David S. Leckrone
David Leckrone worked as an Astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center for 40 years. For over three decades he served in various scientific roles on the Hubble Space Telescope Project. From 1992 – 2009 he held the position of Hubble’s Senior Project Scientist. In this role he provided scientific leadership for all aspects of the Hubble Program, including program management, spacecraft and science operations, development of new scientific instruments and in-orbit servicing. He had overall Project responsibility to assure that the scientific performance requirements for the Hubble observatory were achieved and that the HST observatory remained scientifically productive and successful over its long lifetime. Dr. Leckrone was the lead scientist for five highly successful Space Shuttle servicing missions to Hubble.
Dr. Leckrone is an internationally recognized authority on ultraviolet astronomy, spectroscopic analysis of stellar atmospheres, and the abundances of the chemical elements in both normal and chemically peculiar stars. In addition he is much in demand as a public speaker, writer and commentator on science, Hubble and the space program.
He earned a BS with honors in Physics from Purdue University in 1964 and a PhD in Astronomy from UCLA in 1969. He holds a MAS/Management degree from the Johns Hopkins University (1987). In 1996 he received an honorary doctorate in Natural Sciences from the University of Lund in Sweden.
In January 2012, the American Astronomical Society awarded Dr. Leckrone the George Van Biesbroeck Prize in recognition of “long-term and unselfish service to Astronomy.” In 2009 he received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the highest honor the Agency bestows on a Civil Servant.
Dr. Leckrone retired from NASA in 2009. He currently holds the position of Emeritus Senior Scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center. He and his wife, Marlene, reside in Silver Spring, Maryland. He has a son, daughter and two grandchildren.