Thomas D. Jones, Ph.D.
Thomas D. Jones, Ph.D., is a scientist, author, pilot, and former NASA astronaut. 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.
After graduation from the Air Force Academy, Tom piloted B-52D strategic bombers, studied asteroids for NASA, engineered intelligence-gathering systems for the CIA, and as a NASA contractor, developed 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), and Sky Walking: An Astronaut's Memoir. He 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. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Kings College, Wilkes-Barre, PA, 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 appears frequently on television news, commenting on science and spaceflight. His current interests are planetary defense, asteroid and space resources, and the future direction of American space exploration.