Flight surgeons support the health, safety and wellbeing of astronauts.
Flight surgeons are specialised doctors assigned to manage and oversee the health of aerospace personnel like astronauts or pilots. Mission crews have very specialised health and medical needs.
Space travel poses particular health hazards around weightlessness, travelling at speed and exposure to extra-planetary radiation, among other factors. Therefore, managing their health is not just about nutrition and exercise. It’s also about managing the challenges of living and working in these extreme conditions.
Flight Surgeons are among the most specialised doctors in the world. Even though Australia doesn't have its own astronaut program, flight surgeons are in demand in the aviation industry. As more players enter the aerospace field, these opportunities will grow.
Medical practitioners can become flight surgeons by completing training with the Australian College of Aerospace Medicine.
Degrees in the following study areas may also be relevant to becoming a flight surgeon:
- Biomedical Sciences.
A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in medicine. Visit individual university websites for more information.
The following universities offer undergraduate study options specifically related to the space industry which may be relevant:
- Swinburne University's Space Technology minor, which is available to undergraduate students in any degree.
Postgraduate degrees in medicine might also be relevant to becoming a space lawyer.
At the postgraduate level, the following course may be relevant to learning more about space medicine:
- The International Space University’s Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program. This program forms the first part of the University of South Australia’s Graduate Certificate of Space Studies.