At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Don Yeomans is a JPL Fellow and a Senior Research Scientist. Dr. Yeomans was the Radio Science team chief for NASA’s Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission. He was the NASA Project Scientist for the successful Japanese mission to land upon, and return a sample from, a near-Earth asteroid Itokawa and he was a scientific investigator on NASA’s Deep Impact mission that successfully impacted comet Tempel 1 in July 2005 and flew past comet Hartley 2 in November 2010. He provided the accurate predictions that led to the recovery of comet Halley at Palomar Observatory on October 16, 1982 and allowed the discovery of 164 BC Babylonian observations of comet Halley on clay tablets in the British Museum. From 1998 through early 2015 (when he retired), Don Yeomans was the manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office at JPL, an office that is responsible for providing predictions for future close Earth approaches and impacts by comets and asteroids. Asteroid “2956” was renamed asteroid “2956 Yeomans” to honor his professional achievements and in 2013, Don Yeomans was named as one of the 100 most influential persons by Time magazine.
He is an Asteroid Day science advisor.