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Path of current page Home arrow Membership arrow Obituary Wednesday, 21 February 2018
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We regret to inform you of the passing of:


- 17 October 2017: Isabella Diederiks-Verschoor, Netherlands, member of Social Sciences section

- 06 August 2017: Chen Huaijin, China, member of Engineering Sciences section

- 27 July 2017: Amnon Ginati, Germany, member of Engineering Sciences section

- 25 July 2017: Yash Pal, India, member of Social Sciences section

- 24 July 2017: U.R. Rao, India, member of Engineering Sciences section

- 21 June 2017: Zhu Yilin, China, member of Social Sciences section

- 24 May 2017: Giovanni Bignami, Italy, member of Basic Sciences section

- 08 April 2017: Georgi Grechko, Russia, member of Engineering Sciences section

- 12 February 2017: Ren Xinmin, China, member of Engineering Sciences section


Obituary year 2016 is available in the 2016 History Section of the website
Obituary year 2015 is available in the 2015 History Section of the website



 Prof. Diederiks-Verschoor17 October 2017: Isabella Diederiks-Verschoor, Netherlands, member of Social Sciences section

Prof. Dr. Isabella Diederiks-Verschoor was one of the founders of the field of space law and of the International institute of Space Law (IISL).  She was IISL’s President from 1973-1990. She passed away on 17 October 2017 at the age of 102. She studied law at Leiden University and practised law in Amsterdam for six years. In 1943 she defended her PhD thesis on the 1938 Brussels Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to Assistance and Salvage of Aircraft at Sea at the University of Utrecht. She was appointed as a lecturer there in 1953, and was professor of air and space law from 1979 until her retirement in 1984. In 1985 she became Vice-Chair of the newly established International Institute of Air and Space Law at Leiden University. She served in that capacity until the early 1990s, after which she became honorary board member. Her legacy is remembered today through the IISL Diederiks-Verschoor award. She was elected Corresponding Member in 1967 and Full Member in 1981 of the International Academy of Astronautics.

 06 August 2017: Chen Huaijin, China, member of Engineering Sciences section (1929-2017)

Prof. Chen Huaijin was one of the pioneers and founders of China's space industry, and a famous expert in radar technology and rocket control system. On August 6, 2017, Prof. Chen Huaijin died at the age of 88. In March 1957, he joined in the Fifth Academy of the Ministry of National Defense, and successively held positions as Vice President of the Second Academy of the Ministry of Space Industry, Chief Engineer, Chief Designer of Stimulation Engineering and Deputy Director of S&T Committee of Ministry of Space Industry, as well as the Chair of Military Stimulation Professional Research Group of State Commission of Science and Technology for National Defense Industry. He served as Adjunct Professor of Harbin Institute of Technology, Vice President of Chinese Society of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle of Chinese Society of Astronautics and Vice President of China Academy of System Stimulation. He has been engaged in the research and development of China's radar technology and rocket control system for a long time. He has won the First Prize of National Prize for Progress in Science and Technology, and the First Prize for Progress in Aeronautical and Astronautical Science and Technology. He was elected Full Member in 2001 of the International Academy of Astronautics.
 
IAA member Amnon Ginati
27 July 2017: Amnon Ginati, Germany, member of Engineering Sciences section (1953-2017)

We have learned with great sadness the passing of Professor Amnon Ginati, Full Member Section 2 Engineering Sciences of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) on July 27, 2017. He was the Head of the Earth Observation Future Programmes Department at ESA / ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands. He contributed significantly to a number of German and international space projects and concepts. He advanced new ideas for small satellite missions and combined industry and university activities to pursue space science and application projects. He established industry joint projects and university cooperation’s research activities with entities from USA, Israel, China, Russia and other countries. He initiated and managed the micro-satellite TUBSAT of the Technical University of Berlin. Author of 50 publications and 3 patents. He was elected Corresponding Member in 2002 and Full Member in 2005 of the International Academy of Astronautics.
 
IAA member Yash Pal

25 July 2017: Yash Pal, India, member of Social Sciences section (1926-2017)

We have learned with great sadness the passing of Professor Yash Pal, Full Member Section 4 Social Sciences of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) on July 25, 2017. In the 1970s, as director of the Space Applications Centre, a wing of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) set up to conceptualise applications for satellite technology for societal needs, Pal put together a team of young scientists from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai to develop remote-sensing technologies, disregarding suggestions that scientists be sent to the U.S. for training. He began his career as a professor at the TIFR. He went on to hold several senior position in government as Chief Consultant with the Planning Commission from in 1983, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology from 1984 to 1986) and as chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) for five years from 1986 to 1991. A scientist of international repute, Prof. Pal was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1976 and India’s second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan, in 2013. He made significant contributions in the field of science and to the study of cosmic rays, high-energy physics and astrophysics. A well known science communicator, Prof. Yash Pal brought galaxies and cosmic rays to living rooms across India via ‘Turning Point’, an extremely popular science show on Doordarshan. He was elected Corresponding Member in 1990 and Full Member in 1995 of the International Academy of Astronautics.
 
