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Jonathan Clark, M.D.

Jonathan Clark, M.D.

Red Bull Stratos Medical Director

Red Bull Stratos Medical Director Jonathan Clark is one of the most distinguished names in aerospace medicine.


A six-time Space Shuttle crew surgeon who served in top roles at Johnson Space Center, Jon is currently an assistant professor of Neurology and Space Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and teaches operational space medicine at BCM's Center for Space Medicine. He is also a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and serves as space medicine advisor for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) at Baylor College of Medicine, as well as chief medical officer for Excalibur Almaz, an orbital commercial space company. Jon's particular focus is neurologic effects caused by extreme environments and crew survival in space, which is why he was keen to take on the duties of Red Bull Stratos medical director.

Jon's service as Space Shuttle crew surgeon was part of an eight-year tenure at NASA, where he was also chief of the Medical Operations Branch and an FAA senior aviation medical examiner for the NASA JSC Flight Medicine Clinic. He additionally served as a Department of Defense Space Shuttle Support flight surgeon covering two shuttle flights.

Prior to joining NASA, Jon devoted 26 years to active service with the U.S. Navy, during which he headed the Spatial Orientation Systems Department at the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory in Pensacola; the Aeromedical Department at the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One in Yuma, Arizona; and the Neurology Division and Hyperbaric Medicine at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute. He qualified as a Naval flight officer, Naval flight surgeon, Navy diver and Special Forces freefall parachutist.

Jon accepted this vital role on the Red Bull Stratos team not only to protect Felix Baumgartner from the physical effects of high altitude, but also in the hope of establishing new protocols for the benefit of future aviators and astronauts. Jon says that the career achievement he's most proud of is flying medical missions in combat with the U.S. Marine Corps during Operation Desert Storm. "Serving my country and saving people at the same time was the highlight of my life," he comments, "and I think that what we achieve with Red Bull Stratos will be a close second."