Bruce Murray, former JPL Director, co-founder of the Planetary Society, and Caltech Emeritus Professor passed away on August 29.
In the words of JPL’s Director Charles Elachi “Bruce was JPL’s fifth Director, serving from 1976 to 1982, but his association with JPL goes back much further. He was a Caltech geologist and a key member of the Mariner 4 Imaging team that captured the first close up image of Mars in 1964. It was only the first of four planetary missions in which he played a vital role as a scientist.
Shortly after Bruce became Director, JPL was the scene for mission operations for the landings of Viking 1 and 2 on Mars. The following year Voyager 1 and 2 were launched, and Bruce led the lab through the Voyagers’ encounters at Jupiter and Saturn. He worked tirelessly to save our nation’s planetary exploration capability at a tumultuous time when there was serious talk of curtailing future missions. Along with Carl Sagan and Lou Friedman, he founded The Planetary Society. Long after returning to Caltech as a professor, he continued to be a strong voice in expressing the importance of space exploration.”
Obituaries have been posted in various websites, including The Planetary Society and the Los Angeles Times.