Thomas D. Jones

Visiting Senior Research Scientist

Dr. Thomas D. Jones is a veteran NASA astronaut, scientist, author, pilot, and speaker. In more than 11 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. He has spent 53 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. “Sky Walking: An Astronaut’s Memoir “was named by the Wall Street Journal as one if its “Five Best” books on space. His newest title is “Space Shuttle Stories,” published in 2023 by Smithsonian Books.

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 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.