NASA Office of Logic Design

NASA Office of Logic Design

A scientific study of the problems of digital engineering for space flight systems,
with a view to their practical solution.

2004 MAPLD International Conference Panel Session

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
Washington, D.C.

September 8-10, 2004

Dr. Tom Jones
Planetary Scientist, Author, and Former NASA Astronaut


During his 11-year career with NASA, Dr. Jones logged over 1,272 hours in space, including three space walks totaling over 19 hours. Dr. Jones was mission specialist and then payload commander on two 1994 space shuttle missions, STS-59 and STS-68, both flights of the Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-1 and SRL-2). These missions focused on Earth's ecosystem and geology, providing thousands of digital images aimed at tracking natural and man made change in our environment. Dr. Jones' next space flight was in late 1996 aboard STS-80. During this mission, he operated the shuttle's robot arm to release the Wake Shield science satellite, and later retrieved it from orbit. Dr. Jones' last flight was aboard Atlantis on STS-98 in February 2001. His crew delivered the U.S. Destiny Laboratory Module to the International Space Station (ISS), and he led three space walks on the flight to install and activate the laboratory. A Distinguished Graduate of the Air Force Academy, Dr. Jones served on active duty as an Air Force officer for 6 years. After pilot training in Oklahoma, he flew the B-52D Stratofortess, and led a combat crew of six. When he resigned as a Captain in 1983, he had logged over 2,000 hours in jets. Dr. Jones has also held key positions at the CIA's Office of Development and Engineering, and with Science Applications International Corporation, both in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Jones earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Basic Sciences from the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs in 1977, and a doctorate in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona in Tucson in 1988.

His special honors include the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Award, NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal.

Today, Dr. Jones is a popular author, consultant, and speaker with The Space Agency. He is passionate about sharing his space flight experiences and observations on the future direction of our nation in space. His latest book is "The Complete Idiot's Guide to NASA" (Alpha, 2002), and he is hard at work on "Space Station Odyssey," to be published in 2004 by Smithsonian Institution Press. Dr. Jones currently resides near Washington D.C. with his family.


Tom Jones grips a handrail on the Node 1 module as he transfers tools on the International Space Station during STS-98. At his left hip is a portable articulating foot restraint, used to provide stability during EVA assembly work. Above him, the ISS solar arrays stretch 240 feet from tip to tip. NASA photo by Marsha Ivins.Astronaut Thomas D. Jones assembling a breakfast burrito during STS-80.  He later went on to assemble the Destiny laboratory to ISS-Alpha during STS-98, during several spacewalks.  Note that Tom is having decaf with his breakfast.Tom Jones gets familiar with an M113 armored personnel carrier during countdown rehearsals near Launch Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center. The astronauts practice emergency escape procedures, including driving this armored vehicle, to prepare for possible launch pad emergencies and quick exit from the space shuttle.Astronaut Tom Jones practices bail-out and water survival techniques before his STS-59 launch in 1994. Wearing a helmet and Launch and Entry Suit (the pressure suit worn during shuttle ascents and re-entries), he and his crew prepare for emergency escape from the shuttle.


2004 MAPLD International Conference Panel Session
Why Is Space Exploration So Hard? -- The Roles of Man and Machine

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