Construction of the International Space Station (ISS) resumes this year with the launch of a key Russian element, the Service Module. Space shuttle assembly flights follow immediately, bringing truss segments, control moment gyros, solar arrays, and the U.S. Laboratory. The Lab provides guidance, navigation, and attitude control, while the Russian segment provides propulsion for reboost and momentum desaturation.
The first ISS resident crew will face a crowded, spartan living environment and all the challenges of mixing the U.S. and Russian spaceflight cultures. Different design and mission control philosophies will force the partners to arrive at common strategies for ensuring safety, crew health, and a productive flight plan for the crew. The immediate challenge in the first year will be to grow the Mir operations model to build an integrated, successful multi-national facility. Dr. Jones will discuss the problems and successes of the ISS flight program to date, and examine the obstacles - financial and technical - which face us as assembly continues.
Crews will conduct a full research program in life sciences, materials science, fundamental investigations in chemistry and physics, remote sensing, and technology for human exploration. The life sciences research in particular will address some of the thornier obstacles to human spaceflight beyond low Earth orbit. Future explorers must have strategies that maintain health in the face of lengthy microgravity exposure, an unforgiving radiation environment, cosmic and man-made debris, and a stressful, isolated living situation. Lunar, asteroid, or Mars expeditions will use ISS research as a test-bed for mitigating these hazards.
As ISS assembly continues, NASA is working to define mission architectures for several destinations: a return to the Moon, round trips to asteroids, and expeditions to Mars. These extended missions use novel, highly efficient propulsion systems, nuclear power sources, and local resources to minimize mission duration and cost. Astronauts are already training in harsh field environments similar to those faced on such expeditions, developing the leadership and operations skills necessary for survival on ISS and beyond.
A Distinguished Graduate of the USAF Academy, Dr. Jones served on active
duty as an Air Force officer for 6 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 CIA'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. In 1994 he flew as a mission specialist on
successive flights of space shuttle Endeavour. First, in April 1994, he ran science operations on the "night shift" during STS-59, the first flight of the Space Radar
Laboratory (SRL-1). Then, in October 1994, he 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, ORFEUS/SPAS and the Wake Shield Facility. 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 has logged
over 40 days (963 hours) in space.
Dr. Jones is currently training full-time for Space Station Assembly Mission 5A, STS-98, targeted for launch in early 2001. Dr. Jones' crew will deliver the U.S. Laboratory Module to the Space Station, and he will help install the Lab with a series of three spacewalks. The STS-98 mission will provide the station with science research facilities and expand its power, life support and control capabilities.
Last Revised: February 03, 2010
Digital Engineering Institute
Web Grunt: Richard Katz