Thomas D. Jones,PhD, is a veteran NASA astronaut, scientist, author, pilot, andspeaker. In more than eleven years with NASA, he flew on four space shuttle missions to Earth orbit. In 2001, Dr. Jones led three spacewalks to install the centerpiece of the International Space Station, the American Destiny laboratory. Hehas spent fifty-three days working and living in space.
A Distinguished Graduate of the Air Force Academy, Tom piloted B-52D strategic bombers, earned a doctorate in planetary sciences from the University of Arizona, studied asteroids and robotic exploration missions for NASA, and engineered intelligence-gathering systems for the CIA.
Tom is the author of seven space, aviation, and history books:Ask the Astronaut, Planetology, (written with Ellen Stofan), Hell Hawks! The Untold Story of the American Fliers Who Savaged Hitler's Wehrmacht(with Robert F. Dorr), and Sky Walking: An Astronaut's Memoir. Sky Walking was named by the Wall Street Journal as one if its “Five Best” books on space. His latest title is Space Shuttle Stories, appearing in October 2023 from Smithsonian Books.
Dr. Jones' aAAwards include the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, four NASA Space Flight Medals, the NASA Exceptional Service award, the NASA OutstandingLeadership Medal, the NASA Exceptional Public Service award, Phi Beta Kappa, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and Distinguished Eagle Scout. Asteroid 1082 TomJones is named in his honor. In 2018, Tom was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.
Tom served on the NASA Advisory Council and the boards of the Association of Space Explorers and the Astronauts Memorial Foundation. He consults on the future direction of human space exploration, uses of asteroid and space resources, and planetary defense. A frequent public speaker, he is often seen on-air delivering expert commentary on science and space flight.