Military Wiki
Thomas John Hennen
Hennen in Cleveland August 29, 2008 to celebrate NASA's 50th anniversary.
Born (1952-08-17)August 17, 1952
Place of birth Albany, Georgia
Rank Chief Warrant Officer 4, USA

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Thomas John Hennen (born August 17, 1952) is a United States Army warrant officer and NASA astronaut who flew aboard Space Shuttle mission STS-44 as a Payload Specialist.


Hennen was born August 17, 1952, in Albany, Georgia, and was raised all over the world. He now lives in Houston, Texas. Tom is married to the former Sherri Wise of Houston. Together, they have six children, Kristopher, Jessie, Karl, Kyle, Kendall, and Karli and one grandchild, Mila Michelle. He enjoys playing basketball, bowling, dancing, snorkeling, scuba diving, sky diving, traveling, and listening to music. His father, Chief Master Sergeant Carl H. Hennen (USAF), and his mother, Antoinette L. Hennen, are both deceased.


Hennen graduated from Groveport-Madison High School in Groveport, Ohio in 1970. He attended Urbana College in Urbana, Ohio from 1970–1972 on both an academic and athletic scholarship.

Military career[]

Hennen was the first Warrant Officer within the U.S. Army and Department of Defense to have been selected as a member of a Space Shuttle flight crew.

Hennen served over 24 years in the imagery intelligence field. He received extensive technical training and experience as an operational imagery analyst at both the national and tactical intelligence levels; experience as an instructor; training, force, and combat developer; extensive material development and acquisition management experience—all of which combined to make him one of the most qualified imagery intelligence technicians within the Department of Defense.

From 1973 to 1975, he was assigned to the 163rd Military Intelligence Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas. During this assignment he participated in the planning, development, and conduct of major operational and force development tests and evaluations in direct support of U.S. Army and III Corps combat requirements. A small sample of these tests included: the evaluation of the effectiveness of various firing methodologies of the AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter; the testing and evaluation of new camouflage netting, uniforms, and painted vehicles, now in use throughout the Army; the initial U.S. Army Remotely piloted vehicle testing; phospherous smoke tests; antenna mast tests; and heat loss/energy conservations tests.

During 1976 through 1978, Hennen was assigned to the 203rd Military Intelligence Detachment. While there he served as Operations NCO and the chief of both the Tactical and Strategic Exploitation Divisions, providing imagery collection, exploitation, and intelligence support to the 1st Cavalry Division, the 2nd Armored Division, the 6th Armored Cavalry Regiment, and Headquarters III Corps.

Hennen was assigned to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center, Fort Huachuca, Arizona, from 1981 through 1986. He was the project officer for the Imagery Intelligence (IMINT) Tactical Exploitation of National Space Capabilities Program (TENCAP), responsible for developing all training requirements, concept, and doctrine. His efforts culminated in the production of multi-million dollar training programs, supporting the fielding of a variety of new systems, operating at both the tactical and national intelligence levels. During this assignment, Hennen was appointed as Department of the Army IMINT subject matter expert. He developed and managed a major project for the Office of the Secretary of Defense; he authored the U.S. Army Radar Training Plan; participated in the development of the TENCAP Systems Management Model; was selected as a member of a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) team that developed the Joint Space Intelligence and Operations Course; and represented the Army on the DIA Intelligence Training Equipment Subcommittee.

In 1986, Hennen was selected by the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center to represent him within the U.S. Army Space Program Office (ASPO) in Washington, D.C., for those matters pertaining to TENCAP requirements, concept development, and the doctrinal and operational employment of TENCAP systems. Additionally, he participated in various Army, DOD, and National Intelligence Community working groups and subcommittees involved in TENCAP program activities. Hennen was personally responsible for managing the development and successful fielding of a state-of-the-art IMINT system to both the European and Pacific Theaters of Operations. Chief Hennen’s efforts at ASPO were instrumental in the efficient evolution of 5 major TENCAP systems with a Life Cycle Cost in excess of $2 billion US dollars, providing critical and timely intelligence in support of the requirements of the tactical commander on the extended battlefield.

Astronaut career[]

Hennen was selected as a payload specialist candidate in September 1988 and moved back to the "Home of Military Intelligence", Fort Huachuca, Arizona, during March 1989 to begin Terra Scout payload operations training. During August 1989 he was selected as the primary payload specialist for the Terra Scout experiment manifested on STS-44, and reported to NASA in 1990 to begin Payload Specialist and Space Shuttle Crew Training.

Hennen became the first Warrant Officer in space, flying aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-44), which launched from Kennedy Space Center Pad 39A at 6:44PM (EST), November 24, 1991. He orbited the Earth 109 times, traveling 2.9 million miles (4.7 million km), before landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California on December 1, 1991.

Hennen retired from the U.S. Army in December 1995. He is the co-founder and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Atlantis Foundation, a non-profit organization that is both an advocate and a service provider for people with developmental disabilities.

Awards and honors[]

Hennen has been awarded many special honors, including the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Defense Superior Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster, NASA Space Flight Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal; and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with oak leaf cluster.

Hennen was selected on numerous occasions as Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) of the Quarter/Year by the various commands and agencies to which he was assigned during his enlisted career.


This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).