Michael Gallagher

Dr. Michael Gallagher was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada to a nurse and a geologist-turned renewable energy entrepreneur. His enthusiasm for space and desire to explore it first-hand crystallized after visiting a mock-up of the space shuttle at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago when he was six. After that, he was hooked. Michael obtained his NAUI Advanced SCUBA Diver’s license when he was thirteen. Later, he attended aviation space camps for two summers in Penhold, Alberta. He completed his solo flight at age sixteen. While not flying, he enjoyed acting and sea-rescue. He obtained his Canadian Private Pilot’s License when he was seventeen.

At Queen's University, he earned a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Life Sciences. To broaden his worldview, he took classes in economics and international business. He spent time at Herstmonceux Castle in England studying European art history, politics of the European Union, and British history. While at Queen's, he was president of the local chapter of AIESEC, an international student-run work exchange organization. These interests were complemented by his travels to over 30 countries, which included volunteering in Ghana and doing medical electives in both Brazil and Taiwan.

Michael completed his Doctor of Medicine at the University of Alberta. In his final year, he had the privilege of being selected for a Canadian Space Agency-sponsored aerospace medicine elective at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. This allowed him to be part of the medical triage forces during Space Shuttle Discovery’s launch and landing in April 2010. For his research there, he became a finalist for the Jeff Myers Young Investigator Award at the Aerospace Medicine Association’s 82nd Annual Scientific Meeting in Anchorage, Alaska. His rural family medicine residency was conducted in multiple communities throughout southern Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Recently, he accepted a position as the flight surgeon coordinator for The Mars Society, which runs Mars mission simulations in the Utah desert and Devon Island in northern Canada.

Currently, he practices family medicine in the province of Alberta. Rural medicine, to his mind, poses similar challenges to caring for people in space. In the future, he hopes to apply what he learns as an astronaut to care for patients in underserved areas worldwide. He enjoys running with his family, which has included 10km and half-marathon events. Michael also treasures gatherings with relatives where he can spend time with his siblings and cousins. Michael is an avid snow skier, water skier, windsurfer, hiker, cycler and SCUBA diver.

Through Astronauts4Hire, he looks forward to helping usher in the next era of space travel. Exploring this great frontier, according to Michael, will be instrumental in solving our great economic, social, and environmental challenges.