Pamela Melroy (Colonel, USAF, Retired), a retired test pilot and astronaut, has joined the Board of Trustees at the Planetary Science Institute.

Melroy has a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College in Physics and Astronomy and a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Planetary Science. After serving the United States Air Force and NASA, she worked at Lockheed Martin on the Orion program, and was acting Deputy Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation at the Federal Aviation Administration. She most recently served as Deputy Director, Tactical Technology Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The Planetary Science Institute studies the origin, characteristics, and evolution of planetary systems, including our Solar System, Earth itself, and planetary systems around other stars. It conveys the resulting knowledge to the scientific community, and to the public at large to promote science education and science literacy. It further uses this knowledge to advance human activity in space and shape the future of robotic exploration of the Solar System.

“Pamela Melroy embodies the lifelong ambitions shared by many of us in space exploration,” said Mark Sykes, CEO and Director of PSI. “Her deep experience in human spaceflight, the aerospace industry, and related government programs will be of great value as we continue to expand the impact and application of our work.”

“I truly look forward to joining the PSI board,” said Melroy. “It’s wonderful to be involved again with my first scientific passion – planetary science – and to support planetary scientists in their quest for knowledge of our universe.”

Visit for a photo of Melroy.


The Planetary Science Institute is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to solar system exploration. It is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, where it was founded in 1972.

PSI has more than 100 Ph.D. scientists involved in numerous NASA and international missions, the study of Mars and other planets, the Moon, asteroids, comets, interplanetary dust, impact physics, the origin of the solar system, extra-solar planet formation, dynamics, the rise of life, and other areas of research. They conduct fieldwork on all continents around the world. They also are actively involved in science education and public outreach through school programs, children’s books, popular science books and art.

PSI scientists are based in 25 states and the District of Columbia, and work from various locations around the world.