Martin J. Fettman

Martin Joseph Fettman was selected as a Payload Specialist candidate by NASA in December of 1991 because of his life’s dedication to pathology. He continues today with his dedication by bringing awareness to science in space to many public forums.

Fettman was born in Brooklyn, New York on December 31, 1965. He attended Midwood High School in Brooklyn, New York and graduated in 1973. He went on to further his academics at Cornell University. His focus was animal nutrition and in 1976, he received his Bachelor of Science in that specialty. He remained at Cornell until he received his Doctorate in veterinary medicine and Master of Science in nutrition in 1980. Fettman then moved over to Colorado State University and completed yet another Doctorate in 1982. This degree was in physiology. After the summation of his academics, he received board certification in Veterinary Clinical Pathology in 1984.

Fettman dedicated much of his life to learning and has completed the circle by spending life after school teaching. He had his first faculty appointment at Colorado State University from 1982-1986 in the pathology department of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the university. Able to handle to a dual role, in 1983 he also was appointed the same role in the physiology department at the university. His duties included teaching classes, researching data to attain the most current data, and clinical duties. Some areas of focus for Fettman included nutritional and metabolic diseases and physiological biochemistry of energy, electrolyte, and fluid metabolism. His growing knowledge and mastery of the sciences earned him a promotion to Associate Professor in 1986. In 1988, he took over duties of the section chief of Clinical Pathology in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at the university.

Fettman decided to take a year sabbatical from Colorado State. Of course he did not take a break from learning. He chose to spend his time in South Australia in search of more knowledge through a hands-on experience as a visiting Professor of Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. He spent his time in the Gastroenterology Unit studying the biochemical epidemiology of human colorectal cancer.

After his return to Colorado State University, Fettman was chosen for the Mark L. Morris Chair in Clinical Nutrition as well as joint appointment in Clinical Sciences in 1991. He was appointed full Professor of Pathology in 1992. His dedication was validated with awards such as the George H. Glover distinguished faculty member and Sigma Xi scientist at Colorado State, the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Lecturer at Cornell University and a Bard College Distinguished Scientist.

All of these accomplishments led to Fettman’s selection by NASA as a payload specialist candidate in December of 1991. His selection was affirmed in his appointment as the prime payload specialist for Spacelab Life Sciences-2 in October of 1992. He was a crew member of mission STS-58 in October of 1993 aboard Space Shuttle Colombia. This mission lasted fourteen days and twelve minutes in which many experiments were completed and recorded successfully within the SpaceLab.

Fettman has shared his knowledge of and experience with space life science research through over seventy public appearances. The audiences range from schools and universities to subject-related organizations. He remains a member of NASA Advisory Council Life and Biomedical Sciences and Applications Advisory Subcommittee as well as a vital faculty member of the Colorado State University.

Image Caption: Astronaut Martin Joseph Fettman. Credit: NASA/Wikipedia