Yoji Kondo has a Ph.D. in astrophysics and headed the astro- physics laboratory at the Johnson Space Center during the Apollo and Skylab Missions. For fifteen years, he was director of the NASA International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite observatory. He has served for the past three years as special advisor to NASA Administrator Dan Goldin.
He has held external appointments as professor at the University of Oklahoma, the University of Houston, the University of Pennsylvania, the George Mason University, the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science in Japan, the University of La Plata in Argentina, and the Catholic University of America in Washington. He has also served in leading capacities in various scientific organizations (such as the International Astronomical Union, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Astronomical Society), including that as President of IAU Commission on Astronomy from Space.
His research interests have encompassed from interacting binary stars, the local interstellar medium, and active galactic nuclei to relativistic astrophysics. He has published over 300 scientific papers and is editor of eleven scientific volumes, the latest of which is "Examining the Big Bang". He is also a long- time proponent of reusable launch vehicles that can reduce the cost of reaching low Earth orbit by as much as a factor of one hundred.
Among the professional honors he has received are the Federal Design Achievement Award (which was issued in conjunction with the U.S. Presidential Award for Design Excellence for IUE), the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and the National Space Club Science Award.
Under the pseudonym of Eric Kotani, he has written five science fiction books: four with John Maddox Roberts, "Act of God", "The Island Worlds", "Between the Stars" and "Delta Pavonis", and one with Roger MacBride Allen, "Supernova". He also edited "Requiem: New Collected Works of Robert A. Heinlein and Tributes to the Grand Master", which made the National Best Seller List of the San Francisco Chronicle. He has just completed his sixth novel, a Star Trek Voyager book entitled "Death of A Neutron Star".
One of his avocations is martial arts. He is a fifth degree black-belt in judo and a sixth degree black-belt in aikido. He has been teaching a class in Columbia for twenty years, and has presented two aikido demonstrations at Balticon.