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Andy Thomas AO

b. 1951

Andy Thomas AO (b. 1951) is an astronaut. Born and educated in Adelaide, an engineer by profession, he managed a number of aeronautical programs and patented several inventions before joining NASA in 1992. He made his first space flight in 1996, spending ten days away from earth. Some two years later he boarded the shuttle Endeavour to dock at the Mir space station, where he worked as Board Engineer 2 for 130 days. In 2001 he became the first Australian citizen to perform a space walk, riding the space shuttle Discovery to spend six and a half hours affixing components to the outside of the International Space Station. After two years as Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA, he is currently assigned to fly on the next space shuttle in late 2004. Thomas has gained a great variety of honours and awards including the NASA Exceptional Service Medal; the Yuri Gagarin Medal; the Order of Friendship from Russia and Kazakhstan; the award for Professional Engineer of the Year from the Institution of Engineers Australia; and South Australian of the Year.

Updated 2018