In Memoriam

Geologist Peter Wessel Birkeland died of natural causes in Boulder, Colorado, on January 25, 2022. Birkeland was born in Seattle, Washington, on September 19, 1934, to Norwegian immigrant Ivar Wessel Birkeland and Marguerite Ellen O’Conner Birkeland of Rochester, Minnesota, and grew up in the Seattle area. He served in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955, ending […]
Brad Blair, a prominent member of the lunar in situ resource utilization (ISRU) community, passed away unexpectedly on June 25, 2022. Blair was a professional consultant on advanced mining technology and the economic use of space mineral resources, as well as a visionary entrepreneur with the ability to network and bring together experts in diverse fields […]
Sherwood Chang, an organic chemist, died in Tacoma, Washington, on June 6, 2022, at the age of 81. During his 30 years at NASA as a physical organic chemist, Chang was a leader in the evolution of the application of chemistry in the field of space science. His innovative and collaborative approach to science — uniting cosmochemistry, origin […]
Mineralogist Charles (Charlie) Prewitt peacefully passed away at home on April 28, 2022, at the age of 89. Prewitt’s distinguished career reflects the diversity and impact of the mineral sciences. Following a bachelor’s degree in geology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Prewitt remained in Cambridge to pursue advanced degrees under Martin Buerger. His Ph.D. […]
Leon Theodore “Lee” Silver, an American geologist who was an emeritus professor at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), passed away on January 31, 2022. He was 96 years old. Silver was an instructor to the Apollo 13, 15, 16, and 17 astronaut crews. Working with NASA, he taught astronauts how to perform field geology, essentially creating lunar […]
William Edmund Stoney Jr., an aeronautical engineer who was one of the developers of rockets during the early days of the space program and a lead engineer during the Apollo program, died May 28, 2022. He was 96 years old. Stoney was born in 1925 in Terre Haute, Indiana, and developed an interest in flight at […]