Astronaut Thomas D. Akers

Col. Thomas Akers taught and served as principal of Eminence High School in Missouri before joining the Air Force in 1979. He was selected into the NASA astronaut training program in 1987.

A veteran of four space flights, Akers has logged more than 800 hours of space flight and 29 hours of space walking experience. He was a mission specialist on four space flights – including on the Discovery, Endeavour and Atlantis. His shuttle missions include the December 1993 mission that successfully grappled and repaired the Hubble Space Telescope.

While with NASA, Akers held roles with the Astronaut Office as a focal point for Space Shuttle software development; astronaut representative during Shuttle software testing in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL); supported launch activities at the Kennedy Space Center; astronaut representative for EVA activities (space walks); Deputy Director of Mission Operations; Acting Deputy Director of Flight Crew Operations, and Assistant Director (Technical) of Johnson Space Center.

Akers joined the Missouri S&T faculty in 1999, where he taught mathematics and statistics, and served as commander of S&T’s Air Force ROTC. He retired from S&T in 2010. At S&T, Akers received numerous Outstanding Teaching Awards and College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Teaching Awards.

Akers received bachelor of science and master of science degrees in applied mathematics from S&T in 1973 and 1975, respectively.