The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) will present next week the William Nordberg Medal for space science to Louis J. Lanzerotti, distinguished professor of physics at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Lanzerotti, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the International Academy of Astronautics, is chairing the 20-person, blue-ribbon panel to study whether or not to prolong the mission of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Lanzerotti is also a consulting physicist to Bell Laboratories-Lucent Technologies, Murray Hill.
The ceremony will take place on July 19, 2004 at 5:45 p.m. local time in the Paris town hall, France.
The late William Nordberg was an earth scientist, who directed space applications at NASA’s Goddard space Flight Center. Nordberg pioneered the use of remote sensing to investigate Earth and its environment. The Nordberg Medal is awarded to a scientist who has made a distinguished contribution to the application of space science in a field covered by COSPAR. Since 1988, there have been eight recipients of the medal.
Lanzerotti will receive the medal during the inaugural ceremony of the 35th COSPAR Scientific Assembly. The assembly will be in session July 18-25, 2004. COSPAR was founded in 1958 in London after the Russian launch of the first earth satellite. COSPAR promotes an international level of scientific research in space, with an emphasis on the exchange of results, information and opinions.
Lanzerotti is a member of the Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research, which operates out of NJIT’s main campus, in Newark, as well as at Big Bear Solar Observatory, in Big Bear Lake, Calif. California Institute of Technology transferred management of the well-known solar observatory in 1997 to NJIT.
NASA has twice recognized Lanzerotti’s contributions to science with the agency’s Distinguished Scientific Achievement Medal; he has also received the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal.
The American Geophysical Union named Lanzerotti in February of 2003 editor of Space Weather: The International Journal of Research and Applications. This new journal is the first of its kind devoted to the emerging field of space weather and its impact on technical systems, including telecommunications, electric power and navigation.
Lanzerotti’s work at NJIT continues to investigate many unanswered questions about the sun and its effects on the earth’s space environment. Over a career spanning four decades, he has contributed to research that includes studies of space plasmas and geophysics, and engineering problems related to the impact of space processes on terrestrial technologies, as well as those used in space.
Lanzerotti holds a B.S. in engineering physics from the University of Illinois and masters and doctoral degrees in physics from Harvard University. He has authored more than 500-refereed publications, is co-author or co-editor of three books and has seven issued or filed patents.
COSPAR provides scientists with a forum to discuss issues affecting scientific space research. The organization once helped maintain an open bridge between East and West for cooperation in space. With the decline in rivalry between the two blocks, COSPAR has focused on the progress of research carried out with the use of space means (including balloons).