M. Lanier "Sonny" Carter

NASA Astronaut

1969C 1973M 1974MR

M. Lanier Soccer player, physician, test pilot, and astronaut, M. Lanier "Sonny" Carter was instrumental in developing many of the space-walking techniques used by astronauts.

Carter graduated from medical school at Emory in 1973 and completed an internal medicine internship at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. In 1974, he entered the U.S. Navy and completed flight surgeon school in Pensacola, Florida. Selected by NASA, Carter became an astronaut in 1985, qualified for assignment as a mission specialist on Space Shuttle flight crews. He died in a commercial airline crash in 1991.

Sonny Carter Elementary School in Macon, Georgia; the Sonny Carter Training Center at NASA's Houston Space Center; and Johnson Space Center's Neutral Buoyancy Lab are named in his honor. At Emory, the Sonny Carter Scholarship memorializes him.