Born in 1976, Christopher Beck was the only child of Marcus Beck, a US Marine Embassy Guard stationed at the US Embassy in Vienna, Austria, and Emily Beck, a nurse. He was born in Vienna, Austria but at age six moved to Hartford, CT when his father was reassigned.
He knew from a young age that he wanted to go to space and wanted to be a doctor. His first chance came when he was thirteen years old and was able to go to Space Camp. He was placed in a special group for advanced students. The group named themselves “Newton’s Nerds” and he met his best friend –even if communication was first by letters and phone, and then later emails– Jacob. The trip to Space Camp only made his dream of becoming a doctor in space more real.
Chris finish high school at age 16 and started college at Yale. He graduated cum laude from the Yale School of Medicine where he was the recipient of the Norma Bailey Berniker Prize (which is awarded to graduating students that best exemplify the disciplines and precepts of the Hippocratic Oath). He also has a Master’s degree in biomedical science. Once he completed Medical School, Chris joined the US Air Force and became part of the 99th Medical Group to focus on becoming a flight surgeon with hopes of joining NASA.
He was stationed at Mike O’Callaghan Military Medical Center on Nellis Air Force Base when he met Captain Janet Fraiser and his life changed when she offered him a job. The job, well, he was a doctor in space, just not how he originally pictured it.
His promotion to Captain came with reassignment to Atlantis. Plus, he’s a natural gene carrier which comes in handy.
While in the Air Force he has received the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal. The how and why he received those medals are still classified. Though the record does state he was injured on a mission.