MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. — Yvonne Pendleton has been named director of the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) headquartered at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Pendleton has served as the NASA Ames deputy associate center director, chief of the Space Science and Astrobiology Division and as a research astrophysicist for 31 years, including nearly two years at NASA headquarters.

She has a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of California at Santa Cruz, a master’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Pendleton replaces David Morrison, who was acting director for NLSI.

“We’re thrilled to have someone with Dr. Pendleton’s combination of leadership and Astrophysics background lead the charge for our lunar science institute,” said Ames Center Director S. Pete Worden. “And, we thank Dr. Morrison for his hard work and dedication to the institute these past couple of years.”

Morrison recently was appointed director for the Carl Sagan Center for Study of Life in the Universe at the SETI Institute and continues part-time as a senior scientist at the NLSI.

“Dr. Pendleton is a natural fit for the lunar science institute director role,” said NASA’s Planetary Science Division Director Jim Green. “She has an extensive astrophysics background and besides–how many directors have asteroids named after them?”

Asteroid 7165 Pendleton was named in honor of her work in astrophysics and planetary research. She is interested in how interstellar ices and organics are delivered to bodies in the solar system via comets and asteroids. Pendleton is also an elected fellow of the California Academy of Science.

NLSI is a virtual organization that supplements and extends existing NASA lunar science programs. Supported by the NASA Science Mission Directorate and the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, the NLSI is managed by the NASA Ames Research Center and is modeled on the NASA Astrobiology Institute with dispersed teams across the nation working together to help lead the agency’s research activities related to NASA’s lunar exploration goals.

For more information about the NASA Lunar Science Institute, visit:

For more information about NASA Ames, visit: