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October 31, 2001

Kirsten Larson
Headquarters, Washington DC

Doug Peterson
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX

Release: J01-99

Astronauts End Space Flight Careers for Earth-Bound Pursuits

Several astronauts are concluding their successful spaceflight careers for new pursuits on Earth. The group of space travelers takes a wealth of space station and shuttle experience into new fields of pursuit. Thomas D. Jones (Ph.D.), Peter J.K. "Jeff" Wisoff (Ph.D.), Tamara E. "Tammy" Jernigan (Ph.D.), Jean-Loup Chrétien (Brigadier-Gen., French Air Force), and Mark C. Lee (Col., USAF, Ret.) recently left the astronaut corps.

“I wish these astronauts all the best as they move into new pursuits,” said director of Flight Crew Operations, Steve Hawley. “We will miss their extensive experience. Each one has made important contributions to our successful human space flight programs during recent years.”

Jones joined NASA in 1990 and, following initial training, he flew on STS-59 in 1994, STS-68 in late 1994, STS-80 in 1996, and STS-98 in 2001. During his last mission he conducted three spacewalks totaling over 19 hours to complete installation of the U.S. laboratory "Destiny" at the International Space Station. Jones is pursuing a career as a writer and consultant.

Wisoff was selected to become an astronaut by NASA in 1990. He served on four missions, STS-57 in 1993, STS-68 in 1994, STS-81 to Mir in 1997, and STS-92 in 2000. Wisoff helped assemble the U.S. station with two spacewalks during STS-92 to attach and test ISS exterior equipment. Wisoff joins the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in northern California.

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Jernigan came to NASA in 1985 and flew on five shuttle missions beginning with STS-40 in 1991. Her flights included STS-52 in 1992, STS-67 in 1995, and STS-80 in 1996. Jernigan's last flight, STS-96 in 1999, performed the first docking with the International Space Station where she performed a spacewalk of nearly eight hours to attach equipment to the ISS exterior. She will work at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in northern California.

Chrétien, a long-time space traveler with a unique career, flew on STS-86 in 1997 to the Mir, which he'd visited nearly 10 years earlier in 1988 as a crew member on a 24-day Russian mission. Chretien's first space mission was Soyuz T-6 in 1982 when he was the first Western non-American to go into space.

Lee was selected as an astronaut in 1984 and flew four missions, STS-30 in 1989, STS-47 in 1992, STS-64 in 1994, and STS-82 in 1997. During his last mission, he conducted three space walks totaling over 19 hours to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

For complete biographical information on these astronauts, or any other astronaut, see the NASA internet biography home page at


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