Dr Chamitoff has logged over 183 days in space serving as Expedition 17–18 flight engineer and science officer. He shared the Space Station with his NASA colleague Michael Fincke and with the space tourist Richard Garriot. As a fan of magic, he and the video game-developer Garriot filmed the first magic show and the first science-fiction movie made in space.
He holds a PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics. Dr Chamitoff has published numerous papers on aircraft and spacecraft guidance and control, trajectory optimisation and Mars mission design.