Coverage includes: the history of NASA, from its origins in the l950s as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Projects Mercury and Gemini; the history and timeline, triumphs and tragedies of the famed Apollo missions, including the historic Apollo 11, which put the first men on the Moon in l969; NASA's contributions to our everyday life, most notably on robotics and the creation of cutting-edge research on aerodynamics and chapters on important NASA discoveries: the Pioneer and Voyager Spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope, communications satellites such as the Echo, Telstar, and Syncom.
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NASA astronaut Thomas D. Jones (Ph.D.) was born January 22, 1955, in Baltimore, Maryland. He enjoys baseball, hiking, biking, camping, skiing, and recreational flying. An avid reader and author, his favorite subjects are space aviation and American military history. Dr. Jones is the co-author of Mission: Earth--A Voyage to the Home Planet and The Scholastic Encyclopedia of the United States at War. 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. As a Distinguished Graduate of the USAF Academy, Dr. Jones served on active duty as an Air Force officer for six years. After pilot training in Oklahoma, he flew strategic bombers at Carswell Air Force Base, Texas. As pilot and aircraft commander of a B-52D Stratofortress, he led a combat crew of six, accumulating over 2,000 hours of jet experience before resigning as a captain in 1983. From 1983 to 1988 he worked toward a Ph.D. at the University of Arizona in Tucson. His research interests included the remote sensing of asteroids, meteorite spectroscopy, and applications of space resources. From 1989 to 1990, he was a program management engineer in Washington, D.C., at the Central Intelligence Agency's Office of Development and Engineering. In 1990 he joined Science Applications International Corporation in Washington, D.C. as a senior scientist. Dr. Jones performed advanced program planning for NASA's Solar System Exploration Division, investigating future robotic missions to Mars, asteroids, and the outer solar system. After a year of training following his selection by NASA in January 1990, Dr. Jones became an astronaut in July 1991. He has logged over 52 days (1,272 hours) in space. Michael Benson is the former editor of the Military Technical Journal and the author of 18 books, including the Encyclopedia of the JFK Assassination and Ballparks of North America. He was a contributor to The Complete Idiot's Guide to Professional Wrestling, Second Edition. Originally from Rochester, N.Y., Benson has a B.A. in Communications Arts from Hofstra University and currently lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., with his wife and two children.
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