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In Memoriam

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Soviet cosmonaut Alexander Serebrov dies

MOSCOW, November 12 (Itar-Tass) - Soviet cosmonaut Alexander Serebrov died at his apartment in Khovanskaya street in Moscow on Tuesday. He was 69. His death was sudden, a source from Cosmonauts' Training Center told Itar-Tass.

Alexander Serebrov was born in Moscow on February 15, 1944. In 1967 Serevbrov graduated from the Moscow Physics Technological Institute (MFTI). In 1970 he received a post- graduate degree at MFTI. Since 1976 Serebrov had worked at Energia scientific -industrial Corporation and took part in space apparatus development programs. In December 1978 he was enrolled in a Team of Soviet cosmonauts.

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Halton C. Arp, Astronomer Who Challenged Big Bang Theory, Dies at 86

Halton C. Arp, a prodigal son of American astronomy whose dogged insistence that astronomers had misread the distances to quasars cast doubt on the Big Bang theory of the universe and led to his exile from his peers and the telescopes he loved, died on Dec. 28 in Munich. He was 86.

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John Dobson, 1915–2014

The long-lived master of sidewalk astronomy died peacefully on January 15th. Emerging from obscurity in 1968, he introduced simple ideas that revolutionized how amateurs make and use large reflecting telescopes.

A simple notice appeared yesterday on the website of the San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers: "It is with heavy hearts that we must report the passing of John Dobson. He died peacefully this morning, Wednesday, January 15th, in Burbank, California. He was 98 years old. He leaves behind a son, numerous close friends, and fans and admirers worldwide."

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Jean Texereau, Master Optician

One of the giants of telescope making has died. He shared his years of professional experience with amateurs around the world.

Just shy of his 95th birthday, Jean Texereau — France’s doyen of optical fabrication — passed away on February 6, 2014. In recent years he’d been living in the village of Seillans, in the department of Var.

For more than half a century Texereau made, refigured, or tested optics for large observatory telescopes. He also promoted amateur telescope making through the Société Astronomique de France. But his enduring gift to “glass pushers” around the world was his book La Construction du Télescope d’Amateur, which first appeared in 1951. An English edition, titled How To Make a Telescope, followed six years later.

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Cosmonaut Valery Kubasov, Apollo-Soyuz crewmember, dies at 79

Feb. 19, 2014 – Valery Kubasov, a Soviet-era cosmonaut whose three missions included the first joint flight between the United States and Russia, died Wednesday (Feb. 19). He was 79.

"Very sad to report that Valery Kubasov has passed away in Moscow," the Association of Space Explorers (ASE), a professional organization whose astronaut and cosmonaut members included Kubasov, wrote in a brief statement. "A true pioneer of spaceflight and international cooperation in space."

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Dale Gardner, jetpack-flying astronaut who salvaged satellites, dies at 65

Feb. 21, 2014 - Dale Gardner, a NASA astronaut who on the second of his two space shuttle missions became the last person to fly the Manned Maneuvering Unit jetpack as he helped perform the first space salvage in history, died Wednesday (Feb. 19) in Colorado. He was 65.

Gardner suffered a sudden brain aneurysm, according to a source who knew him in life. News of Gardner's death was shared via social media on Thursday, with the Association of Space Explorers and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida noting his passing.

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Skylab 4 Pilot William Pogue Dies

William Pogue, pilot on NASA's Skylab 4 mission in 1973-74, has died. He was 84 years old.

Skylab 4 was the third and final manned visit to the Skylab orbital workshop, launched Nov. 16, 1973, and concluded Feb. 8, 1974. At 84 days, 1 hour and 15 minutes, Skylab 4 was the longest manned space flight to that date.

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Jack A. Kinzler, NASA’s ‘Mr. Fix-it,’ dies at 94

Jack A. Kinzler, who died March 4 at 94, was NASA’s “Mr. Fix-it.”

As chief of the all-purpose machine and tool shop at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Mr. Kinzler specialized in down-to-earth solutions for beyond-the-stratosphere problems.

In 1973, when a solar panel and shield were torn from the Skylab Space Station, leaving the orbiting Skylab exposed to a dangerous level of solar heat, Mr. Kinzler turned to one of mankind’s oldest sun shields: the parasol.

