Professional Testimonials

Thanks again for helping to make our day successful and memorable for everyone involved. You created quite a positive buzz from everyone that came in contact with you.
10 years at Honeywell and I have never seen our team so excited and energized. Truly tremendous day.


School Testimonials

I especially enjoyed watching the faces of the children as you shared with them your personal experience with space travel. And thank you so much for sharing with our students how you faced and overcame failure related to your application to become an astronaut. That is such an important lesson for all of us.
— Maryland Summer Center for Space Engineering, Greenbelt, MD
As a parent of a fourth grader and a teacher at Chesapeake City Elementary School, I wanted to say thank you for taking the time to visit our school and talk with our students. My daughter was so excited to tell me all about your visit with her class. It really inspired her to work hard and follow her dreams!
— Chesapeake City, MD
I so enjoyed your inspiring presentation and so did all my students. One of my more difficult boys told me this was the best speaker he has ever heard!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have made a difference!
— Old Mill Middle School, Millersville, MD
Our principal stated it was the best assembly our school had the privilege of hosting. The students were captivated with your presentation and could have visited with you all day asking question after question.
— Mountain Christian School, Joppa, MD
Your presentation was amazing and my students were engaged with wide eyes the whole time.
— Arundel Elementary School, Baltimore, MD
Thank you for representing to our students a real life application of drive, focus, and determination.
— Jemicy School, Baltimore, MD
My daughter (3rd grade) screamed out to me after I’d tucked her in bed. I thought something was wrong and rushed in, but instead she was sitting bolt upright and realized she hadn’t told me about the astronaut! She was up another half hour telling me detail after detail until she could finally go to sleep.
— Paideia School, Atlanta, GA
Our teachers and students alike cannot recall a more exhilarating assembly. Our students talked and continue to talk about you. You have a gift for teaching. No question was belittled. Even when a slightly preposterous question was asked, you answered with full dignity and appropriate elaboration. You understand your audience, and the audience becomes enamored. Our students would have followed you anywhere.
— Paideia School, Atlanta, GA

"Thank you so much for your visit to Maury Elementary last week.  Your presentation was extraordinary!  It's rare to find an individual who is both very accomplished in their field AND a wonderful teacher and engaging speaker.  You have it nailed!  Thank you for working to inspire our next generation of explorers."

 Maury Elementary School, Washington, D.C.





Virtual Classroom Testimonials

You have a fabulous way of explaining things and you were able to keep a group of second graders spellbound for 45 minutes – a feat that is comparable to making it out into space!
— Herzlia Constantia School, Cape Town, South Africa

Quick Facts About Don

Cleveland Heights High School

High School Diploma, 1973

Case Western Reserve University
Bachelor of Science Physics, 1977

Cornell University
Master of Science, Materials Science, 1980

Cornell University
Doctorate, Materials Science, 1982

STS-65 Columbia (July 8-23, 1994)
During this International Microgravity Science (IML-2) Spacelab mission the crew completed over 80 different experiments from around the world looking into the effects of zero-gravity.  This mission set a new flight duration record for the Space Shuttle program.  The mission was accomplished in 236 orbits of the Earth traveling 6.1 million miles in 353 hours and 55 minutes.

STS-70 Discovery (July 13-22, 1995)
During the STS-70 mission, Dr. Thomas was responsible for the deployment of the sixth and final Tracking and Data Relay Satellite from the Space Shuttle. 

STS-83 Columbia (April 4-8, 1997)

The STS-83 Microgravity Science Laboratory (MSL-1) Spacelab mission, was cut short because of problems with one of the Shuttle’s three fuel cell power generation units.

STS-94 Columbia (July 1-17, 1997)
STS-94 was a re-flight of the Microgravity Science Laboratory (MSL-1) Spacelab mission, and focused on materials and combustion science research in microgravity. Mission duration was 376 hours and 45 minutes, traveling 6.3 million miles in 251 orbits of the Earth.