NASA Shuttle Astronaut (Ret.)">
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 is Hell Hawks! (with Robert F. Dorr; Zenith Press), a true story of an aerial band of brothers in WWII. 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 Exceptional Service Award, the NASA Outstanding Leadership 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 is a member of the NASA Advisory Council, serves on the board of the Association of Space Explorers, and is a regular on-air contributor to television spaceflight coverage. He is currently active in the debate over our nation's space exploration policy.