Vienna, Va. -- June 13, 2006 – Author and former astronaut Thomas D. Jones, Ph.D., a veteran of four NASA shuttle missions, today joined the advisory board of Space Adventures, Ltd., the world's leading space experiences company.
On four trips to orbit, including his last to the International Space Station, Dr. Jones logged over 52 days (1,272 hours) in space, including three space walks totaling over 19 hours.
"Dr. Jones' rich experience and background will provide an invaluable asset to our advisory board and to the company overall," said Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures. "His passion for communicating to others both the human and technical dimensions of the space experience will help mentor our clients in preparation of their own spaceflights."
Space Adventures' advisory board assists in the development of the curriculum for the company's programs. Many members actively participate in tours and expeditions, as guest lecturers, program experts and trainers.
"I'm impressed with the level of focus and dedication at Space Adventures in opening the space frontier to the private sector," said Dr. Jones. "I'm honored to join a team that has done so much to make commercial space travel a reality. I look forward to assisting my colleagues at Space Adventures in their mission -- opening up opportunities in space for the explorer in each of us."
Dr. Jones recently authored "Sky Walking: An Astronaut's Memoir" (Smithsonian Books--Collins, 2006) in which he describes the human experience of spaceflight, including the thrill of venturing weightless outside the shuttle to help build the International Space Station. Here is an excerpt:
"...The only thing between us and space was the thin metal of the airlock's rear hatch. We were suited up and ready, not submerged in a big swimming pool, but immersed in the real thing at last. I glanced down at the digital readout on my own suit and saw something never seen in our space-walk training under water: the airlock pressure was creeping toward zero."
Space Adventures, the only company to have successfully launched private explorers to space, is headquartered in Vienna, Va. with offices in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Moscow and Tokyo. It offers a variety of programs such as the availability today for orbital spaceflight missions to the International Space Station, commercial missions around the moon, Zero-Gravity and jet flights, cosmonaut training, spaceflight qualification programs and reservations on future suborbital spacecrafts. The company's advisory board includes Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, Shuttle astronauts Sam Durrance, Robert Gibson, Tom Jones, Byron Lichtenberg, Norm Thagard, Kathy Thornton, Pierre Thuot, Charles Walker, Skylab astronaut Owen Garriott and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Usachev. For more information, please visit www.spaceadventures.com.