NASA astronaut and COL (R) Jeffrey Williams ’80, who played a key role in the design, construction, and operation of the International Space Station, is retiring on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024, after more than 27 years of service at the agency.
The two-time station commander spent 534 cumulative days in space spanning four trips to the space station. He spent nearly 32 hours outside of the orbital laboratory on five spacewalks.
“Jeff’s dedication and commitment to advancing NASA’s mission for the benefit of all humanity is truly admirable,” said NASA Johnson Space Center Director Vanessa Wyche. “His willingness to go above and beyond has impacted several generations and will continue to inspire future generations to come.”
In addition to his time in space, he tested and evaluated the space station’s U.S. laboratory module Destiny during its final assembly at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, led the development of a space shuttle cockpit upgrade, worked in legislative affairs at NASA Headquarters in Washington, commanded a nine-day NEEMO (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations) mission in the Aquarius undersea habitat off the coast of Florida, and worked extensively in spacewalk development.
Since 2017, he has been assistant director of Flight Operations at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Among his many accomplishments, he served as chair of the Multinational Crew Operations Panel, responsible for International Space Station crew assignments, qualifications, and training. Most recently, he served on a review board overseeing development of lunar surface projects for the Moon to Mars architecture.