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Tom Akers - Windows to the Universe

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Portrait of Tom Akers
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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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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF