Distinguished Alumni Awards

George R. Carruthers

George R.  Carruthers
To George R. Carruthers, aerospace engineer, research astrophysicist, for his outstanding achievements in rocket ultraviolet astronomy and for his development of man's first moon-based space observatory.

Research Astrophysicist, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C.

  • BS, Aeronautical Engineering, 1961
  • MS, Aeronautical Engineering, 1962
  • PhD, Aeronautical Engineering, 1964

In 1970 Dr. Carruthers gained international attention when the photographs from his rocket-borne telescope of ultraviolet star radiation brought long-sought proof that hydrogen atoms are converted to molecules in dust clouds in interstellar space and catalyze the birth of stars. He was the principal investigator for the Apollo 16 far-ultraviolet camera-spectrograph experiment that permitted the first observation of the terrestrial upper atmosphere and the geocorona from the lunar surface, as well as the observation of celestial objects and the interplanetary medium. In 1973 NASA's Skylab 4 used his new instrument, the S201B far-UV camera, to photograph the hydrogen cloud that surrounded the head of the comet Kohoutek. Dr. Carruthers has developed a whole new class of optical instruments that have led to significant scientific discoveries.

Current as of 1975.