WAPAKONETA — The First on the Moon committee will present “The Day a Woodpecker Attacked the Space Shuttle” with Don Thomas at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, on its Facebook page.
Thomas will share the story about the “All-Ohio” STS-70 mission made famous by a woodpecker attacking the shuttle. The event is free and open to the public.
Don Thomas grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He received a bachelor of science degree in Physics from Case Western University, and a master’s degree and doctorate in Materials Science from Cornell University.
After working at AT&T Bell Laboratories (Princeton, New jersey) and Lockheed Engineering and Sciences Company (Houston, Texas), Dr. Thomas joined NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center as a Materials Engineer.
Selected by NASA in January 1990, Dr. Thomas became an astronaut in July 1991. Dr. Thomas has served in the Safety, Operations Development, and Payloads Branches of the Astronaut Office. He was CAPCOM (spacecraft communicator) for Shuttle missions STS-47, 52 and 53.
From July 1999 to June 2000 he was Director of Operations for NASA at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. A veteran of four space flights, he has logged over 1,040 hours in space. He was a mission specialist on STS-65 (July 8-23, 1994), STS-70 (July 13-22, 1995), STS-83 (April 4-8, 1997) and STS-94 (July 1-17, 1997).
In his last assignment Dr. Thomas served as the International Space Station Program Scientist overseeing NASA experiments performed on the ISS. He retired from NASA in July 2007.
Dr. Thomas is the author of Orbit of Discovery, an engaging first-person account of Discovery’s STS-70 mission that shares the excitement, passion, adventure, accomplishments, and sheer fun of the Space Shuttle Program.
Dr. Thomas is recipient of the NASA Sustained Superior Performance Award, 1989. He is also the recipient of four NASA Group Achievement Awards, four NASA Space Flight Medals, two NASA Exceptional Service Medals, and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.