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Altman, Jones was inducted into the US Astronaut Hall of Fame



  The astronauts Scott Altman, left, and Thomas Jones were inducted into the US Astronaut Hall of Fame. Photo credits: Mark Usciak / SpaceFlight Insider

The astronauts Scott Altman, left, and Thomas Jones were inducted into the US Astronaut Hall of Fame. Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / SpaceFlight Insider

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Florida – On April 21, 2018, the US Astronaut Hall of Fame's membership increased to a total of 97 when Space Shuttle astronauts Thomas Jones and Scott Altman were inducted into the US Hall , This was the 17th introduction of astronauts from the Space Shuttle era.

In a ceremony held appropriately under the Atlantis Space Shuttle at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex the two men were honored for their achievements at NASA. More than 15 other members of the hall were present in including Apollo 7 Lunar Module pilot Walt Cunningham, STS-1 pilot Robert Crippen, and other Space Shuttle veterans such as Story Musgrave, Ellen Ochoa, Jerry Ross and Charlie Bolden [EachyearcandidatesareselectedbyacommitteeofastronautsalreadyintheHallofFamealongwithformerNASAofficialsflightdirectorshistoriansandjournalistsTobeeligibleanastronautmusthavecompletedhisfirstflightatleast17yearspriortolaunchCandidatesmustbeaUScitizenandaNASA-trainedcommanderpilotormissionspecialistwhohasorbitedtheearthatleastonce

  Thomas Jones. Photo credit: Mark Usciak / SpaceFlight Insider

Thomas Jones. Photo Credit: Mark Ussiak / SpaceFlight Insider

Thomas Jones


Jones began his career in the US Air Force after attending the Air Force Academy before he piloted B-52 bombers. During the recording ceremony, he told a humorous story during his Academy days when he met two legends of the Apollo era.

"I met Dave Scott and Wally Schirra when they visited the Air Force Academy," Jones said. "And after the conversation – they had a fascinating conversation with each other – I ran forward to meet the two boys Scott and Schirra, I went straight to Wally Schirra and shook his hand, and I said," Thank you, Captain Scott. "And that probably explains why my first two NASA applications were rejected.

Jones was eventually inducted into the NASA's Astronaut Corps career at the agency in 1990. His first space shuttle flight came in April 1994 when he spent 11 days in orbit for the STS-59 mission aboard Endeavor His main task was to carry out scientific operations during the first flight of the Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-1) SRL-2 flight only six months later In October 1994, he returned to space for another 11-day mission, again on board the Endeavor where he served as a payload commander.

It was just over two years before he flew again when he launched on 19 November 1996 aboard the Columbia for Mission STS-80 . Jones used the robotic arm of the orbiter to release the Wake Shield Facility and later withdraw it from orbit.

Two six-hour spacewalks were planned for the mission, but Jones and his space mate Tamara Jernigan never came outside the orbiters as the crew could not open the hatch of the outer airlock. The mission also set a stamina record with the mission, which lasted 17 days, 15 hours, 53 minutes and 18 seconds.

For his last flight, Jones flew aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis on the STS -98 mission in February 2001. The nearly 13-day mission to the International Space Station had its primary target to deliver and install the US Destiny Laboratory Module at the orbiting outpost. During the construction clearance, Jones finally came out of the spaceship to perform three spacewalks to install the module. His three exits within a space suit lasted nearly 20 hours.

After NASA, Jones authored four space and aviation books and constructed systems for gathering information for the CIA. Currently, he is a Senior Scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, focusing on the future direction of human space exploration, the use of asteroid and space resources, and planetary defense.

  Scott Altman. Picture credits: Mark Usciak / SpaceFlight Insider

Scott Altman. Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / SpaceFlight Insider

Scott Altman


Altman served in the United States Navy before joining NASA. He served as a midshipman in 1981 and earned his pilot wings 14 months later. He has flown several types of aircraft including the F-14A and F-14D Tomcats. He has recorded over 7000 flight hours in over 40 types of aircraft. While his NAVY and NASA careers are among the most visible points of his life, he was probably seen more of more people in 1986's "Top Gun" film, albeit unknowingly where he flew aerial acrobatic flights.

Altman's first shuttle flight was aboard the Columbia where he served as a pilot for STS-90 . The mission flew the Neurolab Science Experiment lab in its hold with experiments that examined the human nervous system. The flight started on April 17, 1998 and lasted more than 15 days.

His second and last flight as a shuttle pilot came September 2000 as the crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis flew to the still young International Space Station and prepared it for the first permanent crew.

His two flights as commander of the shuttle were the STS-109 mission, again aboard the Columbia and STS-125 mission, again aboard Atlantis . Both were missions to fetch and wait for the Hubble Space Telescope to continue functioning as the NASA's eye into the cosmos. These maintenance missions were some of the most familiar and risky missions the space shuttle program ever performed, and both missions achieved their goals.

Altman's career in space was more than 51 days on his four missions. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Navy Commendation Medal, and in 1987 was honored for outstanding achievements in Tactical Aviation, as selected by the Association of Naval Aviation. He retired from NASA in 2010 and joined the ASRC Federal corporate family.

"Once I was asked what achievement I am most proud of, I thought about my career, fly on and off porters, It was great to fly off the shuttle, to command a mission to Hubble, and not to kill, "said Altman. "But what I'm most proud of is that I shared my life with my wife for 33 years and raised three wonderful boys, I owe them all a debt I can never repay."

Video Courtesy of the Kennedy Space Center

Tag: Astronaut Hall of Fame Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center Scott Altman The Range Thomas Jones

Lloyd Campbell

Lloyd Campbell's first interest in space began when he became a very small boy in the 1960s with NASA's Gemini and Apollo programs was. This passion continued in the early 1970s with our continued exploration of our moon and was renewed by the shuttle program. After attending Space Shuttle Discovery's launch on his last two missions, STS-131 and STS-133, he began creating more social networks in space and developed more articles. Since then, he has participated in the launch of the Curiosity Rover at the Mars Science Laboratory, the agency's new Orion spacecraft, which has been tested on Exploration Flight Test 1, and several other unmanned launches. In addition to writing, Lloyd has also taken more photography of launches and aviation. He enjoys all aspects of space exploration, both human and robotic, but his main interests are in human exploration and vehicles, rockets and other technologies that allow humanity to explore space.


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