IAA member U.R. Rao

24 July 2017: U. Ramachandra Rao, India, member of Engineering Sciences section (1932-2017)

We have learned with great sadness the passing of Professor U.R. Rao, Full Member Section Section 2 Engineering Sciences of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) on July 24, 2017. Prof. Rao was involved in all ISRO missions till date in one capacity or the other. Udupi Ramachandra Rao, the grand old man of Indian space programme, has been active almost until his last days. The celebrated space scientist was the fourth Chairman of the ISRO in its critical formative years between 1984 and 1994. ISRO credits him with establishing the development of indigenous satellite technology, giving thrust to early rocket development efforts with the ASLV and the PSLV. He initiated the development of the medium powered GSLV rocket for two-tonne spacecraft in 1991. Prof. Rao was decorated with Padma Vibhushan in 2017 and the Padma Bhushan in 1976. He is the only Indian to date to have been inducted into the Satellite Hall of Fame, Washington, in 2013 by the Society of Satellite Professionals International. He was awarded the IAA von Karman Award in 2005 and he received the IAA Book Award for the book on ‘Space Technology for Sustainable Development’ in 1997. He was elected Corresponding Member in 1991 and Full Member in 1996 of the International Academy of Astronautics.
 21 June 2017: Zhu Yilin, China, member of Social Sciences section (1934-2017)

We have learned with great sadness the passing of Professor Zhu Yilin, Full Member Section Section 4 Social Sciences of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) on June 21, 2017. He was a Research Professor and Secretary General of Science and Technology Commission of Chinese Academy of Space Technology (CAST), Beijing, China. As a chief designer, he has made contributions for the engineering development of LM-1 launch vehicle and the «SJ-2» scientific satellites. His personal contribution was in the application of systems engineering concepts for the design of those complex systems. He made a major contribution to the development of Chinese scientific satellites, including multi-satellite launched on one rocket. Author of more than 100 publications. He was elected Corresponding Member in 1999 and Full Member in 2004 of the International Academy of Astronautics.
 
Giovanni Bignami, M1
24 May 2017: Giovanni Bignami, Italy, member of Basic Sciences section

We have learned with great sadness the passing of Professor Giovanni Fabrizio Bignami, or “Nanni” to his friends, current Trustee of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) on Wednesday 24 May 2017, at the age of 73. Giovanni Bignami was the 2014 von Karman Award recipient that he received at the occasion of the second IAA Heads of Space Agencies Summit in Washington DC, USA, where 35 Heads of agencies were present. He joined the Academy in 2000 and was involved in many IAA activities. As past President of Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) he was very active in Academy days during the COSPAR general assembly. He was President of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) in Roma, Italy where he was previously the Director of Science. Earlier, he was Director of the Centre d’Etudes Spatiales des Rayonnements in Toulouse (France). He started his career as researcher in astrophysics of high energies and was the principal investigator for the mission "cornerstone" XMM of the European Space Agency. He is a member of the National Academy of Lincei. He was elected Full Member (section 1 Basic Sciences) of the International Academy of Astronautics in 2000.
 
Georgi Grechko, M2
08 April 2017: Georgi Grechko, Russia, member of Engineering Sciences section

A veteran of three spaceflights during the heydey of the Soviet space program, Grechko was also a skilled engineer and an avid popularizer of spaceflight. He finished high school in 1949 and graduated with distinction from Leningrad Military Mechanical Institute (Voenmekh) in 1955, after which he was recruited to work in the Special Design Bureau 1 (OKB-1) outside Moscow, the cradle of the Soviet ballistic missile and space program led by Sergei Korolev. One of Grechko’s early assignments was to calculate trajectories for what would become the world’s first satellite, Sputnik 1. In 1975 he made it into Earth orbit as the flight engineer on  Soyuz 17. On December 10, 1977, Grechko and Yuri Romanenko blasted off onboard Soyuz 26 spacecraft bound to the Salyut 6 space station. In 1985, at the age of 54, Grechko began his third spaceflight onboard Soyuz T-14, which took him to the Salyut 7 orbiting lab for another extended stay. Altogether, on three expeditions to three different Soviet space stations, Grechko logged a total of nearly 135 days in space. For that he was twice named Hero of the Soviet Union, the highest official honor in the nation. After his retirement, Grechko stayed until 1986 at NPO Energia (now RKK Energia), the nation’s prime developer of space vehicles. In May of the same year, he joined the Institute of Biosphere Physics within the Soviet Academy of Sciences, where he served as a cosmonaut researcher until March 1992.
He was elected Full Member (section 2 Engineering Sciences) of the International Academy of Astronautics in 1988.
 IAA Academician Ren Xinmin (M2)12 February 2017: Ren Xinmin, China, member of Engineering Sciences section

Prof. Ren Xinmin was one of the founders of China's "Atomic and hydrogen bombs, missiles and man-made satellite" program. He was an important pioneer of China’s missile and space technologies, a famous expert in space technology and liquid rocket engine technology and received the top honor prize for the fifty-year founding of China’s space industry. He was an Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and International Academy of Astronautics (IAA). Prof. Ren Xinmin was born in December 1915. In 1945, He went to the United States for a Master’s Degree in mechanical engineering and a Doctoral Degree in engineering mechanics in the institute of University of Michigan. After the founding of new China in 1949, Prof. Ren returned to China for the construction of China’s space industry and was responsible for research and testing on liquid rocket. Being the technical lead of launch vehicles, he took charge of the launch of China’s first man-made satellite “Dongfanghong-1”. Afterwards, he served as the chief designer and presided over the development and launches of China’s 6 major space engineering programs, such as experimental satellite communications, practical satellite communications, Fengyun-1 meteorological satellite and commercial launching. Prof. Ren Xinmin was the Vice Minister of National Seventh Machinery Industry, Director of Science and Technology Commission of the Ministry of Space Industry and Senior Technical Consultant of the Ministry of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Since 1979, he was successively elected as the first and second President and the third Honorary President of the Chinese Society of Astronautics (CSA). In 1980, he was elected to be an academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences. Since 1985, he had served as the Deputy Director of the National Defense Science and Technology Progress Committee and adjunct team leader of space panel. In 1988, he was appointed as member of National Academic Degree Committee by the State Council. Besides, he was offered the adjunct professors by the Harbin Institute of Technology and Nanjing University of Science and Technology. He was elected Full Member (section 2 Engineering Sciences) of the International Academy of Astronautics in 1985.




























































































 
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