Edward C. Stone
Stone with a Voyager model in 1992
Edward Carroll Stone

January 23, 1936 (1936-01-23) (age 88)
Alma materUniversity of Chicago (M.S., Ph.D.)
Occupation(s)professor, physicist
Years active1972-2022
Known forJPL director and Voyager scientist
Scientific career
Thesis Low energy cosmic-ray protons  (1964)
Doctoral advisorJohn Alexander Simpson
Doctoral studentsNeil Gehrels

Edward Carroll Stone (born January 23, 1936)[1] is an American space scientist, professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology, and former director of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).[2][3]


Stone in 1986

Stone was born in Knoxville, Iowa. After receiving his undergraduate education at Iowa's Burlington Junior College in Iowa, Stone attended the University of Chicago where he earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physics. Stone's astrophysics career goes back to his first cosmic-ray experiments on Discoverer satellites in 1961. He then joined the staff of Caltech as a research fellow, and became a full faculty member in 1967.

He was named professor of physics in 1976, and was chair of the Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy from 1983 to 1988. He has also served as director of the Caltech Space Radiation Laboratory, and as vice president for Astronomical Facilities. He is currently the Morrisroe Professor of Physics[4] and the vice-chair of the Thirty Meter Telescope Board of Directors.[5]

As project scientist for the unmanned Voyager spacecraft missions to the outer Solar System from 1972, and a major spokesman for the Voyager science team, he became especially well known to the public in the 1980s. He has since been principal investigator on nine NASA spacecraft missions and coinvestigator on five more.

He was the principal investigator for the Cosmic Ray System on the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft, an experiment to measure cosmic rays.[6] He also appeared in The Farthest, a 2017 documentary on the Voyager program. Stone retired from project scientist of the Voyager missions in 2022 after holding the role for 50 years.[7]

JPL director

Ed Stone receives an award from Nichelle Nichols on the 30th anniversary of the Voyager launches, 2007

Stone was the director of Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California from 1991 to 2001. During his tenure, the Mars Pathfinder and its Sojourner rover were successful. Other JPL missions in the period included Mars Global Surveyor, Deep Space 1, TOPEX/Poseidon, NASA Scatterometer (NSCAT)[8] and the launches of Cassini, Stardust, and 2001 Mars Odyssey.

Awards and honors


  1. ^ "Edward Stone Biography". caltech.edu. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  2. ^ Streeter, Kurt (April 14, 2011). "A new frontier in quest to understand the cosmos". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on April 17, 2011. Retrieved April 14, 2011.
  3. ^ "Edward Stone Biography". nasa.gov. Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  4. ^ "Edward Stone Profile". nasa.gov. Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  5. ^ "TMT Board of Directors". Archived from the original on December 18, 2013. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  6. ^ "NASA - NSSDCA - Experiment - Details". nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  7. ^ "Edward Stone Retires After 50 Years as NASA Voyager's Project Scientist". NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  8. ^ F. Naderi, M. H. Freilich, and D. G. Long, Spaceborne Radar Measurement of Wind Velocity Over the Ocean--An Overview of the NSCAT Scatterometer System, Proceedings of the IEEE, pp. 850-866, Vol. 79, No. 6, June 1991,
  9. ^ "Edward C. Stone". www.nasonline.org. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  10. ^ "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  11. ^ "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". www.achievement.org. American Academy of Achievement.
  12. ^ "The 2019 Prize in Astronomy: Edward C Stone". The Shaw Prize.
  13. ^ "(5841) Stone". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names. Springer. 2003. pp. 492–493. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_5481. ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7.