Born in Vancouver, Washington, Barratt considers Camas, Washington, to be his home town. He is married to Dr. Michelle Lynne Barratt (née Sasynuik); they have five children. His father and mother, Joseph and Donna Barratt, reside in Camas. His personal and recreational interests include family and church activities, writing, sailing, and boat restoration and maintenance.
Barratt graduated from Camas High School in 1977. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology, going on to earn an M.D. from Northwestern University in 1985. He completed a three-year residency in internal medicine at Northwestern University in 1988; his Chief Residency year was at Veterans Administration Lakeside Hospital in Chicago in 1989. In 1991, Barratt completed both a residency and a Master of Science in aerospace medicine jointly run by Wright State University, NASA, and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He is board certified in Internal and Aerospace Medicine.
Barratt holds a private pilot's license and has been qualified on NASA's T-38 Talons.
Barratt first worked at NASA Johnson Space Center in May 1991, employed as aerospace project physician with KRUG Life Sciences. From May 1991 to July 1992, he served on the Health Maintenance Facility Project as manager of the Hyperbaric and Respiratory Subsystems for the defunct Space Station Freedom project. In July 1992 he was assigned as NASA aviation medical examiner working in Space Shuttle Medical Operations.
In July 1993 Barratt was one of a team of the first three Americans invited to witness the recovery of a Soyuz spacecraft. Asked to help evaluate the potential of the Soyuz as a Crew Return Vehicle for a NASA space station, he flew with the recovery team that picked up the crew of Soyuz TM-16 after they landed in Kazakhstan. (The Soyuz was ultimately chosen as the return vehicle for the International Space Station).
In January 1994 he was assigned to the Shuttle-Mir Program. He spent over 12 months working and training in the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center at Star City as one of two flight surgeons supporting Norman Thagard and his backup Bonnie Dunbar, a role that often included negotiations to resolve different approaches to medicine by NASA and Russian doctors. Barratt and fellow flight surgeon David Ward developed a Mir Supplemental Medical Kit to augment Russian equipment on Mir and developed a program of training for its use, taught to both NASA astronauts and Russian cosmonauts.
Thagard launched to Mir aboard Soyuz TM-21 and returned to earth on STS-71; during the 115-day flight, Barratt and Ward effectively served as a CAPCOMs for the NASA Shuttle-Mir team in addition to their duties as flight surgeons.
From July 1995 through July 1998, Barratt served as Medical Operations Lead for the International Space Station (ISS). A frequent traveler to Russia, he worked with counterparts at Star City and the Institute of Biomedical Problems as well as other ISS partner centers, developing medical procedures, training and equipment for ISS. Barratt served as lead crew surgeon for ISS Expedition 1 from July 1998 until selected as an astronaut candidate. He serves as Associate Editor for Space Medicine for the journal Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, and is senior editor of the textbook ‘Principles of Clinical Medicine for Space Flight’.
Selected as a Mission Specialist by NASA in July 2000, Barratt reported for training in August 2000. Following the completion of two years of training and evaluation, he was assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Station Operations Branch. In October 2004, Barratt served as an aquanaut during the NEEMO 7 mission aboard the Aquarius underwater laboratory, living and working underwater for eleven days.
Barratt was assigned to the Expedition 19 crew in February 2008 and launched to the International Space Station in March 2009 aboard Soyuz TMA-14. His stay aboard the ISS continued through until the end of Expedition 20 in October 2009.
Barratt flew as a Mission Specialist on STS-133, the final flight of Space Shuttle Discovery.
Aerospace Medical Association; American College of Physicians; Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society; American Institute for the Advancement of Science.
Barratt has received several awards and honors:Hubertus Strughold Award, 2011
W. Randolph Lovelace Award (1998), Society of NASA Flight Surgeons
Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Foundation Nominee (1998)
Melbourne W. Boynton Award (1995), American Astronautical Society
USAF Flight Surgeons Julian Ward Award (1992)
Wright State University Outstanding Graduate Student, Aerospace Medicine (1991)
Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL (1988)
Phi Beta Kappa, University of Washington, Seattle, WA (1981)