Alan Stern

Alan Stern

Associate vice president for research and development, Space Science and Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute

Alan Stern has been principal investigator of NASA's New Horizons Mission since before it was authorized by NASA in 2001. He has been involved in 24 space missions and served as principal investigator for eight of them. In addition to his work as a planetary scientist and developer of scientific instruments for planetary and near-space research, he has been a NASA administrator, aerospace consultant, and author. Stern first joined the Southwest Research Institute as a scientist in 1991 after working as an engineer and researcher at Martin Marietta Aerospace and the University of Colorado (Boulder), where he earned his PhD in astrophysics and planetary science. He left in 2007 to serve as associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate and returned to SwRI after resigning that post in 2008. He is author of The U.S. Space Program After Challenger (Franklin-Watts, 1987) and Our Worlds: The Magnetism and Thrill of Planetary Exploration (Reed 1999) and co-author with Jacqueline Milton of Pluto and Charon: Ice Worlds on the Ragged Edge of the Solar System (Wiley, 2nd edition 2005). He has been involved with several private space ventures, including the Moon Express team pursuing the Google Lunar X-Prize, and his own space-products company, Uwingu. Named in 2007 to the TIME 100, Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world, Stern also serves on the board of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education. Earlier in 2015 he was named an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and chosen by Smithsonian magazine to receive an American Ingenuity Award. Twitter: @AlanStern


Brought to you by