Edward C. Stone

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

January 23, 1936 (1936-01-23)
DiedJune 9, 2024 (2024-06-10) (aged 88)
Alma materUniversity of Chicago (M.S., Ph.D.)
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 (January 23, 1936 – June 9, 2024) was an American space scientist, professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology, and director of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).[1][2]


Stone in 1986

Stone was born in Knoxville, Iowa, on January 23, 1936.[3] 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.[citation needed]

Stone's began astrophysics research in 1961, working on cosmic-ray experiments carried by Discoverer satellites.[citation needed] He then joined the staff of Caltech as a research fellow, and became a full faculty member in 1967.[citation needed] In 1976, Stone was named professor of physics, later the Morrisroe Professor of Physics,[4] and was chair of the Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy from 1983 to 1988.[citation needed] He has also served as director of the Caltech Space Radiation Laboratory, and as vice president for Astronomical Facilities. He was the vice-chair of the Thirty Meter Telescope Board of Directors.[5]

In 1972, Stone became project scientist for the Voyager missions to the outer Solar System.[citation needed] He was also the principal investigator for the Cosmic Ray System experiment on both Voyager spacecraft.[6] As the spokesman for the Voyager science team, he became well known to the public in the 1980s.[citation needed] He was later the principal investigator of nine NASA spacecraft missions[which?] and coinvestigator on five more.[citation needed]

He appeared in The Farthest, a 2017 documentary on the Voyager program.[citation needed] In 2022, Stone retired from project scientist of the Voyager missions, after holding the role for 50 years.[7] He died from complications of dementia in Pasadena, California, on June 9, 2024, at the age of 88.[8][9][10]

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)[11] and the launches of Cassini, Stardust, and 2001 Mars Odyssey.

Awards and honors



  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ "Edward Stone Biography". nasa.gov. Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  3. ^ "Edward Stone Biography". caltech.edu. Archived from the original on April 27, 2018. 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. Archived from the original on June 8, 2023. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  7. ^ "Edward Stone Retires After 50 Years as NASA Voyager's Project Scientist". NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Archived from the original on November 11, 2022. Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  8. ^ Roberts, Sam (June 14, 2024). "Edward Stone, 88, Physicist Who Oversaw Voyager Missions, Is Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved June 14, 2024.
  9. ^ "Edward C. Stone, 1936–2024". Caltech. June 11, 2024. Archived from the original on June 11, 2024. Retrieved June 11, 2024.
  10. ^ "Bob Schul obituary: chronic asthma sufferer who became Olympic champion". The Times. July 3, 2024. Retrieved July 14, 2024.
  11. ^ 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,
  12. ^ "Edward C. Stone". www.nasonline.org. Archived from the original on March 15, 2022. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  13. ^ "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Archived from the original on March 15, 2022. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  14. ^ "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". www.achievement.org. American Academy of Achievement. Archived from the original on December 15, 2016. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
  15. ^ "The 2019 Prize in Astronomy: Edward C Stone". The Shaw Prize. Archived from the original on September 30, 2022. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  16. ^ "(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. Archived from the original on July 30, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2020.