Thomas Statler

Thomas Statler

Program Scientist

Thomas Statler is a Program Scientist in the Science Mission Directorate’s Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters. His scientific research has encompassed a broad range of topics, from collisions of multiple universes and the structure of galaxies to the spins and orbits of near-Earth asteroids. On the PDCO team, he serves as Program Scientist for the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission. He is also Program Scientist for the upcoming Lucy mission to the Trojan asteroids and the Japan-led MMX mission to the moons of Mars. Dr. Statler holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and astronomy from the University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. in astrophysics from Princeton University.

Before joining NASA in 2014, Dr. Statler spent nearly 20 years on the faculty of Ohio University, where he led the creation of its astrophysics research program. From 2009 to 2013, he was a program director at the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Statler is a past chair of the American Astronomical Society’s Division on Dynamical Astronomy. Asteroid 9536 Statler is named in his honor. He is also a composer of eclectic (some would say obtuse) music for small and large instrumental ensembles.

Planetary defense coordination office team

Lindley Johnson

Planetary Defense Officer

Kelly Fast

Program Manager

Doris Daou

Strategic and Professional Communications

Michael Kelley

Program Scientist

Thomas Statler

Program Scientist

Andrea Riley

Program Executive

Leviticus Lewis

FEMA Detailee

William Knopf

Program Executive

Joshua Handal

Program Analyst

Linda Billings


Patricia Talbert

Multimedia Specialist