Space Pioneer Dies
23 Jun 2004
(Source: The Planetary Society)
Leading Russian Planetary Scientist Vasily Moroz Dies
The Planetary Society
June 23, 2004
Vasily I. Moroz, a leading scientist in the Russian and former Soviet space program, has died today in Moscow at the age of 73. Moroz was the founder of the Department of Planetary Science at the Insititute for Space Research in Moscow (IKI), and led it for 37 years. He was a leading member of the science teams of numerous space missions, including all Soviet and Russian planetary probes since 1979. He was also one of the first members of the Soviet space program to visit The Planetary Society when contacts were first established in the early 1980s.
Wesley Huntress, President of the Planetary Society, who had been a colleague of Dr. Moroz for many years, said:
"The Planetary Society was sad to learn today of the death of Vasily Moroz after a battle with cancer. Vasily was a leading Russian planetary scientist at the Institute for Space Research in Moscow, also known as IKI. He was well known and respected around the world for his pioneering work on planetary atmospheres, using data from Soviet-era planetary missions to Venus and Mars. Though justly proud of his country's pioneering achievements in space science, Vasily was a true internationalist. I personally enjoyed working with him recently on a history of planetary exploration missions in the 20th Century, each of us having participated in the competition between our two countries' space programs during the Cold War era. Most recently Vasily was a member of the Mars Express science team, which will sadly be deprived of his knowledge and expertise. All of us who knew and worked with him will greatly miss this pleasant and kind man, with whom it was a delight to collaborate."