Portrait of Tom Akers
Tom Akers is an American astronaut who was born on May 20, 1951 in Missouri.
Before he was an astronaut, Akers was a park ranger, teacher, and Air Force
pilot. He has flown 25 different types of aircraft.
Akers became an astronaut in 1987. He has flown four flights and has logged
over 800 hours in space. In 1990, he flew aboard STS-41. He was a mission
specialist who deployed the Ulysses spacecraft. Ulysses is a probe that
monitors the sun. In 1992, he flew aboard the new shuttle, Endeavour. He made
four spacewalks. He also helped capture a communications satellite.
In 1993, Akers flew on the STS-61 mission. This crew captured the Hubble Space
Telescope and repaired it. Akers broke a U.S. record by spending 29 hours and
40 minutes in spacewalks on a single flight.
In 1996, Akers flew aboard the STS-79. His crew swapped John Blaha for Shannon
Lucid, who spent six months on the Mir space station.
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