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Jewogle - Jerome Apt, Ph.D.

Jerome Apt, Ph.D.

Jerome Apt, Ph.D.

Jerome III "Jay" Apt, Ph.D. (born April 28, 1949 in Massachusetts) is an American astronaut and professor at Carnegie Mellon University. Before he became an astronaut, Apt was a physicist who worked on the Venus space probe project, and used visible light and infrared techniques to study the planets and moons of the solar system from ground-based observatories.


Apt graduated from Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1967. He went on to attend Harvard University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in physics in 1971. He then attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned a Doctor of Philosophy in physics in 1976. From 1976 to 1980 he was a staff member of the Center for Earth & Planetary Physics at Harvard, and served as the Assistant Director of Harvard's Division of Applied Sciences from 1978 to 1980. In 1980 he joined the Earth and Space Sciences Division of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as a scientist doing planetary research, and from 1982 through 1985 he was a flight controller responsible for Shuttle payload operations at NASA's Johnson Space Center. In 1986 he became an astronaut. He has flown on four space missions and has logged over 847 hours in space.

In 1991, Apt flew aboard shuttle Atlantis where he made two spacewalks, where, along with Jerry Ross, he manually deployed the Gamma Ray Observatory's radio antenna when it failed to do so automatically; on the next day they tested hardware later used on the International Space Station. In 1992, he flew aboard shuttle Endeavour as the flight engineer, and commander of one of the two shifts in this round-the-clock mission. In 1994, Apt was again a shift commander of the first Space Radar Laboratory mission. This lab studied the Earth. In 1996, Apt flew aboard shuttle Atlantis and visited the Russian Mir space station.

In 2003, Apt joined the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University where he is a Full Professor at the Tepper School of Business and the Department of Engineering and Public Policy. His research and teaching interests are in economics, engineering, and public policy aspects of the electricity industry, economics of technical innovation, management of technical enterprises, risk management in policy and technical decision framing, and engineering systems design.

He is the author of the book Orbit: NASA Astronauts Photograph the Earth, published by the National Geographic Society, as well as of a large number of technical scientific publications. He received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal in 1997 and the Metcalf Lifetime Achievement Award for significant contributions to engineering in 2002. His paper with PhD student Adam Newcomer, "Near term implications of a ban on new coal-fired power plants in the US" was cited as one of the top environmental policy papers of 2009 by the American Chemical Society.

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