Thomas D. Jones, PhD, is a scientist, author, pilot, and veteran NASA astronaut. In more than eleven years with NASA, he 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.
After graduation from the Air Force Academy, Tom piloted B-52D strategic bombers, earned a doctorate in planetary sciences from the University of Arizona, studied asteroids for NASA, engineered intelligence-gathering systems for the CIA, and helped NASA develop advanced mission concepts to explore the solar system.
Tom is the author of three recent space and aviation books: Planetology, (written with Ellen Stofan), Hell Hawks! The Untold Story of the American Fliers Who Savaged Hitler's Wehrmacht (with Robert F. Dorr), andSky Walking: An Astronaut's Memoir. The Wall Street Journal named Sky Walking one if its “Five Best” books on space. He writes frequently for Air & Space Smithsonian, Aerospace America, Popular Mechanics, andAmerican 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, the NASA Exceptional Public Service award, Phi Beta Kappa, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and Eagle Scout. The Main Belt asteroid 1082TomJones is named in his honor.
Tom served on the NASA Advisory Council, and is a board member of the Association of Space Explorers and the Astronauts Memorial Foundation. As a senior research scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, he focuses on the future direction of human space exploration, uses of asteroid and space resources, and planetary defense. He appears frequently on TV and radio with expert commentary on science and space flight.