Jeffrey Williams (astronaut)
Jeffrey Nels Williams
|Born||January 18, 1958|
Superior, Wisconsin, U.S.
Time in space
|534d 02h 48min|
|Selection||1996 NASA Group|
Total EVA time
|31 hours, 55 minutes|
|Missions||STS-101, Soyuz TMA-8 (Expedition 13), Soyuz TMA-16 (Expedition 21/22), Soyuz TMA-20M (Expedition 47/48)|
Jeffrey Nels Williams (born January 18, 1958) is a retired United States Army officer and a NASA astronaut. He is a veteran of four space flights and formerly held the American record for most days spent in space, which was surpassed in April 2017 by his colleague Peggy Whitson. He still holds the record of the longest time in space for an American man.
Early life and education
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. 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. 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.
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 having arrived on the International Space Station with his crew mates via Soyuz TMA-16 which launched on September 30, 2009. 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.
On Expedition 47, Williams surpassed Scott Kelly (astronaut)'s record of 520 cumulative days in space which was set when he returned from space on March 1, 2016; Williams beat this record with 534 cumulative days.
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 28, 2006.
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, 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.
First live tweetup from space
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. This involved the first live Twitter connection for the astronauts. 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.
Williams returned to space station in 2016  as part of Expedition 47/48. Upon the departure of Soyuz TMA-19M he became commander of Expedition 48. As of August 23, 2016 Williams holds the United States record for most cumulative days in space with a total of 534 days. Williams has been returned to earth safely on 6 September 2016.
Williams is a committed Christian. 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."
Awards and decorations
|Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster|
|Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster|
|Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster|
|Army Commendation Medal|
|National Defense Service Medal with award star|
|Army Service Ribbon|
|NASA Distinguished Service Medal|
|NASA Exceptional Service Medal|
|NASA Space Flight Medal with two oak leaf clusters|
- "Astronauts and the BSA". Fact sheet. Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved March 20, 2006.
- "Jamboree-on-the-Air and Jamboree-on-the-Internet Extravaganza". Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved June 8, 2010.
- NASA (April 21, 2011). "Life Sciences Data Archive : Experiment". NASA. Archived from the original on October 24, 2011. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
- Montoya, Donald (Summer 2002). "Army Space Command Astronaut Trains for Life in Space -- Underwater". The Army Space Journal. Army Space Command. 1 (3). Archived from the original on March 31, 2012. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
- "Expedition 21 Soyuz Launch". NASA TV. September 30, 2009.
- "Space Station Crew Back on Earth". NASA. September 28, 2006. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
- Carla Cioffi (October 21, 2009). "20091021 NASA Live Tweetup Event with International Space Station". NASA.
- John Yembrick (October 1, 2009). "NASA Hosts Long-Distance Tweetup with Astronauts on Space Station". NASA. Retrieved October 20, 2009.
- 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.
- Joshua Buck (February 11, 2014). "NASA, International Space Station Partners Announce Future Crew Members". NASA.
- "Launch, Docking Returns International Space Station Crew to Full Strength". NASA. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
- Mark Garcia (June 17, 2016). "NASA Astronauts Swap Station Command". blogs.nasa.gov.
- Loff, Sarah. "New NASA Record Holder For Cumulative Days in Space". NASA. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
- Berger, Eric. "Jeff Williams will quietly become Nasa's most experienced flier". ARS Technica. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
- Dean, James. "NASA's Williams to set US Space Record". Retrieved August 24, 2016.
- 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.
- 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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jeffrey N. Williams.|
- Jeffrey Williams' book The Work of His Hands: A View of God's Creation from Space
- Jeffrey Williams on Twitter
- NASA Biography
- Spacefacts biography of Jeffrey N. Williams
- Jeff Williams Enters the BEAM Module
Frank De Winne
| ISS Expedition Commander
November 30, 2009 to March 17, 2010
| ISS Expedition Commander
June 18, 2016 to September 6, 2016