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Jeffrey Nels Williams (born January 18, 1958) is a retired United States Army officer and a NASA astronaut. He is a veteran of four space flights.

Early life and education

Williams was born in Superior, Wisconsin, and raised in Winter, Wisconsin. As a child, Williams was a Star Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.[2][3] During the Jamboree on the Air in October 2009 he communicated with Boy Scouts in the National Scouting Museum in Texas from the International Space Station.[3] Williams graduated from Winter High School in Winter, Wisconsin, in 1976. He earned an engineering degree from the U.S. Military Academy in 1980, receiving his commission in the United States Army. Williams served with the Army at Johnson Space Center from 1987 to 1992 before training as a test pilot. In 1996, he was selected by NASA as an astronaut candidate and flew as a mission specialist and flight engineer aboard STS-101 in 2000.

NASA career

In July 2002, Williams served as the commander of the NEEMO 3 mission aboard the Aquarius underwater laboratory, living and working underwater for six days.[4][5]

Williams in the Destiny laboratory module during Expedition 21.

During his six-month stint at the International Space Station in 2006, Williams orbited the Earth more than 2,800 times. During Expedition 13, he worked on hundreds of experiments, walked in space twice, and captured more photographs of the Earth than any other astronaut in history. Many of his photos are found in his book The Work of His Hands: A View of God's Creation from Space, where he shares personal narrative and vivid photos of the Earth.

Williams also served as a Flight Engineer for Expedition 21 and assumed command of Expedition 22 in November 2009[6] having arrived on the International Space Station with his crew mates via Soyuz TMA-16 which launched on September 30, 2009.[7] Williams with Expedition 22 Flight Engineer Maksim Surayev landed their Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft on the steppes of Kazakhstan on March 18, 2010, wrapping up a 167-day stay aboard the Space Station.

On his current mission, expedition 47, he is scheduled to surpass Scott Kelly (astronaut)'s record of 520 cumulative days in space which was set when he returned from space on March 1st 2016; Wiliams is aiming to replace this with 534 cumulative days.

Williams also flew aboard the Soyuz TMA-8 mission, replacing Expedition 12 astronaut William S. McArthur. He was previously in orbit as the Expedition 13 Flight Engineer and Science Officer aboard the International Space Station. He returned to Earth on September 28, 2006.[8]

On August 24, 2006, a taped message made by him to be played at an official NASA press conference was accidentally played over the air-to-ground loop,[citation needed] the tape revealing that the Crew Exploration Vehicle under development to replace the Space Shuttle after 2010 would be named Orion after the famed wintertime constellation.

Williams is scheduled to go back to the space station in 2016.[9]

First live tweetup from space

On October 21, 2009, Williams and his Expedition 21 crewmate, Nicole Stott, participated in the first NASA Tweetup from the station with members of the public gathered at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.[10] This involved the first live Twitter connection for the astronauts.[11] Previously, astronauts on board the Space Shuttle or ISS have sent the messages they desire to send as tweets down to Mission Control which then posted the message via the Internet to Twitter.[12]

Personal life

Williams is a committed Christian.[13] Following his return from the Expedition 21 mission, he wrote the book The Work of His Hands: A View Of God's Creation From Space about his experience in space. The book reflects in Williams words the "vivid lessons about the meticulous goodness of divine providence, God's care for His creation, and His wisdom in ordering the universe."[14]

Awards and decorations

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Army Commendation Medal
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal with award star
Army Service Ribbon
NASA Distinguished Service Medal
NASA Exceptional Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
NASA Space Flight Medal with two oak leaf clusters

See also


 This article incorporates http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/policies.html#Guidelines public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  1. NASA (March 18, 2010). "Soyuz Landing Caps Milestone Space Station Mission". http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition22/landing.html. Retrieved March 19, 2010. 
  2. "Astronauts and the BSA". Fact sheet. Boy Scouts of America. http://www.scouting.org/Media/FactSheets/02-558.aspx. Retrieved 2006-03-20. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Jamboree-on-the-Air and Jamboree-on-the-Internet Extravaganza". Boy Scouts of America. http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/International/ProgramEnrichment/JOTA_JOTI.aspx. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  4. NASA (April 21, 2011). "Life Sciences Data Archive : Experiment". NASA. http://lsda.jsc.nasa.gov/scripts/mission/miss.cfm?mis_index=212. Retrieved September 22, 2011. 
  5. Template:Cite journal
  6. http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2008/nov/HQ_08-306_Expedition_crews.html
  7. "Expedition 21 Soyuz Launch". NASA TV. September 30, 2009. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9eya90Y5jo. 
  8. "Space Station Crew Back on Earth". NASA. 2006-09-28. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition13/exp13_undocking.html. Retrieved 19 March 2016. 
  9. Joshua Buck (February 11, 2014). "NASA, International Space Station Partners Announce Future Crew Members". NASA. http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/february/nasa-international-space-station-partners-announce-future-crew-members/#.Uw1jAPldUXU. 
  10. Carla Cioffi (October 21, 2009). "20091021 NASA Live Tweetup Event with International Space Station". NASA. https://secure.flickr.com/photos/nasahqphoto/sets/72157622635092926/. 
  11. John Yembrick (October 1, 2009). "NASA Hosts Long-Distance Tweetup with Astronauts on Space Station". NASA. http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2009/oct/HQ_M09-185_ISS_Tweetup.html. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 
  12. Etan Horowitz (May 22, 2009). "The great debate over Astro Mike's 'tweets from space'". The Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on May 25, 2009. https://web.archive.org/20090525211849/http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com:80/etan_on_tech/2009/05/the-great-debate-over-astro-mikes-tweets-from-space.html. Retrieved October 2, 2009. 
  13. Template:Cite book
  14. Template:Cite book

External links

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Preceded by
Frank De Winne
ISS Expedition Commander
November 30, 2009 to March 17, 2010
Succeeded by
Oleg Kotov

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