Kjell Norwood Lindgren, born on January 23, 1973 in Taipei, Taiwan, is a NASA Astronaut selected in 2009 and a flight surgeon supporting space flight activities. In 2015, he will complete his first space flight as part of ISS Expeditions 44/45.
Born in Taiwan, Lindgren lived in the midwestern United States, but spent most of his childhood in England where he completed his early education and also completed his freshmen year, at Lakenheath High School. He then enrolled at Virginia’s Governor’s School at William and Mary College in the summer of 1990 and graduated from James W. Robinson Secondary School in Virginia in 1991. Lindgren received a Bachelor’s degrees in Biology with a minor in Mandarin Chinese from the US Air Force Academy in 1995. During his time at the Air Force Academy, Lindgren was part of the ‘Wings of Blue’ parachute team, serving as an instructor and jumpmaster. He also holds a Master’s in Cardiovascular Physiology from Colorado State University (1996) and a Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Colorado (2002).
He then completed a three-year residency in emergency medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he also completed a chief resident year in 2005. Lindgren completed a National Library of Medicine Post-Doctoral Fellowship and Master of Health Informatics at the University of Minnesota in 2006 ahead of a two-year residency in aerospace medicine. In 2007, Lindgren received a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Texas Medical Branch. As part of his masters studies, he researched cardiovascular countermeasures in space physiology at the NASA Ames Center.
Kjell Lindgren started working at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in 2007 as a Flight Surgeon in Space Shuttle and Space Station Mission operations. He supported ISS training operations in Star City, Russia as well as water survival training conducted in the Ukraine and Russia. He was the deputy crew surgeon for ISS Expedition 24 and Space Shuttle Mission STS-130.
In 2009, Kjell Lindgren was selected as one of 14 members of NASA’s 20th Astronaut Group. At the Johnson Space Center, he participated in two years of general training and evaluation. He finished basic training in 2011 and was certified as astronaut, entering the astronaut office in support of mission operations. He served as a Capcom in mission control and worked within the EVA branch. Lindgren was the lead Capcom for ISS Expedition 30. Initially, Lindgren was assigned to the Soyuz TMA-16M crew and ISS Expedition 43/44, but the decision to form a one-year crew for a long-duration mission to ISS bumped Lindgren from TMA-16M to the next mission. He was assigned to a spot on the ISS Expedition 44/45 prime crew in December 2012 together with Oleg Kononenko and Kimiya Yui.
Following the crew selection process, the three crew members began flight specific training. At the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Lindgren completed extensive Soyuz training, learning about the different systems and their functionality to prepare for his role as Soyuz Flight Engineer.
At the Johnson Space Center, he was familiarized with NASA Mission Operations and began extensive training for USOS operations including scientific activities, systems maintenance, emergency procedures and EVA operations. In Canada, at the Canadian Space Agency, he completed training for operations of Canadarm 2 and in Tsukuba, Japan, he trained for Kibo module operations. Columbus-specific training was completed in Europe. In January 2014, the three crew members were dispatched to a remote area in a forest near Moscow to undergo winter survival training for the event of an off-target Soyuz landing in case of emergency.
As part of their backup crew assignment, Kononenko, Yui and Lindgren underwent final training and examinations in Star City in October and November of 2014 in parallel with the Expedition 41/42 primary crew. They received excellent grades during testing that involved ISS Russian Segment operations and Soyuz simulations in nominal and contingency modes. They were present at the launch of Soyuz TMA-15M on November 23 after which they transitioned to the ISS backup crew, entering their final months of training for their specific flight assignments.
They completed another round of exams in April when their launch was still set for May 2015, again passing with good results. However, their launch was delayed by six weeks, allowing them to return to their home space agencies for continued training before re-starting final preparations for liftoff in July 2015.
Aboard Soyuz TMA-17M, Lindgren will serve as a Flight Engineers and he will do so as well during ISS Expedition 44 and 45. Kjell Lindgren is married to the former Kristiana Jones, they have three children. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, movies, photography, amateur astronomy, swimming, running and church activities.