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John Houbolt, NASA engineer who fought for Apollo moon landing method, dies

April 17, 2014 — Were it not for John Houbolt, the United States might never have landed men on the moon.

The engineer, who died on Tuesday (April 15) at the age of 95, successfully sold the country's space program leaders on an alternate flight plan, Lunar Orbit Rendezvous (LOR), which ultimately led to the six Apollo moon landings of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Houbolt's death was confirmed by a spokesman for NASA on Thursday.

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Former Langley Center Director Edgar Cortright Dies

Long before Edgar Cortright joined the NACA or became Langley Center Director or even graduated elementary school, he planned a career in aviation. "I always knew, from about age five on, what I wanted to be, because my father flew in World War I. I used to put his uniform on as a little kid, and I decided I wanted to be in aviation," Cortright said in an oral history interview conducted in 1998. He fulfilled that dream and more. Cortright's career spanned, not only some of the most ground-breaking years of aviation in the U.S., but all the early days of robotic and human space exploration.

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Pioneering Test Pilot Bill Dana Dies at Age 83

Bill Dana was an aeronautical engineer, a test pilot. He was an astronaut.

His career at the NASA High-Speed Flight Station (now Armstrong Flight Research Center) began on October 1, 1958; coincidentally the same day NASA came into being. He piloted some of the agency's most remarkable craft and was with us from the agency's infancy through the maturity of the Space Shuttle and the creation of the International Space Station.Bill retired on May 29, 1998, a few month's shy of 40 years of distinguished service to NASA. He passed away Tuesday, May 6, 2014, at the age of 83.

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Colin Pillinger dies after brain haemorrhage

British planetary scientist Colin Pillinger, best known for his 2003 attempt to land a spacecraft on Mars, has died aged 70, his family have said.

Prof Pillinger was at his home in Cambridge when he suffered a brain haemorrhage and fell into a deep coma.

His family said he later died at Addenbrooke's Hospital without regaining consciousness.

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Wubbo Ockels, first Dutch astronaut to fly in space, dies at 68

May 18, 2014 - Wubbo Ockels, who in 1985 became the first Dutch citizen to fly into space, died Sunday (May 18), the European Space Agency (ESA) confirmed. He was 68.

"Sad to hear former ESA astronaut Wubbo Ockels passed away this morning," agency officials wrote on Twitter.

Ockels' death was due to complications from renal cancer. In May 2013, he confirmed to Dutch news services that he had been diagnosed with an aggressive kidney cancer and that it had spread to his lungs.

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Bill Bradfield, Comet Hunter Extraordinaire (1927-2014)

Bill Bradfield, who passed away on June 9th, was one of the most prolific and elite comet discoverers of all time.

William A. Bradfield, the mild-mannered comet hunter of South Australia, died on June 9, 2014, at age 86. His remarkable tally of 18 comets, each discovered visually and credited to him alone, puts him among the most prolific and elite comet discoverers of all time.

Only the French observer Jean-Louis Pons (1761-1831) achieved more solo finds (22 comets) in his lifetime. The American amateur William R. Brooks (1844-1921), with 18 comets that were his alone, is the only other astronomer in the same league with Bradfield when it comes to visual discoveries.

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Former Roscosmos Chief Vladimir Popovkin Dies at 57

Vladimir Aleksandrovich Popovkin, former head of the Federal Space Agency, or Roscosmos, passed away on Wednesday from an undisclosed illness at the age of 57, a Roscosmos press release said.

Popovkin, who presided over the space program for over two years after his appointment in 2011, was replaced by Oleg Ostapenko in October 2013. He was born in Dushanbe in 1957 to a military family, and graduated from the elite Leningrad military engineering institute, walking into a job at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the launch site for most of Russia's spacecraft. There, he rose through the ranks from a lowly engineer to commander of the same launch pad that Yury Gagarin himself launched from in 1961.

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Hubble Instrument Scientist Bruce Woodgate Passes

Just as NASA's Hubble Space Telescope began celebrating entering its 25th year in April, one of the people responsible for its success and a creator of many other related technologies passed away. Bruce Woodgate, an astronomer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, had a career that spanned nearly 40 years.

Woodgate was the principal investigator for the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) a camera that was installed on the Hubble Space Telescope in 1997, providing groundbreaking discoveries in astrophysics. After an instrument electronics failure in 2004, STIS was repaired during the final astronaut servicing mission to Hubble in 2009, and it continues to operate today.

