Scott Bolton head shot

Scott Bolton

Juno Principal Investigator and Associate Vice President of the Southwest Research Institute’s Science and Engineering Division

Dr. Scott Bolton is the Director of the Space Science and Engineering Division at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and Principal Investigator of NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter. Dr. Bolton has 24 years of experience at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), spanning a wide spectrum of management, engineering and scientific positions for planetary missions including Cassini, Galileo, Voyager and Magellan, to name a few. His extensive experience managing multiple science investigations on both Cassini and Galileo provides an excellent background and skill set for his role as the Principal Investigator (PI) for NASA's Juno Mission to Jupiter. His experience at JPL spans mission design, instrument design and delivery, mission development, science planning, and science operations. Dr. Bolton's management experience includes leading groups of scientists on Galileo, Cassini, his research group at JPL, and management of a team of engineers for Galileo operations. In 2004 he became the Director of Space Sciences Department at SwRI where he manages the work of more than 90 scientists and engineers. Dr. Bolton led the concept development for the Juno microwave radiometer experiment and has research expertise in multiple areas relevant to the Juno mission (microwave radio astronomy, radiation belts, magnetospheric physics, and atmospheric science). Since 1999, Dr. Bolton has served as Chair of the Cassini Titan Orbiter Science Team, responsible for developing the multi-disciplinary investigation of Titan. From 1987-1997, Dr. Bolton managed the JPL and instrument teams associated with the Galileo Magnetospheric Working Group. Dr. Bolton served as JPL scientist for the PEPE experiment on DS-1 with responsibility for the successful development of the instrument. From 1980-1986, Dr. Bolton worked in the Mission Design and Mission Planning Groups at JPL on advanced mission concepts. Dr. Bolton received his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1980, and a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1990. He received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in 2002; JPL Individual Awards for Exceptional Excellence in Leadership in 2002, 2001, and 1996, and Excellence in Management in 2000; he has also received seven NASA Group Achievement Awards. Dr. Bolton is Co-Investigator on two Galileo experiments, Plasma Wave Subsystem (PWS) and Plasma Subsystem (PLS), and two Cassini investigations, Cassini Plasma Subsystem (CAPS), and Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI). He is also the Investigation Scientist for the Radio and Plasma Wave Subsystem (RPWS). Dr. Bolton has been Principal Investigator on NASA Space Physics and Planetary Astronomy programs since 1988. He presently leads an international research group focused on modeling Jupiter and Saturn's radiation belts. He is an author of over 60 scientific papers.

Latest Planetary Radio Appearances

Juno Journeys to Jupiter’s Moons

Dive into the latest discoveries about Jupiter’s moons, Ganymede, Europa, and Io, with Scott Bolton, the principal investigator for NASA’s Juno mission.

Space Policy Edition: Why are outer planets missions so expensive?

Casey talks with experts about the 50th anniversary of the Pioneer 10 launch toward Jupiter and beyond, and why most outer planets missions since then have been so costly.

Mighty Jupiter Revealed

The Juno mission will continue its exploration of Jupiter till 2025, thanks to a four-year extension granted by NASA. Principal investigator Scott Bolton brings us up to date.