Jeffrey Williams (astronaut)

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For other people named Jeffrey Williams, see Jeffrey Williams (disambiguation).
Jeffrey Nels Williams
Jeffrey N. Williams 2009.jpg
NASA Astronaut
Nationality American
Born (1958-01-18) January 18, 1958 (age 58)
Superior, Wisconsin, U.S.
Other occupation
Test pilot
Rank Colonel, USA
Time in space
362 days[1]
Selection 1996 NASA Group
Total EVAs
Total EVA time
19 hours, 09 minutes
Missions STS-101, Soyuz TMA-8 (Expedition 13), Soyuz TMA-16 (Expedition 21/22)
Mission insignia
Sts-101-patch.png Soyuz TMA-8 Patch.png ISS expedition 13 patch with reiter.png Soyuz-TMA-16-Mission-Patch.png ISS Expedition 21 Patch.png ISS Expedition 22 Patch.png

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

Early life and education[edit]

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[edit]

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.

His total time in space of 362 days currently places him fourth on the all-time U.S. list of long-duration space travelers. Michael Fincke, who has spent 382 days in space, tops that list.[1]

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 29, 2006.[citation needed]

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.[8]

First live tweetup from space[edit]

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.[9] This involved the first live Twitter connection for the astronauts.[10] 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.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Williams is a committed Christian.[12] 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."[13]

Awards and decorations[edit]

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


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  1. ^ a b NASA (March 18, 2010). "Soyuz Landing Caps Milestone Space Station Mission". Retrieved March 19, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Astronauts and the BSA". Fact sheet. Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved 2006-03-20. 
  3. ^ a b "Jamboree-on-the-Air and Jamboree-on-the-Internet Extravaganza". Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  4. ^ NASA (April 21, 2011). "Life Sciences Data Archive : Experiment". NASA. Retrieved September 22, 2011. 
  5. ^ Montoya, Donald (Summer 2002). "Army Space Command Astronaut Trains for Life in Space -- Underwater". The Army Space Journal (Army Space Command) 1 (3). Retrieved December 21, 2011. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Expedition 21 Soyuz Launch". NASA TV. September 30, 2009. 
  8. ^ Joshua Buck (February 11, 2014). "NASA, International Space Station Partners Announce Future Crew Members". NASA. 
  9. ^ Carla Cioffi (October 21, 2009). "20091021 NASA Live Tweetup Event with International Space Station". NASA. 
  10. ^ John Yembrick (October 1, 2009). "NASA Hosts Long-Distance Tweetup with Astronauts on Space Station". NASA. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 
  11. ^ 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. Retrieved October 2, 2009. 
  12. ^ Williams, Jeffrey (June 1, 2010). The Work of His Hands: A View Of God's Creation From Space. Concordia Publishing House. p. 149. ISBN 0758615892. 
  13. ^ Williams, Jeffrey (June 1, 2010). The Work of His Hands: A View Of God's Creation From Space. Concordia Publishing House. p. back cover. ISBN 0758615892. 

External links[edit]

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