Press Release

Live Challenger Center Webcast Features Astronaut Dr. Thomas Jones

By SpaceRef Editor
October 11, 2011
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Live Challenger Center Webcast Features Astronaut Dr. Thomas Jones

Tuesday, October 25, 2011, 1:00pm EDT

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Join Challenger Center for Space Science Education for a live interactive webcast with former NASA Astronaut, Dr. Thomas Jones, on Tuesday, October 25th, 2011, 1:00pm (Eastern Time). The interview is part of an exciting series of interactive webcasts celebrating the 25th anniversary of Challenger Center’s educational programs. Each month during the 25th anniversary year, Challenger Center will feature an astronaut, as the guest of a live webcast, with an opportunity for the public to ask questions. Dr. Jones will discuss his experiences as a Shuttle astronaut and answer questions during the live webcast. No registration is required and the webcast is free. To join the webcast, visit

You may submit questions at: or by email to, or use the instant message feature during the live webcast. Adobe Flash Player is required to participate and view the webcast. A new web environment will open on your computer with a chat interface to ask questions.

October Featured Astronaut Background: Dr. Thomas Jones became an astronaut in July 1991. In 1994, Dr. Jones flew as a mission specialist on successive flights of space shuttle Endeavour. First, in April 1994, Dr. Jones ran science operations on the “night shift” during STS-59, the first flight of the Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-1). Then, in October 1994, Dr. Jones was the payload commander on the SRL-2 mission, STS-68. Dr. Jones next flew in late 1996 on Columbia. Mission STS-80 successfully deployed and retrieved 2 science satellites. While helping set a Shuttle endurance record of nearly 18 days in orbit, Dr. Jones used Columbia’s robot arm to release the Wake Shield satellite and later grapple it from orbit. Dr. Jones’ latest space flight was aboard Atlantis on STS-98, in February 2001. Dr. Jones and his crew delivered the U.S. Destiny Laboratory Module to the Space Station, and he helped install the Lab in a series of 3 space walks lasting over 19 hours. The successful addition of Destiny gave the first Expedition Crew the largest space outpost in history and marked the start of onboard scientific research at the ISS. A veteran of four space flights, Dr. Jones has logged over 52 days (1,272 hours) in space, including 3 space walks totaling over 19 hours. Dr. Jones graduated from Kenwood Senior High School, Essex, Maryland, in 1973; received a Bachelor of Science degree in basic sciences from the United States Air Force (USAF) Academy in Colorado Springs in 1977, and a doctorate in planetary science from the University of Arizona in Tucson in 1988. He was also an Eagle Scout. About Challenger Center for Space Science Education

Using space exploration as a theme and simulations as a vehicle, Challenger Center for Space Science Education and its international network of 48 Challenger Learning Centers create positive educational experiences that raise students’ expectations of success, fosters a long-term interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and inspires students to pursue studies and careers in these areas. Challenger Center’s network of Challenger Learning Centers across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and South Korea reach more than 400,000 students each year through simulated space missions and educational programs, and engage over 40,000 educators through missions, teacher workshops and other programs. To learn more about Challenger Center for Space Science Education, visit

Challenger Center for Space Science Education
Steve Kussmann
300 N. Lee St., Suite 301
Alexandria, VA 22314

SpaceRef staff editor.