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. His two planned spacewalks were cancelled due to a jammed outer hatch on the airlock. Dr. Jones has logged over 40 days (963 hours) in space.
Dr. Jones is currently representing the Astronaut Office on the NASA team planning the construction and operation of the International Space Station. He is assigned to fly next on Space Station Assembly Mission 5A, STS-98, scheduled for the spring of 1999. Dr. Jones' crew will deliver the United States laboratory module to the Space Station, and he will help install the Lab with a series of three spacewalks. The STS-98 mission will mark the beginning of science research activity aboard the Station.
Birth Place: Baltimore, Maryland.
Spaceflights: 4 .
Total time in space: 53.03 days.
Mission Specialists: Bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics and minimum three years of related experience or an advanced degree. Vision minimum 20/150 uncorrected, correctable to 20/20. Maximum sitting blood pressure of 140/90. Height between 150 and 193 cm.. Reported to the Johnson Space Center in late July 1990 to begin their year long training. Chosen from 1945 qualified applicants, then 106 finalists screened between September and November 1989.