Space Shuttle Discovery is due to launch this coming Monday, April 5 and when it does, an El Paso native will be on the ground in Houston helping to lead the mission.
Richard Jones is the lead space shuttle flight director for STS-131 and has been a NASA flight director since 2005. A native of El Paso, he earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Texas A&M University. He previously has served as a flight director overseeing two shuttle launches and four landings.
As lead flight director, Jones will oversee the mission’s spacewalks and direct the astronauts throughout the mission while also leading a team of flight controllers, support personnel and engineering experts who will be with him at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Discovery’s flight, one of only four remaining space shuttle missions, will carry a logistics module packed with eight tons of cargo to the station. The mission also will include three spacewalks to replace a tank assembly on the station’s backbone that provides ammonia for use in the complex’s cooling system.
Watch an interview with Jones here.
Learn more about the next Space Shuttle mission by clicking on the STS-131 link on the Hot Button.