to climb to an altitude of 17,200 feet before acute altitude sickness forced him to turn back.
"In June 2004, Grunsfeld returned to McKinley while on vacation from NASA and successfully led a team that summitted. He is the only astronaut to have climbed all the way to the top of Mount McKinley."