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In Memoriam: Frederick I. Ordway III (1927-2014)

The National Space Society is mourning the passing today of NSS Board of Governors member Frederick I. Ordway III.

Frederick Ira Ordway III was an educator, consultant, researcher, and author on space flight and energy programs.

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Bruno Zumino Dies at 91; Sought to Tie Together Laws of Universe

Bruno Zumino, a physicist who proposed a theory called supersymmetry that promised to help tie together the fundamental laws of the universe but that has yet to be borne out in experiments, died June 21 at his home in Berkeley, Calif. He was 91.

His death was confirmed by the University of California, Berkeley, where he was an emeritus professor.

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Bill Gaubatz, of Delta Clipper fame, has passed away

Bill Gaubatz, a manager at McDonnell Douglas, is best known in aerospace circles as the project lead of the DC-X/XA project, a vertical takeoff vertical landing sub scale test vehicle that was flown a number of times in the early and mid-1990s. It was hoped that the DC-X would eventually lead to a single stage to orbit space ship, to be named the Delta Clipper, that would carry people and supplies to and from low Earth orbit. Sadly, as Space Politics reported on Monday, Gaubatz passed away on Saturday.

The Delta Clipper program was born during the first Bush administration out of frustration that NASA’s space shuttle had failed to fulfill the promise of cheap access to space. It was a small project, costing only tens of millions of dollars, run by the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization under the Defense Department. The DC-X was a one third scale vehicle that tested various technologies surrounding the idea of a single stage to orbit spacecraft that would launch and land vertically just as "God and Robert Heinlein intended."

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Astronaut Hank Hartsfield, led first flight of space shuttle Discovery, dies at 80

July 17, 2014 - NASA astronaut Henry "Hank" Hartsfield, who in 1984 commanded the maiden mission of the space shuttle Discovery, died on Thursday (July 17). He was 80.

Hartsfield's death came as a result of complications from back surgery he had several months ago, according to his fellow astronaut and STS-41D crewmember Mike Mullane.

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Former NASA astronaut Steven Nagel dies

August 22, 2014 - NASA astronaut Steven Nagel, who flew four space shuttle missions, died Thursday (Aug. 21). He was 67.

Nagel died after a long battle with cancer, the Association of Space Explorers stated on Facebook. The international organization, to which Nagel belonged, includes more than 350 men and women who have flown in space.

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Noel Hinners, Former NASA Scientist, Dies at 78

Noel Hinners, a former chief scientist for NASA who helped plan the scientific exploration of the moon for the Apollo program and later oversaw projects such as the Mars Surveyor Program, has died.

Hinners' brother Bill Hinners said Saturday that Hinners died Friday after battling a brain tumor. He was 78.

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Soviet-era cosmonaut Anatoly Berezovoy, commanded Salyut space station, dies

Sep. 20, 2014 - Soviet-era cosmonaut Anatoly Berezovoy, who led the first expedition on board Russia's final Salyut space station, died Saturday (Sept. 20). He was 72.

"[berezovoy] was a member of a legendary generation of cosmonauts, a man of great will and courage, [and] a top-class professional who did so much for the development of cosmonautics and major research projects," said Oleg Ostapenko, the chief of the Russian federal space agency Roscosmos. "His memory will live on forever in the hearts of those who knew and loved [him]."

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Oleg Ivanovsky - obituary

Oleg Ivanovsky was a Russian rocket scientist who helped Yuri Gagarin become the first man to enter outer space

Oleg Ivanovsky, who has died aged 92, was one of the last remaining rocket scientists who witnessed the complete Soviet space programme from within; among other things he oversaw the construction and launch in 1961 of Vostok 1, the spacecraft which carried the cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin into space, a giant leap for mankind that would goad a humiliated United States into reaching for the moon.

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Russian cosmonaut Boris Morukov, space station visitor and Mars sim leader, dies

January 1, 2015 - Russian cosmonaut Boris Morukov, a physician who visited the International Space Station and led a 520-day simulated Mars mission, died Thursday (Jan 1). He was 64.

Morukov's death was reported by the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP), where he served as the deputy director of science since 2006. A cause of death was not given.

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