2006 MAPLD International Conference
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
with a session at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
September 26-28, 2006
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. He co-wrote the enjoyable and educational “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to NASA (Alpha, 2002). Tom's latest book is "Sky Walking: An Astronaut's Memoir" (Smithsonian Books, Feb. 2006), an inside-the-spacesuit story of flying the shuttle and building the International Space Station. Dr. Jones currently resides near Washington D.C. with his family.
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