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A distinguished graduate of the Air Force Academy, Dr. Jones piloted B-52D strategic bombers, studied asteroids for NASA, engineered intelligence-gathering systems for the CIA and developed advanced NASA mission concepts to explore the solar system. Dr. Jones delivers fascinating presentations on his experiences and the lessons he has learned. He is the author of three space and aviation books, writes frequently for a multitude of space and aviation magazines (as well as Popular Mechanics), has 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-air with expert commentary on science and space flight. Cool trivia – he has an asteroid named for him (the “Main Belt 1082 TomJones”).
In “The Right and Wrong Stuff,” Tom recounts the good and the bad from NASA’s half-century-long experience in human spaceflight, an enterprise that demands the utmost in team performance and no-nonsense leadership. He discusses how NASA rebounded fifty years ago from the terrible loss of the Apollo 1 crew to the unparalleled triumph of the first Moon landing less than three years later. NASA’s classic response to the Apollo 13 inflight failure and the troubled launch of its first space station, Skylab, represent the agency’s finest team achievements. Over the next thirty years, NASA fielded the space shuttle and led the construction of the International Space Station (ISS), the most complex and successful international project ever attempted.
Tom, a veteran of the negotiations and demanding operations that built the ISS, brings you inside the Astronaut Corps to share its triumphs and failures, from the daring repair of the Hubble telescope to the searing, preventable losses of two space shuttle orbiters and crews, his friends aboard Columbia among them. Taking you aloft for his four successful missions, he relates the leadership techniques that worked, those that didn’t, and discusses the direction America must take to lead the world in 21st Century spaceflight.