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1. skywalking1 - August 29, 2008

Biography: Thomas D. Jones, PhD

Thomas D. Jones, PhD is a veteran NASA astronaut, scientist, speaker, author, and consultant. He holds a doctorate in planetary sciences, and in more than eleven years with NASA, flew on four space shuttle missions to Earth orbit. On his last flight, Dr. Jones led three spacewalks to install the centerpiece of the International Space Station, the American Destiny laboratory. He has spent fifty-three days working and living in space.

Tom is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He piloted B-52D strategic bombers, studied asteroids for NASA, engineered intelligence-gathering systems for the CIA, and helped develop advanced mission concepts to explore the solar system prior to joining NASA’s astronaut corps.

Tom’s latest title is Planetology: Unlocking the Secrets of the Solar System (written with Ellen Stofan, PhD; National Geographic, 2008). His other 2008 book, Hell Hawks! (with Robert F. Dorr; Zenith Press), is a true story of an aerial band of brothers in WWII, and the top-selling title at the National Air & Space Museum. The Wall Street Journal named his Sky Walking: An Astronaut’s Memoir (Smithsonian-Collins, 2006) as one of its “Five Best” books about space. Tom writes frequently for Air & Space Smithsonian, Aerospace America, Popular Mechanics, and American Heritage magazines.

Dr. Jones’ awards include the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, four NASA Space Flight Medals, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, the NASA Exceptional Service Award, the NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal, Phi Beta Kappa, and the Air Force Commendation Medal. King’s College of Wilkes-Barre, Penn. awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2007.

Tom served on the NASA Advisory Council and is a board member of the Association of Space Explorers. As a senior research scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, he is currently active in asteroid exploration, planetary defense from asteroids, and in the debate over our nation’s space exploration policy.

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