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Biographies Page
Dr. John Robinson
Full name: John Sims Robinson
Birth date: January 14, 1957
Birth place: Lowell, Massachusetts, USA
Height: 6 feet, 3 inches
Weight: 190 pounds
Eyes: Hazel Hair: Dark brown
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel, United States Space Corps
Hobbies/interests: Sports, especially football, fencing, boxing

John Robinson was born the fifth child of a "lower-income" family. His high intelligence, good looks and athletic ability helped him to overcome his economic hardships.

In school, John was always at the head of his class, academically. He also shined on the football field, becoming the youngest quarterback ever at East Side High School during his sophomore year.

Academics remained his primary interest, however, despite several lucrative offers from colleges that wanted him to play on their football teams. By working part-time and obtaining academic scholarships, John was able to enroll at the California Institute of Technology in 1976. The school offered a degree program in Planetary Geological Sciences, which combined his keen interests in geology and space.

Although popular, John had never dated much. While at CIT, though, he met a beautiful and brilliant student named Maureen Tomlinson. Despite hectic schedules, the two found time to be together and were soon virtually inseparable. During the summer break after their first year in college they were married, on June 10, 1977. Maureen's sister, Colleen, invited them to live with her in Los Angeles while they finished college, and they did so for the next four years.

John decided to stay for a fifth year at CIT in order to earn his master's degree in Astrophysics and applied Planetary Geology. He graduated with honors in 1981. His first job was as an instructor of geophysics at the University of California at Los Angeles. While working there, he continued his education and received a doctorate in 1985. "He won a number of awards while at the school for outstanding teaching ability and leadership, including the prestigious Zane Morris award."

While all of this was going on, the Robinson family was growing. Daughter Judy was born on February 26, 1978. The Robinsons moved to their own home in Los Angeles, and then, soon after Penny was born on September 8, 1985, they moved to nearby San Gabriel, California. Will was born there on February 1, 1987.

After seven years of teaching, John was restless. When Alpha Control offered him the opportunity to work on a new program to study the adaptability of humans to life on alien planets, he immediately accepted "with the blessings of his family." The Robinsons moved in the spring of 1988 to Houston, Texas, where Alpha Control was building a gigantic scientific and training facility.

John (known as "Professor Robinson" at Alpha Control) was soon deeply involved in the program to develop the Deep Thrust Telescopic Probe series of interstellar spacecraft. These ships were launched in December 1988, and showed definitively that Alpha Centauri had two planets, Delta and Gamma, capable of supporting human life.

John was next given a position with Alpha Control's Colonization Studies Division. His enthusiasm for the colonization program rubbed off on Maureen. Despite misgivings about the dangers of space flight, she eventually agreed with John to volunteer the family for the first colonization mission.

Alpha Control announced in February 1993 that it would begin taking applications from families for the Jupiter 2 mission. Four months later, it was announced that the Robinsons would be the first family in space. "John, Maureen, and the three Robinson children would spend the next four years training for the mission, and would leave Earth on October 16, 1997."