BACKGROUND: Kondo holds a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Pennsylvania, headed the astrophysics laboratory at the Johnson Space Center (formerly, Manned Spacecraft Center) during the Apollo and Skylab Missions, and was the NASA director of a geosynchronous satellite observatory for 15 years, among other roles. He also served as President of the International Astronomical Union's (IAU's) Commission on "Astronomy from Space", as well as President of IAU Commission on "Close Binary Stars" and the IAU Division on "Variable Stars".
SCIENTIFIC BOOKS: He organized the IAU Symposium on "Examining the Big Bang" with Menas Kafatos, and co-edited and published its proceedings (Kluwer Academic Publishers). He has also edited or co-edited ten other scientific volumes since 1975, including "X- ray Binaries", "The Local Interstellar Medium", "Exploring the Universe with the IUE Satellite", "Evolutionary Processes in Interacting Binary Stars", "Observatories in Earth Orbit and Beyond", "The Realm of Interacting Binary Stars", and "Space Access and Utilization Beyond 2000".
ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS: While at NASA, he has held concurrent appointments as professor at the University of Oklahoma, the University of Houston, the University of Pennsylvania, the George Mason University, the Institute of Space & Astronautical Research in Japan, the University of La Plata in Argentina, and the Catholic University of America (current).
PROFESSIONAL HONORS: Among the professional recognitions he
received are the "NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement", the "Federal Design Achievement Award (concurrently issued
with the U.S. Presidential Award for Design Excellence)", and the
National Space Club "Science Award" -- in addition to seven
other awards from NASA, Johnson Space Center, Goddard Space
Flight Center, and the European Space Agency.
Recipient of the Isaac Asimov Memorial Award for 2002 (announced in 2003 by the Lunarians, the New York Science Fiction Society), which was given to Yoji Kondo (rather than to E. Kotani) for science writing. [Previous recipients include, Arthur C. Clark, Stephen Hawking, Stephen J. Gould, and Charles Sheffield.]
AVOCATIONS/HOBBIES: His avocation is judo (6th degree black-belt) and aikido (6th degree black belt), and has been teaching the martial arts for a few decades. To find out more about the martial art of Aikido, go to the Aikido America International.