Personnel News: August 2021 Archives

Larry Young

Laurence Young, professor emeritus of astronautics and renowned expert in bioastronautics, dies at 85, MIT

"Laurence R. Young '57, SM '59, ScD '62, the Apollo Program Professor Emeritus of Astronautics and professor of health sciences and technology at MIT, died peacefully at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Aug. 4 after a long illness. He was 85. ... While he never flew a space mission, he served as backup crew (alternate payload specialist) on Spacelab Life Sciences-2 (STS-58) and was principal or co-investigator on seven shuttle missions conducting human orientation experiments."

Keith's note: Where do I start. Larry was one of the first real, by gosh, space life scientists I ever met - even before I arrived at the old NASA Life Science Division at NASA HQ in 1987. Over the coming decades, whether I was running centrifuge efforts at Space Station Freedom, covering NASA online, enduring advisory committee meetings, hanging out at NASA conferences, shuttle launches, peer review panels, or eating lobster in Woods Hole, there was Larry. He was everywhere doing everything, I always looked forward to regular chats with Larry. He was always interested in what you had to say and was never, ever shy about telling you what he thought. And nothing ever seemed to bum him out. Speaking of bums, in addition to his immense career in space life sciences he was a certifiably crazy ski bum. Larry was always in motion.

A few years ago we were gossiping in the hallway at some event. Indeed, I swear Larry was one of the best people to gossip with in the hallway when a meeting was boring since he was always much more interesting. At some point I mentioned our mutual friends Mel Averner and Dick Keefe who had died recently. I started to tear up. So did Larry. We missed our friends. Now I am really going to miss Larry too. The people who created space biomedical sciences are leaving us far too fast. This MIT bio of Larry only scratches the surface.

Ad astra my friend.

Carolyn Shoemaker

American Astronomer Carolyn Shoemaker's Death at 92, US Day News

"American astronomer and a co-discoverer of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, Carolyn Shoemaker's death news has been spreading on social media after she passed away on August 2021 at the age of 92. May the legend rest in power. The heartbreaking news has been confirmed by Meteor Crater in a tweet, reading, "Carolyn Shoemaker, American astronomer and is a co-discoverer of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, discusses why she signed the 100x Asteroid Declaration and why #AsteroidDay is important to the World!"

JPL Director Michael Watkins to Return to Academia

"After having served five years as director of JPL, Michael Watkins will move to the Caltech campus as professor of aerospace and geophysics. Larry D. James becomes interim director of JPL. JPL Director Michael Watkins announced Monday he will step down from his position as the director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to resume his academic and research career at Caltech as professor of aerospace and geophysics. His last day as JPL director will be Aug. 20. JPL is a federally funded research and development center managed by Caltech for NASA."

Warren Leary

Keith's update: I just learned that Warren Leary died suddenly yesterday. Warren was one of the very first actual journalists I got to know when I started doing NASAWatch. He was a consumate pro with a strong social conscience and a warm heart. I always enjoyed my interactions with him. He was the sort of old fashioned journalist who just pushed through every story to get at the core of what was going on. Although it has been a few years since I last saw him, I will always remember that huge smile of his. Ad Astra my friend.

Warren Leary, LinkedIn

"Warren E. Leary is a retired science correspondent for The New York Times. A journalist who has specialized in science writing for more than 35 years, he is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and received an M.S. degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. Leary began his science writing career with the Associated Press, creating the science beat in the Boston bureau of the news agency from 1971 through 1976, and continuing as a senior science writer for the AP in its Washington bureau from 1976 until 1989, when he joined the staff of The Times. As an award-winning journalist based in Washington, Leary has covered space flight, technology, engineering, aeronautics, and medical science, as well as policy issues and federal scientific agencies. He is on the board of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing and is a member and former officer of the National Association of Science Writers."

Nanoracks Appoints Marshall Smith as Senior Vice President of Commercial Space Stations

"Nanoracks, a Voyager Space Holdings Company, has appointed Marshall Smith, the former Deputy Associate Administrator (DAA) for NASA's Systems Engineering and Integration (SE&I), Human Exploration and Operations (HEO), as Senior Vice President of Commercial Space Stations."

Statements on Senate Confirmation of Margaret Vo Schaus as NASA CFO

"It's an honor to be confirmed by the Senate to serve as the chief financial officer at NASA and I am grateful for the opportunity to help carry on this agency's great legacy both in space and here on Earth," said Vo Schaus. "I look forward to working with Administrator Nelson and Deputy Administrator Melroy to oversee NASA's budget to support the workforce and the groundbreaking missions ahead. The budget is not just about enabling us to explore the cosmos - it allows us to create educational opportunities, incredible jobs, and inspire the next generation of astronauts and scientists here on Earth, who continue to raise the standard for scientific excellence around the globe. As we continue to explore the universe, expand critical Earth science research to combat climate change, and maintain the world's most talented workforce, I am fully committed to helping ensure the president and administrator's vision is carried out here at NASA."


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This page is an archive of entries in the Personnel News category from August 2021.

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