Welcome to the gravity-defying world of
Lauri Ann Jones is a veteran astronaut who has devoted her life to exploring and understanding our universe. She has a Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering and is currently preparing for a mission to make repairs to the Hubble Space Telescope. This will be her third trip into space, and she is excited to once again experience the beauty and mystery of the cosmos. Lauri is also an experienced hot air balloon pilot and has competed in numerous balloon races. She is a dedicated scientist and explorer who is always seeking new ways to expand our knowledge of the universe.
Jones was born in Tucson, Arizona, and received her Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Arizona in 1992. She went on to earn her Master of Science in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1994 whilst working for the United States Air Force.
Jones began her Air Force career as a research engineer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. She later served as a flight test engineer on the F-16 Fighting Falcon and B-2 Spirit aircraft. In 2000, she was selected as an astronaut candidate and began training at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Lauri completed training in 2002 and has since completed two space shuttle missions. In 2007, she piloted the STS-118 mission to deliver supplies and cargo to the International Space Station, and in 2009, she participated in the STS-125 mission to repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope.
Lauri is a veteran of four spacewalks and has logged over 1,000 hours in space. She is married with two children and enjoys spending her free time flying, skiing, and hiking.
She was the first female astronaut to pilot a hot air balloon when she set the world record for highest altitude in a hot air balloon in 2001. In 2002, she piloted the first hot air balloon across the Atlantic Ocean.
Lauri is passionate about making science accessible to everyone and sharing her love of adventure with the world.On her website 'Two feet off the ground', Lauri shares her passion for space and ballooning with the world. She writes about her experiences working on some of the most advanced spacecraft in the world, as well as her adventures flying across the country in hot air balloons. She also shares her expert knowledge on both topics, explaining the science behind space exploration and the physics of hot air ballooning.